More and more it seems that American politics are becoming more polarized. Many citizens of the United States are politically active, including the youngest generation. Bebe Schaefer, a 16-year-old high school senior from Michigan, shared “I got interested in politics because of the 2016 Election. Many of the issues that came up in the debates and rallies were extremely important to me.”
BBYO started and took part in many campaigns in the past couple of years to encourage its members to advocate for change they wish to see in the world. These campaigns included Voice Your Vote, and OneDay Against Hate. BBYO ran these campaigns to ensure Jewish teens from across the world could be civically engaged in the big issues of our world today. It's important for us to understand the various issues discussed during elections because soon it will be our generation's turn to vote. BBYO stresses the importance of democracy so all members feel like they have a voice. “BBYO and Judaism stress the value of Tikkun Olam, which is the idea in Judaism that we will leave this world better than we found it,” Schaefer explained. "One way we can make the world a better place is by civic engagement in our local communities."
On February 14th, 2018, the day before BBYO’s International Convention started, our nation experienced a mass shooting at a place of learning. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was attacked by a former student, Nikolas Cruz. This was one of the worst mass shootings we have seen in our life and an incident that hit close to home. “Our generation has grown up in the massacre generation where every other day we hear of a mass shooting,” Schaefer passionately explained. "Not a single generation should have to experience a breaking news alert every few days sharing news another tragedy."
This issue, like many, are why it's important for youth to be engaged in the political process so their opinions and voices are heard when it comes to tough issues. We have a lot of life left to live so let's use it to build the world we want to see.
Jeremy Hasson is an Aleph from Northern Region East: DC Council and is an avid sports fan and photographer.
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.
For this parsha we are reflecting on the story of Passover, sacrifice, and freedom. Viewing the story in a lens of social justice makes us look at the world around us, and seeing the struggles of other communities and how we can help.
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