AZA and BBG, welcome back to another #KeepingPace! It’s hard to believe that February has already come and gone considering how long I’ve been looking forward to it. This KP edition feels like a feature highlight all about International Convention 2023! Let’s dive in:
In case you forgot, here it is! My #KeepingPace Table of Contents:
To encapsulate my convention experience in totality would be difficult, so instead I’m giving you a day-by-day breakdown of what went on in my life while in Dallas! To start, I arrived in DFW on Thursday, February 9th…a good week before convention officially began. What did I do for that week? I attended Global Ambassadors’ Week, of course! Hanging out with 400+ delegates from outside North America for leadership training, Dallas sightseeing, and cultural exchange was so very awesome. I did everything from volunteering at River Ranch Educational Charities and visiting the Holocaust Museum to a cycling class and watching a Mavericks game. GAW was a week full of making tons of new friends and immersing myself in the Global BBYO experience. There isn’t much that’s better than that!
On Sunday night after watching the Superbowl, specifically for Rihanna’s halftime show (duh), I moved over to the site of International Convention alongside the rest of the Grand and International Boards. Although we were still participating in GAW programming until Tuesday, it was nice to get acquainted with the IC space again. On Tuesday, we switched into Advance Week mode as we cranked out work and prepared to welcome everyone to the hotel in the coming days. It was so great to watch the IC Leadership team work their magic in turning IC into a reality.
As Wednesday rolled around, I put on my cowboy hat and western attire to welcome the International Executive Body for our February Executives Conference. It was wonderful to finally see all of my counterparts together for the first time since August…a long-awaited reunion. 😊 In the evening, Levi and I hosted a Presidents’ Workshop where we revisited what motivated us at the start of our terms and crafted new manifestos to bring us to the end. Seeing the Executive Body reignite their sparks and get ready to crush the next few months was the best sight to start off IC!
On Thursday, I started the morning at the International Business Meeting where Levi and I were rocking our Hannah Montana and Banana rhyme without reason costumes. The Executive Body made its mark once again as we passed legislation that will leave its impact on our Movement. I was honored to have been selected to participate in a panel with the 13th Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Naftali Bennett, facilitated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jodi Kantor. So after the meeting ended, I sat on the panel where I asked about Mr. Bennett’s message for young people as we fight the rise of antisemitism and hate. Later on, we officially kicked off IC and BBYO’s Centennial Campaign with Opening Ceremonies. During the plenary, we welcomed the Second Gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff, to speak live and in person to BBYO for the first time (and we were even posted on his Instagram…go check it out if you haven’t already!). Of course, I can’t wrap up Thursday without mentioning the epic Loud Luxury performance where I was jamming out in the front row after LL signed my cardboard cutout head. The community spirit was at an all-time high, reminding me why Opening Ceremonies is always one of my IC highlights!
Friday was a day of community impact as we embarked on Leads Day. My Leads Day assignment was called For the Kids where we spent the day partnering with organizations working to make a difference in the lives of kids! We assembled skateboards with Boards for Bros, made birthday cards with The Birthday Party Project, learned with a representative from the Child Poverty Action Lab, and finally heard from activist Kai Shappley. My Leads Day was awesome and I felt super fortunate to have been able to leave the hotel and dive into hands-on projects. Upon returning to the IC hotel, we got ready for Shabbat! After services, I changed into my matching PJ set for separates and oneg, which were the coziest ways to end the night and welcome in Shabbat.
On Saturday, I enjoyed a few different Limmudim rounds from Hot Girl Torah x BBYO’s taping to hearing from the incredible Gabby Douglas (whaaaaat). Later on, we welcomed in the new week with a beautiful Havdalah ceremony and the 2023 State of the Movement. This was a culminating moment of my term as International N’siah which is crazy to think about. It was uplifting to speak about everything our Movement has accomplished this year and provide a glimpse into what the future can look like. My biggest thought while delivering the State of the Movement was looking out at y’all and taking it all in. After Saturday’s plenary, the second annual block party began! I spent most of my time at the silent disco dancing the night away with my friends.
On Sunday, I had the privilege of leading 400 delegates through one of BBYO’s most sacred traditions as we elected the 79th International Board of the B’nai B’rith Girls. With the largest pool of candidates in recent years, upholding democracy played a huge role in my priorities. Congratulations again to the newly elected boards – consisting of most Global leaders in BBYO’s history – and to all candidates who have already inspired their peers through their materials. It was my honor to steward the BBG body through this experience. After elections (aka many hours later), I got ready for the Concert! What a way to end IC, listening to CashCash, Nicky Youre, and 24kGldn…I mean wow. On Monday morning, I woke up bright and early to say all of my goodbyes and see you laters which was emotional despite how tired I was. It felt absolutely crazy thinking about how that would be my last time saying goodbye in the same capacity.
Sooooo, I guess that’s it! My February and, more specifically, my International Convention. Going to my last IC as a teen was extremely sentimental and a roller coaster of emotions, to say the least. Realizing that this may be the last time my whole February revolved around IC felt gut-wrenching. Realizing that successors being elected signifies how close the end of my term is felt bittersweet. Realizing that I don’t know when I’ll cross paths with certain people again felt eye-opening. Anyways, I could go on and on about the moments and emotions I felt during convention this year but my point is: your time in this organization goes fast. The biggest lesson that I learnt this month is how important it is to cherish your time in BBYO. There’s truly nothing else like it in any shape or form. No matter how involved or what you need to gain from BBYO, just hold on tight so that you can look back fondly.
AZA and BBG, it was so great spending time with y’all! I hope you enjoyed IC and made the most of every moment because like I said, your time in this organization goes by fast. As it feels like my term is beginning to near its end in a few short months, I’m not any less excited to continue visiting and hanging out with y’all in your communities!
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.
Although we may not realize it, music can serve as an incredibly effective way to get through our problems.
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