Jew Years Eve

March 13, 2024
Gabby Hasko

Wayzata, Minnesota, United States

Class of 2025

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     Jewish friends are some of the most important things I have. Being able to share experiences at camp, summer programs, and events throughout the year makes our connections unlike any other. Over winter break, I was able to reconnect with some of my Jewish friends, and it was an amazing experience.

     Over the summer, I traveled to Eastern Europe and Israel on a BBYO passport program. While I made so many friends on the trip, I ended up with a smaller group of friends from all over the United States. On the last night of the trip we had made promises to meet up again, and those plans came to life over winter break. My sister and I invited the whole group to town for winter break, and while not everyone was able to come, we were able to get two of the four out-of-towners to come ring in the new year with us. This was so special as these friends were some of the best I made on the trip, and I couldn’t wait to see them again.

     Both friends arrived by early Friday morning (with New Year's Eve on Sunday Night), and we were off to activities from the moment they arrived. The group included my sister Rachel, our friends Taylor and Noah, another Jewish friend of ours, Ruby, and myself. Ruby knew Taylor from camp but got to meet Noah for the first time and learn about some of my summer experiences from another person who was there. On the first day, we went to an escape room and had Shabbat dinner, connecting our Jewish identities to our time together. The next day, we saw Wonka (a great movie by the way!) and went to Red Cow for dinner. Later that night, another friend from our trip, Shayna, surprised everyone as she came home from Florida a little early and made the night so much fun. We had a birthday cake for Taylor with her upcoming birthday and were ironically given the wrong cake, saying “Happy Birthday, Paul.” This was a highlight of the weekend and went perfectly with the fact that birthdays were an inside joke on our passport trip. 

     New Year's Eve rolled around quickly the next day, and we first went to the Mall of America. We rode the Rock Bottom Plunge, got some food, and did a ton of shopping. Later that night, we had the best time eating and getting to spend time with each other. Just remembering that my friends had made a commitment to come and did was so special to me, and I couldn’t have been luckier bringing in the year with them. We blew horns and whistles as the clock struck midnight, hugging and smiling as we counted down. As we woke up on New Year's Day, both Noah and Taylor caught their flights home, and it was sad to see them go. It feels as though the longer we are together, the harder the goodbye is.

     Although we had to part ways, I couldn’t believe the weekend we had. It was so fun getting to show my friends around my hometown while also reminiscing about the time we spent together over the summer. That weekend made me more excited than I could have ever been to see them at IC 2024 this winter and reconnect once again. 

Gabby Hasko is a BBG living in Wayzata, Minnesota and her favorite food is sushi.

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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