At least once a term, an event occurs in which BBGs join together in a meaningful program. We sit, our phones off and away, and quiet lyrical music is playing in the background. This program is called Separates. A safe space is created, and we’re all silent, waiting for it to begin.
Most of the time, the S’ganit and the N’siah run the program, but it varies for every chapter. The leaders slowly walk around waiting for everyone to get settled, and once they do, the program commences.
Silence falls across the BBGs. A meaningful program requires respect and attentiveness, in which we all have to participate in. The topics of Separates vary, but all around it brings the B’nai B’rith Girls closer together.
The meaning behind Separates is to create a safe space, and make a comfortable environment without feeling as if you’re being judged, or talked about.
Most Separates bring tears to our eyes and hit a soft spot. From my experience, we’ve discussed our legacy and identity as individuals and as Jews.
Separates have left me with key memories that I’ll never forget. From my first Separates at Camp BBYO (‘22), I learned about how I want to leave my mark on the world. It brought everyone in the room to tears, and left us all thinking about it.
When being involved in a Separates program, you learn more about yourself and your fellow BBGs, including your identity as a Jew. The correspondence of the reflection of yourself, and your religious identity coincide to create a beautiful program, and ideas in your head. Incredible things have come from Separates programs, and have bonded together BBGs all over in unthinkable ways.
Separates has significantly affected my life, and from what I’ve witnessed, the people around mine, too. We’ve looked into the deeper parts of ourselves and reflected upon how we want to be portrayed, or how we want to leave a mark on this world, even if it’s unknown to others. It’s become a BBYO tradition for both AZAs and BBGs, and while the programs are different, it has a similar effect overall.
BBG Separates are one of, if not the most, meaningful programs in BBYO. It leaves us all questioning what we do, and what we will do in the future, but also helps us to bond with our fellow BBGs around us. From what I’ve learned, it can change a person, and by being involved it helps to connect with BBYO, Israel, ourselves, and the world. If one thing comes out of a Separates program, it’s the reflections and realizations made throughout, and that’s what makes BBGs come full circle.
We get to see the highs and lows of our chapters. From being inducted—to giving life, Separates are what makes us connect the most, and will continue to impact BBGs and change us all for the better.
Sarah Begun is a BBG living in Cherry Hill, New Jersey who plays bass guitar, and lacrosse.
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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