An Interview with Ilana Rubenstein

February 17, 2021
Hilary Gottlieb

Livingston, New Jersey, United States

Class of 2023

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This IC was one for the books! It will always be remembered for being the most unique IC of all. I felt that it would be important to highlight all of the amazing experiences at an in-person IC and a virtual IC. Ilana Rubenstein is the N’siah of Koach BBG in the Greater Jersey Hudson River Region: Northern.

Ilana attended IC last year in Dallas, Texas and this year virtually, she was on the steering committee. I asked Ilana 5 questions about IC this year compared to last year.

What was the biggest difference between a virtual and in-person convention?

“Obviously under these circumstances there are a ton of differences, but I believe the one to be the most significant was the aspect of meeting new people. We are so lucky our coordinators created the Meet Up section, to give us a taste of meeting new people, but it was not the same. During in-person IC, you could be standing in line for the bathroom and the person in front of you automatically becomes a new friend. The table you sit down at during Shabbat, those people become your crew. I missed that aspect of IC this year dearly, but I am still so grateful that this weekend was successful and an amazing experience.”

I one hundred percent agree, even though I never experienced an in-person IC it is always harder to meet people online than it is in-person. I think that the Meet-Up was a great addition to meet new people and create new friendships online.

What was unique about the virtual convention compared to in-person?

Ilana talked about the use of the Hopin platform, and how there were programs happening at every second of every day. She felt that there was so much freedom to do whatever you wanted at any time.

I felt that I got to create my own schedule, very similarly to creating a camp schedule.

What do you hope stays from this virtual IC to the next IC?

Ilana spoke about the increased engagement at this year's event and that she hopes that it will continue on to the next convention along with the new program additions.  

In contrast, what did you miss from last year’s convention to this one?

“The feeling of being able to walk into the convention, grabbing your name tag, knowing that this would be the most incredible weekend of your life. Being in a new and different environment elevates the event to the best it can be.”

Walking into the event this year was definitely a part of my imagination, but I can only imagine what it is like in-person.

Lastly, did you feel you were able to create relationships with people virtually compared to in-person?

As Ilana was able to run programs across the entire weekend, she felt that she was able to create new connections as she hopped from breakout room to breakout room. Even though Ilana felt it was easier to create connections in-person than virtually, she thought creatively and was still able to have a positive experience.

I was so grateful that Ilana shared her experiences with me since I have never attended IC in-person. Writing this article just made me even more excited to attend next year!

Hilary Gottlieb is a BBG from Great Jersey Hudson River Region: Northern and goes to Trails End Camp.

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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