How one of the Largest Regions in the Order is Getting Involved

October 11, 2023
Sophie Mink

Woodbury, New York, USA

Class of 2025

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Involvement in Israel does not just have to be adults, as teens across the globe are demonstrating this. Let's take a look at how teens from the Nassau Suffolk Region (NSR) #19, located on Long Island, New York, are taking a stance for Israel. 

NSR is one of the largest BBYO regions in the international order, with 790 BBGs and 350 Alephs. With a region this large, the influence is vital and can go so far in initiatives for the Jewish community. So many teens across Long Island have been working hard to make a difference, proving how important teen involvement is. 

At NSR's kickoff this previous weekend, they sold t-shirts for $15 and donated 50% of the profits to organizations for the benefit of Israel. NSR is also collaborating with other New York BBYO regions to raise money for United Hatzalah, which is the largest non-profit, fully voluntary EMS organization that provides care for all humans, originating in Israel. Hudson Valley, Big Apple, and the Manhattan Region are all working with NSR for this fundraiser.

Chapters are also getting involved, such as Hakotel BBG #826 and Sababa BBG #2512. Hakotel BBG attended a gathering for prayer and solidarity at congregation B'nai Shalom-Beth David in Rockville Centre, New York. Sababa BBG is holding a double good fundraiser from October 8-12, where 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the United Hatzalah. As more chapters are increasing their influence, this has been encouraging teens to get involved individually. 

After attending the prayer gathering on October 10th, Robyn Lehrer from Hakotel BBG stated:

"I couldn't stop crying throughout the service. I don't even know anyone personally who is in Israel right now, but I know people who have family and friends there. It is hard seeing the people around you in constant fear for their loved ones' lives. I think the local government officials did a good job showing up for the Jewish community when we needed it. I think as a community we can all do more to support Israel during these uncertain times" - Robyn Lehrer.

Here's how teens locally are making a difference:

Sofie Glassman from Masada BB.G #1519 has been extremely active on social media, taking a stance for Israel and running fundraisers with her family. She and her family have raised over $6,000 for the IDF and attended the Nassau County Rally in support of Israel at Eisenhower Park. 

Madison Glas from Genesis BBG #2350 is working with her family to raise money for families who are suffering in Israel, as well as hospitals and the IDF. So far, she is about $200 away from her $1,000 goal. 

Click here to donate: 

Ben Dwek from Legacy AZA #1545 has been working with humanitarian aid and soldier support groups. He also has been working with his family, AZA chapter, and the region to set up donation drives for supplies, along with attending many different rallies and prayer gatherings. 

Miley Yakuel from Summit BBG #2299 is fundraising and making bracelets for those who donate. After her grandparents were soldiers in the IDF, she was inspired to take the initiative and give back.

Donate here: 

Some of NSR's Regional Board Members have made statements regarding the region's involvement:

 Alexandra Damast, Regional N'siah

"As regional N'siah, it is truly incredible to see so many members of the region get involved in raising awareness and showing support for Israel. It reminds me of the strong community we have built, and it just shows how important a platform BBYO is and the power we hold to create real change." - Alexandra Damast.

Chase Brodsky, Regional Sh'licha 

"I think it's critical to educate ourselves about the conflict not only to understand and empathize with our Israeli family and friends but to build the confidence to stand up and speak out on behalf of all Jews in Israel and abroad. Right now, anti-Israel and anti-semitism mean the same thing, and we must be prepared for both. Over the past few days, I have been attending and promoting local rallies and programs. We plan to invite speakers at events throughout the year who can talk about the situation and teach us ways to better advocate for Israel and the Jewish community. We will also hold fundraisers on a regular basis. Our first fundraiser took place at the Adventureland kickoff. We sold t-shirts for $15, and 50% of the proceeds are being donated to a charity organization that supports Israel in their war effort." - Chase Brodsky. 

Catie Blackman, Regional Gizborit

"I think as a Gizborit, having fundraising at the forefront of my mind played a huge role in providing immediate support to relief funds. It was a no-brainer converting our kickoff fundraiser's receiver to Israel the moment we were aware of what was going on. Even though geographically we're far away from the conflict, we don't feel that way emotionally, which really gave me, Aaron, the rest of the regional board, and all of New York BBYO the initiative to support in the way we know best: financially." - Catie Blackman.

The dedication of teens in NSR proves just how hard work and resilience can make such an impact throughout the Jewish community. Bringing awareness to the events happening in Israel is extremely important, and if we all gather together and fight for change, we can inspire others to do the same.  

Sophie Mink is a BBG from Ahavah BBG #2303 in the Nassau Suffolk Region! She currently is serving as Mazkirah for her chapter and is so excited to be apart of the ILN!

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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