On the Road-SEPTEMBER 2018


Welcome to On the Road with Mason and Noga, a newsletter written by us—BBYO’s international teen presidents. We are excited to share our updates and travel adventures with you as we meet with Alephs and BBGs from across the Movement. In this issue, you’ll learn a bit about our BBYO summer and everything we’re looking forward to this year. Enjoy this first update!

International Kallah: A Shabbat to Remember

As the coordinator of International Kallah this summer, BBYO’s explorative Jewish identity program, I (Noga) had the unique opportunity to mentor teen participants, sharing the BBYO wisdom that was passed down to me throughout my time as a BBG. Seeing participants grow as leaders among their peers was inspiring—particularly during Shabbat to Remember, an annual Perlman tradition. Shabbat to Remember is a two-day Shabbaton during Kallah, during which BBYO hosts nearly a dozen Holocaust survivors who come to share their stories, allowing teens to bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust so that we, too, can share their stories and better understand the resilience of the Jewish people. Throughout the weekend participants assumed a multitude of leadership positions including leading and facilitating Shabbat services, serving as in-house photographers, and managing logistics for the Shabbaton. In less than 48 hours, it truly felt as though every survivor became a BBYO grandparent, instilling in the Kallah community with a deepened appreciation for our heritage. Shabbat to Remember is a powerful experience, and its impact felt magnified by our Movement; it’s moments like these where I feel unequivocally confident in (and very excited) about a vibrant Jewish future. I’m so grateful for the time I spent with Alephs and BBGs and will treasure the time at Kallah that I experienced alongside them.
 
Watch a video about Shabbat to Remember from last summer here and keep an eye out for the 2018 video coming soon!

Remember International Kallah 2019 registration opens on Thursday, November 1 at 12 PM; click here to learn more.

Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC): The Power of Words

This summer, I (Mason) spent two weeks in Mukwonago, Wisconsin coordinating a session of our Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC), a unique leadership program for underclassmen who want to gain skills to better serve their communities, both in and out of BBYO. Participants’ days were spent learning how to create and run programs and making friends from all over BBYO’s communities in North America and around the world.
 
Among my days at CLTC, one stands out in particular. We brought in a guest speaker, Pamela “Pam” Schuller, to provide a unique angle on inclusion. Pam is a stand-up comedian who has Tourette’s—and she is one of the funniest people I have ever met. She told hilarious stories that had every member of the audience laughing like hyenas, but her talk also had a more profound effect. She shared stories of people that worked to make her feel valuable just like everyone else and succeeded. During the Q&A session with Pam, one member of the session revealed that he, too, has Tourette’s and another revealed that she was on the autism spectrum, information they had been guarding until that moment. The CLTC community rallied around both participants and supported them. That was an incredible moment. It's also why I'm confident that every member of that session has already returned home and started finding ways to leave a meaningful impact on their community.
 
Learn more about CLTC here.

Registration for CLTC 2019 opens on Thursday, November 1. You can take advantage of our BIGGEST discount of the season ($1,999) that day from 12 pm-midnight—pricing goes up November 2 and again on November 20. Be sure to reserve a spot early to take advantage of our best offer!

International August Executives Conference: Our Turn

Every summer, AZA’s and BBG’s highest-elected teen leaders and professional staff come together to train on skills, strategies, and tactics for the year ahead. For the second year, delegates from beyond North America joined in, representing 28 of BBYO’s 46 countries. Execs (as it’s affectionately called) sets more than just the tone for the year; through legislative action and collaborative visioning, the core of the Movement’s teen leaders shape the organization for the year ahead. Some of the most special moments at Execs include our celebration of ritual and tradition. Breakout sessions featured programming for BBG’s 75th anniversary through the lens of the Lean IN initiative; delegates participated in our international opening and closing ceremonies; the 94th and 74th International Boards were installed during a ceremony that has been repeated for nearly a century (and if you’d like, you can read our inaugural address here). AZA and BBG have never been stronger, and August Execs demonstrated how powerful it is when we carry the legacy of those who came before us and pave a legacy of our own—we could not be more excited for all that this year will bring for the Movement.
 
Check out some great photos from August Execs here.

Please Meet: the 94th and 74th International Teen Board

We are so proud to be a part of the 94th and 74th Grand and International Boards—and this year, for the first time in 27 years, the Board grew by two, making us 12 members. We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to each member of the Board so you can learn a bit more about them. Below is a quick note from every I-Board member about what's inspiring and driving them this year.
 
Aidan Jacoby, AZA Vice President of Programming (Plano, TX): Being a S’gan in BBYO has been a huge part of my time in high school. I fell in love with programming at CLTC 3, 2015 and ever since then I have worked to elevate programming in my community, and this year, around the world! I am so excited to help our members create and experience high-quality programs that they will forever cherish.
 
Emily Kolodney, BBG Vice President of Programming (Austin, TX): I hope to leave a legacy that inspires Alephs and BBGs to uphold the moral values of our Movement through adulthood and, more specifically, to embrace the details in planning and programming—thereby pass on the gift of Jewish livelihood to other Jewish teens.
 
Jed Friedman, AZA Vice President of Membership (Voorhees, NJ): The past few months truly were a “BBYO summer.” Traveling from International Board Retreat to Ambassadors to Bulgaria, International Leadership Seminar in Israel, and August Executives Conference made me energized and prepared for the year ahead. I’m looking forward to inviting more brothers and sisters into our Movement than ever before and elevating the experiences of young leaders via CLTC. It’s going to be a fruitful year for AZA and BBG!
 
Marissa Aaronson, BBG Vice President of Membership (Jacksonville, FL): I am so excited to make this year one for the books. Between an enhanced CLTC curriculum and Rosh Chodesh-inspired sisterhood initiative celebrating BBG’s 75th anniversary, there is so much to look forward to in the upcoming months.
 
Miles Bader, AZA Vice President of Communication (Palo Alto, CA): Nothing quite compares to the feeling you get when you visit BBYO in a community far away.  It’s when you’re in a place so foreign to you, even around the world confronted by language barriers, you feel right at home— that’s the power of the Jewish community and that’s the feeling we work to maintain.
 
Eva Hayman, BBG Vice President of Communication (Vienna, VA): I absolutely cannot wait to get this term started and to work with all my brothers and sisters from across the globe. My main priorities for the year include ensuring that each community has an updated constitution and that we elevate communication with our Movement through the Shofar—the official AZA & BBG Newsletter!
 
Liam McClean, AZA Vice President of Jewish Enrichment (Fox Point, WI): I believe that young people can conquer the social issues that have challenged society for years, and I’m excited to help lead the BBYO Movement to be at the forefront of social change.
 
Emma Herman, BBG Vice President of Jewish Enrichment (Chevy Chase, MD): I could not be more excited for the year ahead! I’m thrilled that many projects are underway like AZA & BBG Global Shabbat, the brand new Oneday campaign, and implementing strong Stand UP and Israel programming in communities around the world.
 
Ethan Golde, AZA Treasurer (Okemos, MI): As the first Gizbor in the history of AZA and BBG’s International Boards, there is so much that I want to accomplish as we pave the way for future Gizborim. I have already begun creating new resources, training sessions, and legislation to shape the teen treasury—the International Service Fund (ISF). We plan on raising $75,000 for the ISF by BBG Founder’s Day on April 22, and even more importantly, we plan to ensure that our membership knows how to leverage the Fund to create change!
 
Blair Wales, BBG Treasurer (Fox Point, WI): Because of my family’s generational BBG involvement, hearing how much my mother and grandmother love this organization, I was so excited to join and become a leader. BBYO, but especially BBG, has made me the strong Jewish woman that I am today.
 
Check out pictures of the I-Board from IC 2018 here. Excited for IC 2019? Registration for teens and adults opens October 4!

Sparking Conversations: Oneday Against Hate

If you haven’t heard about the Oneday campaign yet, you’re about to! On October 1, 2018, BBYO and partner organizations, will come together in our neighborhoods, schools, houses of worship, and communities to start conversations that help us understand each other’s different life experiences and build bridges to deeper connections. Through our experiences in BBYO, teens practice ways to support one another and stand together despite differences. Oneday’s message of seeking and showing understanding as part of our everyday lives is a message we can all learn from.

At August Execs earlier this month, legislation was introduced during teen-led meetings that celebrated the launch and our partnership of Oneday. We’re excited to share it with you here:  Be it further resolved that, the International Order of the B’nai B’rith Girls and the Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph will begin a full year of taking action by joining the Anti-Defamation League’s ‘Oneday’ Initiative as an official movement partner, committing to mark October 1, 2018 as a national day of action where individuals from all walks of life come together to spark one million conversations to amplify understanding, comprehension, and inclusion. Following International August Executives Conference, the International Board will make resources accessible for Alephs and B’nai B’rith Girls to bring these conversations to our communities around the world.
 
You can learn more about participating in Oneday campaign here.