Hello from Denmark!

December 27, 2018
Noga Hurwitz

Palo Alto, California, United States

Class of 2018

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Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word used to describe a feeling or moment as intimate, cozy, or special. Also, probably the word we said most during our stay in Denmark.

The reason that this word resonated with us so distinctly is because it reflects so many of the moments we had — from landmarks to experiences, to friendships. Because the word doesn’t have a direct translation in English, we’ve curated our top three most “hygge” moments in Copenhagen to paint a picture of the BBYO magic evolving in Scandinavia.

3. Living Room - After a long (and cold) day visiting different Danish landmarks and walking around Strøget, the city’s main shopping area and the longest pedestrian street in the world, Rebekka (our lovely host), Mason, and I wandered into the Living Room, a very hygge cafe located in city center. We huddled on comfy couches in the dimly lit basement floor drinking organic hot chocolate and playing my favorite card game, Set.

2. The Great Synagogue - Every Shabbat, about 200 people gather for services at the Great Synagogue, the 184 year old, bright yellow, primary temple in Denmark. Given that Copenhagen’s Jewish community consists of about 2,500 members, this impressive participation is indicative of the hygge community cultivated by Danish Jews. The property is also home to various other Jewish groups including the teen meeting space.

1. Tivoli - On Thursday night, we met with the Danish teens who’ve been meeting regularly in efforts to build up BBYO Denmark. We chose to spend our time together at Tivoli, the world's second oldest amusement park. Between attractions and Christmas decorations we bonded over Italian food, Hans Christian Andersen, and a shared love of Jewish community. While still in its early stages, the chapter inspires hope for a vibrant future of BBYO Denmark.

Special thanks to Rebekka for being an incredible tour guide, and the teens of Denmark who are leading the charge in building an inclusive, wonderful, and hygge space for Jewish teens!

Noga is a BBG from Central Region West and is serving as the 74th International N'siah.

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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