August started off at home. I saw friends for lunches, explored some new museums around DC, went shopping, and took in the last little bit of normalcy before my home friends left for college. As much fun as I was having grabbing ice cream with BBYO friends who were in town and having final pasta nights with my school friends, the start of August was also filled with calls and PPFs (Program Planning Forms) as we were in the home stretch of preparing for Execs. Then, August 12th rolled around and I was reunited with Levi! We spent two days finishing up some pre-Execs work in person and hanging out at the BBYO offices in DC (very profesh). I also purchased a hot pink microphone during August which was definitely one of my highlights…but not Levi’s. The night before we left for Execs, we had a picnic at Gravelly Point with Sofie and Brandon (DC Council’s presidents) and Naomi which was awesome. Gravelly is a park right next to one of the airports in the DC area so as we ate we could watch planes take off and land (Levi was squealing with excitement)!
When we woke up, we hopped on the train to Newark where we met with the rest of the International Boards and got on a bus that would take us to Perlman Camp (a quick return to my home away from home 😊). When I tell you Perlman Camp is not meant to be empty, trust me – we missed the ruckus of regular camp in the few days leading up to the day our Executive body arrived. So, what does the I-Board do at Perlman Camp during Execs Advance Week? Let me tell you! Our Sunday to Wednesday was filled with a flipchart-sized to-do list, lots of snacks, and one sole eno. Having time as a board to set ourselves up for a successful Execs was pretty special, and it worked because I felt totally ready going into the rest of the week. On Tuesday, the board was lucky enough to be joined by our Global delegates and some Canadian ones which made camp feel a lot more like home!
Now, International August Executives Conference 2022…where to begin? Well, it started on Wednesday with the arrival of all US delegates, the inaugural address (watch our speech here) and installations of the 98th and 78th Grand and International Boards, anddd a downpour right before. Addressing the Movement and being officially Installed was honestly such an emotional and magical moment for me. I am so lucky and honored to serve in the role that I’m in with the people I’m surrounded by so yes, I did shed a few tears. Thursday started with the International business meeting. With 14 countries represented in person and many more over Zoom, this was an awesome moment to see our Movement come to life across the globe. It was so cool to be able to set the tone of how we, as an Executive body and a Movement, will grow over this next year by passing landmark legislation. Anddd Levi and I were dressed as mommy and daddy shark so that was pretty fun too! Thursday night featured the famous Movement Launch Night which is a celebration of kicking off the year together. From neon decor to a french fry bar to watching each co pair grind out their community goals, Movement Launch Night was a sight to see! Every day was filled with How-Tos, Movement Builders, Hub Huddles, Presidential Briefings, and more incredible opportunities for delegates to learn with one another, and from one another. Shabbat and separates were obviously amazing on Friday. Leading BBG separates and watching some of our Executive body open up to one another was empowering – thank you to those of you who jumped into the experience with open minds. Finally, Saturday rolled around and we ended the evening with Havdalah (my fav!!!) and the one-and-only Perlman Ghost Tour. If you don’t know what the Perlman Ghost Tour is, it’s a walking tour of the history of Perlman Camp and BBYO’s connection to the place led by the spirits of camp. It’s such a cool experience that ended with the biggest and best spirit circle I’ve ever been a part of. Sunday morning was such a sad day having to say “see you later” to everyone, but the emotions I felt give me so much hope for how amazing of a year it will be.
I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of myself and a group of people I’ve worked with than post-Execs. The whole week was unbelievable and I couldn’t imagine it going any better. In fact, I loved Execs so much that I got to extend it a few extra days! The Philly extension with our Global delegates was so so so much fun. We toured Philadelphia, talked about the global experience, and just got to strengthen our connections – what more could anyone ask for?! While staying in Philly, we were able to see some teens from Liberty region which was a great surprise…I can’t wait until I visit again.
Okay, so there we go: my August. As incredible as my month was, I also learned a valuable lesson that one setback shouldn’t diminish achievements. I’m the type of person who can get down on myself pretty easily and forget all of the other awesome things I’m doing, but I realized that I shouldn’t forget about those things. One mistake or one obstacle is not worth dismissing all of the hard work and incredible things that we do, even if a negative thing feels like the end all be all. So, as you go on with your school years and your BBYO journeys, I urge you to remember: all of the great things you do matter more than one disappointing thing. Please don’t forget how awesome y’all are – and if you need reminders, I’m here to tell you every day!
As I write this, I’m taking my last few minutes in my own bed, in my own room, and I’m getting ready to head out for my first community visit in Baltimore. A few days later, I’ll be off to Michigan and Hudson Valley and I can’t wait to take y’all along for the ride. Buckle up, everyone – this is really happening!
AZA and BBG, good luck with all of your upcoming adventures! I hope you find the time to balance school and work with things that make you happy and just being a teen. As I hit the road, I can’t wait to hear from all of you and see so many of you in person soon. As you know, I’m always a text away!
78th Anita M. Perlman International N’siah
Avi Gorodetski is the 78th Anita M. Perlman International N'siah from Northern Region East: DC.
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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