After counting down the days, IC 2023 is finally here! To kick off our experience, we had an amazing time at the opening ceremonies while meeting new friends from all over the international order.
Walking into the opening ceremony room was a feeling like no other. The loud music, bright colored lights, and the room full of teens, just like me, provided so much adrenaline that I know I could only experience here at IC. Looking around, it was crazy to see so many teens from so many different places and backgrounds sharing the same love and passion for Judaism as me.
Every region stood in their sections, on top of chairs, to watch the amazing performance provided by the talented IC band. Once everyone had entered, the first performance began. The cast of Hamilton (one of my personal favorite musicals) came out to sing a few songs. Talk about starting strong! Following that amazing performance was an address from the Second Gentleman, Mr. Douglas Emhoff. He spoke about his personal Jewish identity and beliefs. I know that personally, it was extremely heartwarming to know that some of the most important people within our current government have our backs. Multiple regions spoke, but it was particularly special when the Israeli region spoke, and following that, we sang the Israeli national anthem, the Hatikva. The ceremony ended with a quick preview of Sunday’s concert with a performance by Loud Luxury.
Something that really stuck out was what Former Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett spoke about. He mentioned the Hebrew term “heninei” several times. This term means “here I am,” implying that in saying this, you are standing up and letting the world know that you are here to do so. Take this term with you throughout IC. Henenei, here I am. You can take this term in different directions, whether that's staying present or taking a stand for what you believe in.
Leah is a BBG from D'vash BBG #956, Pacific Western Region, and her favorite color is pink.
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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