Jared Wilen International Life

June 20, 2022
Jared Wilen

Mount Laurel, New Jersey, United States

Class of 2021

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AZA and BBG: Wow. When my experience on International board began, I had been elected Grand Aleph S’gan at IC 2020 in Dallas and I was so excited to coordinate IC 2021 in my backyard of Philadelphia the next year. Soon, we got met by a pandemic that would change so much, and I adapted to leading the movement through a virtual IC and a virtual programming year, which leads me to this. Now that I reflect back on it, part of the reason I ran for Grand Aleph Godol was because I didn’t feel satisfied with the experience I had as Grand Aleph S’gan and knew I wanted to give more, and the more I think about it, I may have never run for Godol if the pandemic never happened. This leads me to my first lesson for you all. Everything Happens for a reason. Whether it’s not winning a board position, not getting ILN Leadership, or even the thought of going on a summer program, everything you do and the path you take in BBYO happens for a reason. I want you to know that in the end, everything will fall into place and will work out for you. When I joined this organization in 2016, I wasn’t very personable or social, and I did things I never knew I could, which leads me to my second lesson. Go outside your comfort zone, and take risks. Run for that board position, go on that summer program, go to that chapter dinner, you never know what’s going to come out of it. You can’t let negative thoughts or fear of failure stop you from trying new things, otherwise, you’ll never grow as a person or as a leader. 

I never really ever thought about the end of my BBYO journey. It’s one I never let myself think about because I didn’t want to think about the fact that it could possibly be near. As I now look back, it’s been one hell of an experience. Take in every single program, every single convention, every single late-night food run or late-night car ride, and every single experience you can get, because your time is going to fly and be over before you know it. 

Coming into this year, one of my biggest priorities was focusing on teen mental health as we returned in person. One thing I’ve noticed having been on the road this year is that everybody is dealing with something, and nobody is perfect.  So when people say we’re here for you and that they understand, chances are they actually do. Which leads to me this: be open with people you trust, and don’t let yourself feel alone, because this community is one that is always there when you need someone to talk to or a shoulder to lean on. 

I dedicate my International Life to… 

My past: Jed Friedman, Justen Joffe, Elliot Arking, Ben Cohen, Chase Flagel, Maya Zucker, Elana Rubanenko, Daniel Pearlman, Jake Lazar. The people that pushed me to be the best I could be and got me to where I am today and for that, I am forever grateful. 

My present: The Entire Godolim Network and 97/77, every single one of you has impacted me more than you can ever know. These two groups are special ones, I want you all to embrace the leadership you’ve brought to this movement, and the careers you are yet to hold. 

My future: Avi Cohn, Gavin Liebnick,  Jordan Feldman, Jake Solar, Josh Schwartz, Zach Price, Jedd Frydman, Ben Geller, Jared Wasserman, Jeremy Iskowitz, Ari Schultz, Jack Elice, Josh Rutman, Aaron Perrotta, Josh Rajunov, Levi Fox, and every single Aleph and BBG I’ve met this year. You all are the future of this movement. The legacies and the work that have come before you now fall into your hands, and it’s your turn to step up and lead the movement so many call home. 

Thank you

Emma, Morgan, Ryan, Dara, Ofir, 97/77, the executive body, and every single person I’ve met this year, Thank you. You are what kept me going. You are what made me get up every morning and continue wanting to serve. You are the backbone of the magic this organization creates, all I can continue to say is Thank you. AZA & BBG, this has been the absolute honor of a lifetime, thank you for it all. Stay in touch, if you ever need anything, my number is +1 856-701-9741. 

For the last time. 

Fraternally Submitted with an undying love for 97/77, 96/76, ILTC 2021, SJR #35, The Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph, and each and every one of you, I forever remain,  

Aleph Jared Lawrence Wilen, your damn proud 97th Grand Aleph Godol and above all else, a damn proud Aleph.

Jared Wilen is an Aleph from South Jersey Region and is the 97th Grand Aleph Godol.

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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