BBYO is the reason why I was able to reconnect to my spirituality and Judaism and that is a gift I am forever grateful for. Prior to last year when I joined Kallah BBG, I gave up on Judaism and felt lost on my religious journey because of discouraging experiences. But, it was Spring Convention 2022 when my spirituality blossomed and a hole in my heart was repaired. We had a guest speaker who was not just any Rabbi, but a Drag Queen Rabbi. That was absolutely mind blowing to me to see someone who was so respected in the Jewish community being a queer man with a life in drag. It was a moment for me where I understood that Judaism comes in all forms, and no one is less Jewish than another based on our practices or sexuality. This was only the beginning of my journey.
After my experience in the Spring Convention, there was no hesitation about my decision to attend International Kallah. I spent 3 weeks meeting teens from all over the world with such different religious beliefs and backgrounds. We had panels with multiple Rabbis and Jewish educators, sharing their diverse beliefs on controversial topics. My fellow BBGS supported me in times of pain by praying with me and holding me close. I had never felt so part of a community as I did during those moments of prayer with people I love. We had so many sessions of debates and discussion about deep and spiritual concepts. Connecting with these people and exploring our faith together was one of the most special experiences of my life. In many ways, it saved me.
I owe my spirituality and connection to Judaism to BBYO and I don’t know where I would be today on my journey without the organization.
Sarah Serran is a BBG living in New York and she is obsessed with iced coffee!
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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