Coordinating a Virtual Convention

June 19, 2020
Elena Rubens Goldfarb

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Class of 2021

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On March 3rd, I submitted my application to coordinate DC Council’s annual Council Convention held in mid-May. In DC, council convention is the only convention not coordinated by Council Board members. Council Convention is normally held at one of the nearby summer camps for a weekend of making memories, lives, elections, states, and more. It’s an amazing way that we come together to commemorate the amazing year we had together for one last final hurrah.

A couple of days later, I could not have been more excited to get the call that I was going to coordinate. Even though we had to change what our convention would have looked like, my excitement could have not been more diminished. I have been working with three other Coordinators to plan and execute this convention and I can definitely say that this experience has been a highlight of my BBYO career so far.  

While getting the call may have been simple if you’ve ever planned a convention before you know its not an easy task. Once we found out that the convention was going to be virtual due to COVID-19 we had to completely rework our original plan. We decided that a whole weekend just sitting at home on the computer would not be the most enjoyable experience, so we decide to make Council Convention an entire week-long, to stretch out programming and not overwhelm people during the weekend.

The convention started on Sunday, May 10th with an opening ceremony video and a speaker. Monday through Thursday evening we had virtual programming. Then throughout the weekend, we had Shabbat services, separates, more speakers, elections, and states. Finally, we finished off the convention with senior and 8th-grade dinners before our annual Awards nights.

To bring this amazing convention to life we have had weekly calls with the staff to do check-ins, discuss progress and issues, and bring everything together. At the beginning of April, we released a steering application and got an overwhelming number of responses. We were so excited to welcome almost 20 DC teens onto our steering team. They have planned the programs and services that happened throughout the week. We also included a Marketing and Promotion and Song leading steering option this year. Our Marketing team worked on creating promotion videos, flyers, and daily schedules. They have been an amazing addition to the team and have really made a difference in spreading the word. We also have two Song leaders who have worked with the Coordinators to plan Havdalah. They prepared Havdalah blessings and put together a song session full of BBYO classics.

This experience has definitely been different than I expected when I first decided to fill out the Coordinator application, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have had such a good time working on this convention and it turned out amazing. In the first three days, we reached over 250 teens across our order. So if you get the chance to coordinate convention whether it be in person or virtual, do it!

Elena Rubens Goldfarb is a BBG from Yachad BBG #159 in Northern Region East: DC Council #54 and her favorite food is potatoes.

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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