BBYO | AZA & BBG | International Convention | Summer

Rewind

A New Winter Convention for RMR

January 28, 2019
Natalie Huttner

Denver, Colorado, United States

This year, from December 7th to December 9th, RMR hosted their first-ever Winter Kallah, featuring Global Shabbat, awesome programming, and a Hanukkah party! In the past, the region’s Winter Convention consisted of chapter and regional spirit, while it’s Spring Convention focused on Judaic education and spirituality. However this year they wanted to try something new and incorporate Hannukah and Global Shabbat as central features of the Convention, making it a brand new Winter Kallah.

Although some were skeptical of this change at first, the convention was a huge success that enriched RMR members’ Jewish identity

Kallah began with RMR families, the International Board, and members of the local Jewish community joining together to celebrate Global Shabbat. After dinner and a Hannukah themed Friday night service, Pam Schuller, a guest speaker and comedian, shared her story with the region. To close the evening, chapters competed against each other in a heated game of Family Feud. After an eventful and successful evening, members were even more excited to head into the next day.

After Saturday morning breakfast, everyone chose a service to attend. Each member had a choice of attending a traditional service, a political service, an interfaith discussion, and a service discussing anti-Semitism. Each of these opportunities allowed participants to find their niche and gain a new perspective on Jewish identity. Following services, members rotated between programs, a God-talk and an improv activity with Pam Schuller. These activities were fun and relaxing and allowed participants to engage with each other through deeper conversations and new experiences.

Saturday afternoon started with three programming rotations that were pre-selected for each member. These programs included a scavenger hunt, a discussion about anti-Semitism, a positivity program, Magen David decorating, and a program exploring Jewish pride. The programs, each unique in their own way, were engaging, informative, and super fun! Who knew Jewish programming could be so amazing?

After chofesh and dinner, it was time for Havdallah. There were multiple Havdallah programs and each had a different theme, from a traditional service to one about hip-hop. Following this, members lit the menorah for the 7th night of Hanukkah, kicking off the holiday party. RMR members danced the night away, enjoying sufganiyot and custom BBYO gelt. Finally, the evening ended with meaningful separates and spirit, for both AZA and BBG, led by the leadership team. This was an amazing way to end a day full of activities.

The leadership and steering team worked so hard to plan an amazing convention and couldn’t have done any better. It was a great way to start this new tradition and left members wanting to come back to more BBYO programs. Winter Kallah set the new bar for Jewish programming in RMR and I challenge members around the world to get more creative with their Judaic programming.

Natalie Huttner is a BBG from Rocky Mountain Region and she plays field hockey and figure skates!

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