How Scary it Can Be to Join BBYO Not Knowing Anyone

November 15, 2023
Rachel Katoni

South Orange, New Jersey, United States

Class of 2025

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I joined BBYO in September of my Freshman year of high school. I go to a school that has a pretty big Jewish population, but BBYO has never really been a thing there. Before joining, I had talked to my cousin, who at the time was regional Morah of Liberty, and she had reached out to my council's Morah about getting me involved. Shortly after, I got a text inviting me to my first rush event. 

I was terrified to go. None of my school friends had any interest in joining, so I knew nobody was going into it. I got there, and we started off with an icebreaker. And I was the only one there who went to a different school. At first, it was really hard for me to find my place; many of the BBGs there didn’t have much interest in making new friends, and they wanted to stick with the people they knew. Halfway through the rush event, I thought I would never show up to another BBYO event again, but eventually, a few of the chapter's board members came over to me and started a conversation. I explained to them how nervous I was. They spent time explaining to me what BBYO is and how it has impacted their lives.

The event all of a sudden was over, and I spent the entire time talking to these BBGs, and they really made me feel welcomed. They continued to reach out to me, and we started to become friends. I very quickly got a few people from my school to join BBYO and continued making new friends and finding a forever home in BBYO. 

My biggest piece of advice to anyone joining BBYO from an area where it isn’t as popular is to give it a chance, even though it can be extremely scary. You will always find someone you can talk to and make friends with and truly find your place in this organization.

Rachel Katoni is a BBG from Koach BBG #932, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region #22, and loves Chipotle.

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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