BBYO's Global Shabbat: a huge success



by Rachel Martin BBYO/Teen Director

Nearly 70 teens, parents, and community leaders celebrated Global Shabbat together on Friday, Nov. 13 at a service and dinner led by talented local BBYO teens. Aleph Shaliach Benjamin Brodkey and Elijah Marburg led a captivating, beautiful Shabbat service that incorporated many different teens leading blessings, prayers, songs, and making speeches.

The evening would not have been possible without the work of Aleph S'gan Nate Gendler, as he spent many nights during the past few months teaching the new members all about BBYO and AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph).

Charlie Cohen, one of the 10 new members inducted into the International Order of AZA that night, delivered a fantastic speech that summed up many aspects of BBYO:

Hello, I am Charlie Cohen, I currently am a Freshman at Omaha Brownell Talbot. I joined the esteemed ranks of Aleph Zadik Aleph at the end of my eighth grade year. I made the switch from Hebrew school to BBYO. I honestly joined BBYO because I had already had my bar mitzvah and I thought what was the point of still going to Hebrew school?

I also was getting a little bored with Hebrew school and I was ready for a change so my parents suggested BBYO because they had both been actively involved in BBYO when they were my age. My mom was in Ner Tamid, the girl chapter at the time, while my dad was in Rayim, the boy chapter at the time.

My first event ever in BBYO was 2015 Rush, where the new incoming 8th graders, soon to be Freshman, are recruited to join one of two BBYO chapters, either Mother Chapter AZA #1 or Chaim Weizmann AZA #1510. At the rush everyone was very friendly and we had a lot of fun playing dodgeball on the hand ball courts and playing games to get to know each other better. Then we went to Chipotle that was generously already paid for, and if that's not a deal closer, then I don't know what is.

Our theme for tonight is A Shabbat to Remember. The Torah portion for tonight is Toldot which involves the story of Jacob and Esau and the birthright of the older son. This story translates well into we Freshman and Eighth Grade AITS or Alephs In Training as tonight is sort of our birthright, as it is our induction into the Aleph Zadik Aleph Order. The freshman and eighth graders have spent countless nights after meetings staying and learning about the history of AZA and the history of Mother Chapter AZA #1.

I must give out a thank you to Nate Gendler for teaching us about the rich history of this famous chapter and organization. Global Shabbat is a program that is done all around the world by many other BBYO chapters and councils. Global Shabbat translates into our induction into the Aleph Zadik Aleph Order.

Since Global Shabbat is an international program, it shows how us AITS are being inducted into the International Order of AZA among other chapters and councils all over the world. It is important that we are being inducted into the Aleph Zadik Order because we are now starting a new chapter of our lives and we will make relationships that will hopefully last us our whole lifetime.

On behalf of BBYO, we would like to thank everyone who attended our Global Shabbat, the parents who supplied desserts, and those who contributed to our future Jewish teen programming.