An Advisor’s Outlook On Advising During COVID-19

November 19, 2020
Rachel Wolk

Flushing, New York, United States

Class of 2022

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This year was definitely an obstacle compared to past years. However, in BBYO, we strive to combat these obstacles, wherever they come from. One of the biggest game changers in BBYO is our amazing advisors. When COVID-19 began and BBYO went fully virtual, it didn’t stop our advisors from being some of the most caring people out there. Throughout the past months, many advisors have been greatly impacted by the pandemic in terms of supporting their chapters. 

My advisor, Jaclyn “Jackie” Gabler, started advising my chapter, Sagiv BBYO (originally Forest Hills/Rego Park BBYO), in Fall of 2018. Jackie was a BBYO member from 2009-2013 and has loved it ever since. She was in Rainbow BBG #2069, regional Morah during her senior year, went on IC in 2012 and 2013, and attended ILTC 2012. Since Jackie has done such a phenomenal job at being an advisor, I interviewed her about her experience with advising throughout COVID-19. 

Rachel: To start off, what exactly inspired you to be an advisor in the first place?

Jackie: When I was in BBYO, I was extremely close with my advisors and looked at them as big sisters. They were there for me in BBYO and helped me through all of the elections I ran for and any struggles we had, but also just were there as a mentor and role model for non-BBYO things. I always knew that I wanted to give back and be that person and role model for teens just like my advisors were for me. 

Rachel: When the pandemic first hit, how did you maintain a positive attitude while advising? 

Jackie: I quickly had to adapt in my work life to a virtual setting and learned fast that staying connected with people was key. I tried to work with my teens to ensure they saw that as well and knew that even virtually we could remain strong and keep programming going- which we did, and it resulted in us getting our temporary charter!

Rachel: What is something that you think you, and our chapter, got out of advising during the pandemic? 

Jackie: I think having a resource to help guide us in this virtual world, figuring out what works and how to improve weekly, and keeping members engaged. We definitely got the huge reward of becoming Sagiv!

Rachel: What has been your favorite part of advising during this time? 

Jackie: Definitely watching my chapter grow. Having been an advisor for a new chapter, I have seen the teens go from not really knowing how a chapter runs, to beginning to take on some leadership roles, to fully planning and running weekly programs and recruiting. It makes me so proud to have been a part of that and see them through their BBYO journey and their resilience throughout this pandemic.

Rachel: It is so interesting to see how the pandemic really influenced you as an advisor. It was so great getting to talk to you! Thank you so much!

Rachel Wolk is a BBG from Forest Hills/Rego Park BBYO in Big Apple Region who loves music, dogs, and binge watching tv shows.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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