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Spotlight

Interviewing Northern Region East: DC Council Presidents

April 10, 2020

Potomac, Maryland, United States

Becky: Hi, my name is Becky Kauff, and I am currently serving as DC Council’’s 71st N’siah! I am in Ahavah BBG. Outside of BBYO, I love to hang out with family and friends, paint, play piano, ski (with special Olympics) and swim. 

Eric: I am an outgoing kid who loves everything, sports, video games, and having fun. I am a senior at Quince Orchard High School and have played varsity swimming and tennis all four years at high school. I have been in BBYO since eighth grade and have attended every convention you could think of. I have held four-chapter board positions and have served as Moreh and Godol on the council level. I have an older brother and a dog named Brody. I like almost every type of music and can start a conversation with nearly anyone. 

What inspired you to run for President? Why did you want to hold this position?

Becky: To be completely honest, it was not necessarily one person that inspired me to run for N’siah. I saw how the past N’siot since I had joined in 8th grade we’re able to lead the room and help their counterparts, and I thought... I want to do that. So in a way, I guess it was all of the past DC N’siot. I wanted to be able to help the council change and grow while continue working towards things that had been started before my term, such as council unity/ council buy-in. 

Eric: I always have wanted to be on Council Board, and when I got the opportunity to serve as Council Moreh, I saw the impact Council Board can have. I instantly wanted to have an even more elevated position to make more of an effect on the council. I also still wanted to take on a leadership role in BBYO, and Council Godol was the next step. I also thought I could bring more to this position and wanted to see if I had what it takes to spearhead one of the largest communities in the International Order. 

What does a day in the life of Godol look like?

Becky: A typical day looks different every day. It ultimately depends on what is going on around that time of year. If we are close to a council event such as kickoff or global Shabbat, it is a lot of promotion work, calling tons of names on rosters, making sure the details of the game itself are all set and ready to go. It is a bunch of working behind the screens in preparing for events like an honors society dinner, sitting in on FAN board meetings, prepping for the, yes she can event, and this sort of thing. It is also a lot of counterpart work all the time. Sometimes a counterpart might not reach out to me for weeks, and all of a sudden, something has happened in their chapter, and we have a call every other day for a couple of weeks. I have weekly meetings with Cobo, staff, and of course, chapter visits every weekend. 

Eric: A typical day for a Council Godol starts out with school and right when I come home I start to work. I usually have a call or two each day and some work to do relating to BBYO. The majority of my work is overseeing my board. This is mostly ensuring that everyone is doing their job and feels comfortable. In general, a day isn’t too hectic on a typical day but some days are busier than others and some I may have no work to do at all and can relax. 

Tell me about some of your unwritten responsibilities as a leader in this region. 

Becky: Some of the unwritten responsibilities include being present at any moment in case something happens in a chapter. Sometimes it is hard always to know what is going on in every chapter, but it is essential to check in because you must understand what is going on to help. Mediating drama is often something that comes up in chapters that you don’t necessarily think you’ll have to help manage, but you do. Like I talked about in the previous question... it is a lot of behind the scenes work that I didn’t know I would be doing until I was asked to go. I get to be involved in FAN board meetings and all of their related events, the Yes She Can event, traveling to temples around the area, and being a BBYO representative to promote our organization. These are things that are not built into our calendar, but come up along the way

Eric: I think the most significant unwritten responsibility is being available to each member of the council. So I have to be open to every member for questions, help, and to talk. Even in person, I have to be willing to talk to everyone and be the face of the council that everyone wants to talk to. I feel as if I have done a great job at this during my term, as I think as if people are more than comfortable to come up and talk to me regardless of my title. 

What has been your favorite part of the position?

Becky: I cannot choose a favorite. Honestly, it is all so amazing to be a part of and watch and is so rewarding. If I had to choose something, I guess I would prefer going to events as a general member and taking off my “N’siah” hat for a minute and seeing how incredible this organization is. Taking a step back and looking at it in the bigger picture and being able to think “wow, I have a part in this”

Eric: My favorite part of Godol has been making connections with every member of this council. I have met so many people, not only in our community but in communities across the world. I feel as if this whole experience has made me even more appreciative of what BBYO has given to me and the opportunities it has provided. But back to the question, I love talking to members in different chapters and making a genuine connection with them not just through BBYO talk but topics such as sports, school, and every topic you could think of. 

Why is BBYO vital to you? 

Becky: BBYO is important to me because of all it has offered me in every aspect of life. Nowhere else would I have been able to make the life long friends that I have here. Nowhere else would I be building programming for hundreds if not thousands of people. No, where else am I communicating with donors, alumni, and companies about enhancing our brand, donations, sponsorship, and engagement. Every single week, I am engaging in community service or developing my Jewish identity, or introducing someone new to this incredible journey. BBYO has genuinely offered me more than I can recall or describe.

Eric: BBYO is essential to me because of the person it has made me over the last four years. When I walked into my Fall Intake Night in my eighth-grade year, I was a shy kid with glasses that could barely talk to anyone, let alone start a conversation. Now, I can confidently speak in front of hundreds of people and successfully lead a council of over 1600 teens. BBYO has also given me my best friends and people I can talk to anyone about. BBYO is and always will be my home and forever grateful for the experiences and friendships it has given to me. 

Bella Rosner is an BBG from Northern Region East: DC Council who loves making new friends and pomegranate seeds.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors.

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