When I joined Big Apple Region (BAR) in 2015, we had nine chapters between the two boroughs of New York City. The majority of our chapters were and still are, in Queens with the outliers in Brooklyn. Our region was on a membership plateau and having typical BBYO dances in temple ballrooms. Big Apple chapters were losing members and our region seemed to shrink. When I went on my first international program, few teens knew of Big Apple or any members from there.
For about two years, our region was on a rocky path. Last year, Big Apple started growing stronger when our first chapter in Park Slope, Brooklyn, received a charter from the International Order. This was the first shift of growth that our region had felt or seen in some time and a revival of BBYO in that particular area of Brooklyn. From that point on our region has been on an upswing. This year a new chapter with a temporary charter in Cobble Hill started meeting and four of their members are registered for IC! The first meeting that I went to as Regional Morah, or Vice President of Recruitment and Expansion for BAR, was their chapter elections and it was a huge success. This was the first taste I got of how expansion works and how incredibly excited I was to help grow my region. I really felt as if I was making an impact on the Order by helping to grow a new chapter. Within the past two weeks, I went to an informational event at a South Brooklyn YMCA and we had about 30-40 teens in attendance who expressed interest in joining BBYO. We have never had a chapter in this area so it brought the entire Big Apple Team tremendous amounts of joy.
Our regional events become more exciting every year and we have more and more teens going on international events. About 2-3 weeks ago the four New York regions, Big Apple, Hudson Valley, Manhattan, and Nassau Suffolk, had a record-breaking kickoff. The event at Adventureland, a Long Island amusement park, had approximately 1,200 teens from the area. The event proved to be a huge success and the second largest BBYO event outside of International Convention.
At international events, I am proud to represent Big Apple. Each day this region proves to be stronger than ever and I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of this Movement.
Farrah Fuld is a BBG from Big Apple Region who loves the beach and traveling.
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.
In this week's Parsha, we discuss the importance of the Sukkah and why we built it the way we do. BBYO, as an organization, provides us with stability and the opportunity for reflection, just like a Sukkah.
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