“Feeling” the Excitement at the Wisconsin Winter Regional Convention

January 17, 2020
Benji Lookatch

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Class of 2021

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On Friday, December 6th, 121 people boarded the busses at Milwaukee Jewish Day School for Wisconsin's Winter Regional Convention. The overall theme of the convention was centered around the senses. This was also a spirit convention where each chapter competed in different events to remain on top. 

A massive milestone for the Wisconsin region was the revival of a chapter in Madison WI, Heifetz. It was amazing to see that eight people from the chapter attended the Winter Regional Convention. 

As with most conventions, each meal and day has different dress-ups and themes. The first night was sweatshirt Shabbat, where everyone wears their favorite sweatshirt for services.

Saturday morning focused on allowing us to become in touch with our senses. During the D’var Torah, the coordinators showed a video that was designed to trick your mind by playing with one's depth of focus. The logic behind showing the video was to spark more awareness of how Shabbat is more of a time for reflection rather than a means to talk to friends and use one's phone. 

After a mind-boggling Saturday morning service, three different speakers told personal stories about the discrimination they faced. One was a local rapper, another was a poet/drag queen, and one was a gender-fluid social worker. It was crazy to hear about the amount of hate these people were getting for just being themselves.

In the afternoon, chapters competed in contests involving the five senses. In the first block, people were given the task to "guess that food," "guess that smell," and play a game called "blind architect," where one person sees the picture of the building and the two other teammates have to build it. The people in charge of constructing the building have to depend solely on what the person that can see the building says. It is a game of trust and communication. The second block had different activities that involved the five senses, such as "watch your mouth" and "see the sights." Soon after, each chapter had to create a synchronized swimming routine. 

As the sun started to set, no one knew what to expect. Saturday night programming was a complete surprise. To everyone's delight, a silent disco company, a caricature artist, and henna tattoo artists came to make the whole night a blast. 

WRC wrapped up with chapter elections. After elections, everyone had brunch, mid states speeches were presented, regional awards were given out, and of course, the spirit winner was announced. Everyone then hopped on to the busses and headed home

Mazel tov to the big winner of WRC, Eden BBG! 

Benji Lookatch is an Aleph from Wisconsin Region and a drummer.

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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