AZA and BBG, welcome, for the final time! It’s #KeepingPace number 11/11! May has been so wonderful and full of emotions – I’m excited to share my last month with you:
In case you forgot, here it is! My #KeepingPace Table of Contents:
I started off my last stretch of visits on (yes, apparently “on” is correct) Long Island to hang out with Nassau Suffolk Region. I spent Shabbat at Integrity BBG’s incredibly aesthetic and wholesome Brunch which was fabulous! We took the cutest pictures, made bracelets, ate delicious food, and just got to chill with some great weather. Later on, I got dinner and s’mores with BBG Regional Board as they reminisced on the end of their terms. All in all, my NSR visit was short and sweet with an emphasis on the sweet.
With a classic NY bagel in hand, I headed to Cincinnati, Ohio for BBYO’s Spring Board of Directors Meeting. The Board of Directors is a great group of adults who support BBYO’s mission and the Movement at large. For the past year, Levi and I have sat on the Board as full voting members, which has been an awesome experience. At the spring meeting, we presented the trends that we’ve seen on the road, the conversations teens are having, and our recommendations for the next 100 years of BBYO. Courtney and TJ were also present and had the opportunity to see how these meetings run as they prepare to begin their year. The quadrennial meetings allow for each year’s International Presidents to ensure that teens’ voices are heard and considered – it’s truly one of the most special parts of our teen-led Movement.
My next adventure was slightly further South as I flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 2nd annual ILLA – Instituto de Liderazgo Latinoamericano, or Leadership Training Institute of Latin America. I had the most magical time with LATAM! From interesting sessions about democracy and leadership to the most creative activities led by board members and outside organizations, ILLA was one-of-a-kind. I built relationships that I know will last, especially because everyone had to deal with me practicing my Spanish all week long. And, apparently just going to ILLA wasn’t enough, BBYO Argentina hosted an incredible WOW event with tons of community members. There was food, singing, dancing, laughing, and even a mechanical bull (I stayed on for a whole 55 seconds, not to brag). It was super sad to leave all of the amazing people and beautiful city of Buenos Aires, but I’ve never been more confident in the future of Latin America!
Now, it took three flights to get to Vilnius, Lithuania to start my time with Ambassadors to the Baltics, and it was beyond worth it. The week started in Lithuania where I arrived a day late. When I joined the group, we immediately made our way to Ponar Forest for a hard, yet meaningful tour of the location where the Ponar Massacre occurred. At the end of our tour, we sang Am Yisrael Chai and the sun came out – one of the most beautiful moments of the trip. Later that evening, we went to Sababa BBYO’s hangout spot for a chapter program. We got to know each other through awesome ice breaker games and even created a piece of artwork to welcome our trip. The next morning, we made the four-ish hour drive to Riga, Latvia. It was super cool for me to explore a city that holds some of my family’s heritage. From the old city to sites from the Holocaust, I took the time to imagine what living Riga felt like throughout the years. We were lucky to have two days to spend with Noar BBYO, spending one day learning Israeli dances and the next participating in an investigation program. I loved trying to figure out which member of Noar’s board stole the treasure, and appreciated the chapter for welcoming us with open arms and much cheering applause. Lastly, our week in the Baltics ended in Tallinn, Estonia where we were fortunate enough to spend Shabbat. We hung out with Makom Mifgash BBYO at their JCC, visited their beautiful synagogue, and had lots of free time to walk around Tallinn’s gorgeous old city. I looooved my time in Estonia and our intimate Havdalah was the perfect way to end the Ambassadors trip.
Lastly (🥲), I returned to Texas for the final community visit of my term, and this time I found myself in Austin with Lonestar Region. My whole weekend was jam-packing with awesome people, food, and activities! I met up with chapter leaders and old friends over brunch, I got to know new friends over pizza, I took walks to amazing lookouts and enjoyed the weather, and I took in every moment of my last visit. My few days with LSR were a wonderful way to encapsulate my term of travels!
Wow…my final month. It’s nearly impossible to sum up the many lessons that I’ve learned this year and decide on a top one. Yet, as I reflect on my experience, this one comes to mind: BBYO provides each of us with unique opportunities to discover the names that have been set for us. More than that, take the opportunities that BBYO provides to truly earn your name – make one for yourself. This lesson means that you put yourself out there, you care for others, you live by the Menorah Pledge and Cardinal Principles, and remain true to yourself. I truly believe that if you do these things during your time in this Movement, you will be rewarded with the unbelievable chance to live up to your name.
AZA & BBG, thank you. I have no words to express my gratitude as I type my final Keeping Pace article symbolizing the final days of my term, my final stretch of visits, and my final time addressing the Movement that I love so dearly (other than International Lives, of course, which you should check out). Thank you for putting your trust in me, believing me, and giving me the opportunity of a lifetime – it’s been my greatest honor to serve you. Watching every Aleph and BBG make unimaginable impact(s) in their chapters, communities, and Movement at large has filled my heart with joy. Working with the 98th and 78th Grand and International Boards to make our goals into realities has made me speechless. This year has left me beyond fulfilled and I will forever cherish the memories I’ve made during my time as your 78th Anita M. Perlman International N’siah. Although this portion of my journey is ending, I’m not going anywhere (except for NoLa #RollWave) and am still always just one text away. So, to you reading this, go on and make the most of your time: discover your name, be yourself, and give your all to AZA & BBG. This Movement is yours, run with it.
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.
Get The Shofar blasted to your inboxSubscribe