As I sat there riding the bus back from New Member Weekend 2023, I realized it was the last one I would ever attend. In 2021, I stepped into New Member Weekend scared but excited about meeting other new members from around Eastern Region. I loved every minute of it, and from there, I just knew that planning it was something I had to do.
Every year, teens from all over North and South Carolina, as well as parts of Georgia and Virginia, gather to learn about BBYO and Eastern Region. Every year, a few seniors are brought back as “trainers” who help the Morim plan New Member Weekend, also called NMW. For the past 2 years, I have had the incredible privilege of being able to plan or help plan this convention, and there are so many reasons that NMW is a convention I look forward to every year.
One of the biggest reasons I look forward to NMW every year is the power of the Alephs and BBGs. In Eastern Region, we are very spread out across our region. One thing this means is that our conventions are just that much sweeter. Reuniting with old friends who you haven't seen since the last convention is one of the best parts of conventions for me. At NMW, it's the first thing a lot of the new members see when they get off the bus. They see the power of Eastern Region, then hop right into programs where they get to meet the trainers and other new members from all over. Those bonds form almost immediately, and it's very empowering to see and build those bonds with each other.
One of the biggest things we tell the trainers is to help make the weekend as memorable for the new members as we can. Sometimes, the programs leave an impact, but other times it's the small thing that really leaves the biggest impact on them. This year, during Chofesh (free time), all of the Aleph trainers got the new Alephs together and played music that everyone vibed to. It was one of the smaller moments during the convention, but it was one of my favorite moments simply because it showed the power of AZA and BBYO. It’s the reason I loved planning and going to NMW all these years.
I’m so thankful to Eastern Region for being such an amazing community and offering a home to all who come to any events. Leaving New Member Weekend, I always try to impart some wisdom to the new members, leaving an impact on the future of BBYO. Because, in the end, that’s what conventions and BBYO is for. Bringing Jewish teens together and celebrating our differences brings us together and shows the power of our order.
David Sternfeld is an Aleph living in Charleston, South Carolina who loves 3D printing, swimming, and playing baseball.
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.
This week's parsha teaches us to focus on the good rather than letting negativity bring us down.
After my house burned down my BBYO family was there to support me in the most difficult of times.
Get The Shofar blasted to your inboxSubscribe