It’s time for my final Keeping Pace. It’s been an amazing ride and an incredible year. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience I’ve had during my time as your 98th Grand Aleph Godol. Well, we may as well as get this started.
I ended April and began May in Omaha, Nebraska with Mid America region at the Constitutional Convention. Themed around the USA, democracy, and the founding of AZA & BBG, it was so awesome to meet kids from the central US. Also, being in Omaha - the birthplace of AZA - was so special to see where our movement was founded. I can’t wait to see how this years August Execs goes with it being hosted in Omaha!
After being home for a couple days, I set off to CYJ camp in Texas for my final Lonestar convention. It was such an amazing feeling to be back in my heart and home of Lonestar Region #73. With over 300 teens, it was also one of the largest Spring conventions! How cool is that?! Alas, my time at CYJ had to come to an end, so an early morning drive back to Houston meant I was off to another place!
I jetted off to Cincinnati for our May Board of Directors meeting. If you didn’t know, as a teen lead organization, BBYO reserves two seats on the Board of Directors for the Grand Aleph Godol & Anita M. Perlman International N'siah. As a full voting member this past year, it has been an honor and a privilege to represent the over 70,000 Jewish teens impacted by BBYO to this incredible group of supporters, leaders, and amazing volunteers. From voting on the yearly budget to ensuring teens' voices are heard, this was an incredible opportunity. Seeing how much other board members value our (the teens') opinions and beliefs was incredibly heartwarming and comforting knowing they support us. It was also bittersweet as we said our final goodbyes to some of BBYOs biggest supporters. Fun fact: The reason it was in Cincinnati was to celebrate our amazing community there as well as the legacy of Walter Solomon, a fellow board member who is leaving the board this year. Thank you Walter for your years of service and dedication to BBYO!
Directly from Cincinnati, we raced down to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 2nd annual Instituto De Liderazgo Latinoamericano (ILLA). ILLA is our leadership training institute (similar to our ELTI which was back in November) where leaders from across Latin America expanded their leadership skills, learned from one another, and had some fun! It was so awesome to meet teens from Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, and Mexico. The 30 teens there are some of the most dedicated leaders I’ve seen and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.
After ILLA, I raced (again) up to Washington, D.C. where I attended the first annual celebration for Jewish American Heritage month at The White House! I won’t go into too much detail here as you can read more on my other Shofar article HERE!
After that, I headed home for a day before heading back up to the East coast for GJHRR’s Life Convention.
I couldn’t be happier to have my final BBYO convention anywhere else. It was so great to see GJHRR come together to honor their seniors as we wished them farewell. Also, just need to point out my team did win the olympics game! As I join the hundreds of thousands of alumni as well, it’s great to see communities recognize how great the graduating class of 2023 is. But, like all good things, Life Convention came to an end, however, I wasn’t done in New Jersey just yet. I had the pleasure of going to dinner with Jared Wilen & TJ Katz. Seeing the past, present, and future was so special. Such a great experience to chat about our times in BBYO.
Well, after time in New Jersey, I spent a couple days in Connecticut Valley Region meeting with some promising leaders and AZA chapters. It was great to see friends and meet new people at the same time! Did y’all know Stew Leonard’s is the most interactive grocery store I’ve ever been too? It has some great ice cream and animatronics to entertain you while you shop. 10/10 y’all have to check it out.
Alas, it was then time for my final visit. After a layover at Washington Dulles where I had a quick reunion with Avi, I was off to Cleveland to visit Ohio Northern. The first night, I got to see installs/destalls of the new and outgoing regional boards. It’s such a great experience getting to see new and outgoing leaders pass the torch. The next day I got to have some dinner with members of Mac Miller AZA & Samson AZAs board to talk about what we could do to make them stronger. They’ve got a promising future ahead! Then, on Saturday, after a day at the beach, it was time for Samson AZA’s overnight! I got to meet some amazing chapter members as well as see the AIT’s get inducted. I can’t lie, it brought a tear to my eye when they surprised me when they inducted me as an honorary member of Samson AZA. After a long night of chatting with teens, Sunday came and went and my final flight as Grand Aleph Godol had to happen.
So, I’m back home in Houston, Texas writing this on the final day of my term. All I can say is thank you all so much for supporting me through this journey. Please keep in touch and reach out if y’all need anything.
Levi Fox is the 98th Grand Aleph Godol from Lonestar Region.
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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