This summer, I signed up for my first BBYO experience. Although I was expecting to come back with friends for life from all over the world, having amazing programs all day and much fun, I got even more than that. I wasn't prepared for an experience that would make me grow from within, to such an extent, but evidently, I did.
Hearing five amazing speakers and having sessions on camp had a significant impact on me and how I wanted to speak up, starting with being aware.
Aware of what is happening and how I can support it.
Now I say Never again! To any human being in any similar situation!
Now I remind myself always to be aware and continue the impact I have and could have on my surroundings. And as Michael Skolnik, and his wife Paola Mendoza explained to us: being more than just allied to all those who struggle.
Considering the history of my ancestors, I know how hard it has been for one minority and that history is, sadly repeating itself, because of the lack of knowledge in history. But if the situation right now is working out for us, we have to assure that we support minorities who struggle, as long as we can.
Never again is NOW - right now.
That's how I discovered a source of power in me.
Arising from the injustice I lived in, I saw in my society, and I knew about happening wherever one truly takes a look—everything from small incidents to big political wrongs. And there has been going on a lot internationally in the last years.The more I exchanged with others about our experiences and informed myself - the more it became a deep level of thoughts inside me. Making me feel like floating in the never-ending space of injustice. Not knowing any step to go. Not being high-powered enough to prevent these things from happening. Feeling deeply despaired about this, mad about the system we are in, disappointed in humanity, I felt like having this burden on my shoulders. I wanted to change what I saw. I wanted to take that burden down from me - into actions.
And BBYO was the platform I needed.
BBYO helped me in more ways than that!
Not only did they give me power and a voice, but I was also shown the tools to make usage of it! Every lesson I learned in Blueprint, I learned about life! A further step to support change.The key to such success is "grassroots," and that is why our leadership is so outstanding! Every teen we recruit brings with him more teens and potentially new leaders.
In many Blueprint sessions, we laughed, had fun, and tried to imagine the initiatives we were going to bring into our chapter. But this was a very small-minded viewpoint we looked on.
Freshly motivated, we had one session that shocked us to the core. This session on how many teens we aren't reaching, made us realize how much isn't done, YET! And that was the point we needed to realize where we had to use a growth mindset to understand what could be, changed by us: That we have to lead towards this change!
We are part of a movement that is strong, not because of the Organization itself but because of the many teens who carry it.
Here I can have an impact on how my chapter stands up to support justice. I, as one Individual, can start this change as the first step in my section, extending to my region. And that is probably the most important lesson we learned at Perlman.
We understood that we learn and lead for a reason -more specifically a purpose.
For everything a purpose [ILTC 2019]
Naomi is a BBG living near Cologne, Germany who is passionate about politics, cultures and Tikkun Olam.
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.
Read along as I talk through the planning process of SJR’s first-ever virtual Conclave!
Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.
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