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Lake Ontario Region Expands Horizons at Fall Convention

November 27, 2018
Hannah Alper

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sometimes BBYO can be stressful or time-consuming. There’s always that one moment or event that reignites that spark to deepen your involvement in AZA and BBG. For me, it was Fall Convention last weekend. There was an energy in the air that filled the bus, the hotel rooms, and our programming tracks that you can’t quite describe. It’s an overarching feeling of community, belonging, and brotherhood and sisterhood.

I was reminded of how lucky I am to have a place where I can be the best version of myself.

We had the privilege to host Mason Quintero, the 94th Grand Aleph Godol of the Aleph Zadik Aleph. During the convention, he ran an elective focused on global Jewry. I didn’t expect to learn how prevalent anti-semitism is, not just in North America, but around the world. The conversation gave me a renewed sense of gratitude for my Judaism. I am thankful I can show open pride for my Jewish identity without fear. Moments like this throughout the weekend contributed to that spark of excitement about BBYO.

Since this year’s Fall Convention was so unforgettable, from the long bus rides, to the programs, to the people, I want to share what some of the other Alephs and BBGs in my region thought about this past weekend.

Disclaimer: You will most likely want to move to our region after reading this post!

“Fall Convention had the most incredible atmosphere this year. The convention clearly inspired new and old members alike to ignite/reignite that BBYO flame that shines so brightly in LOR. Through incredible separates, unreal Shabbat services, and exceptional Limmud tracks where members learned about enriching their chapters, tikkun olam, Israel and their Jewish identity. This convention really was like nothing I’ve ever seen before!” —Michelle Tanner
"I loved convention because I got to see all my friends from other chapters and make new friends. I loved the spirited atmosphere which made the weekend so great and I was so happy to take the cup with my boys." —Ben Shaolian
“I loved the fact that so many people from so many chapters were able to come together and build such close relationships.” —Sohara Marcovitch
“My favourite memory was hearing the words Magen AZA when we won the spirit cup. The world slows down and you’re just so proud and spirited that you just want to scream and then of course, you and your boys do.” —Roark Baker
“My favourite part of Fall Convention was Havdallah because my sister (who is an alum) came. I was able to share my experience with her, as well as my sister BBGs from across the region.” —Amanda Bergman
“Fall Convention was such an incredible experience. After working so hard, it was so rewarding to see everyone so involved and engaged. I was also proud to see some members finally have their “click” and feeling more connected to BBYO and to their sister BBGs and brother Alephs. I had so much fun and what made the weekend perfect was getting to experience it alongside all of my friends from across the region!” —Abby Volygi
“Fall Convention allowed me to expand my horizons by exploring my Jewish Identity more thoroughly, through holidays, values and experiences, while spending an amazing weekend with my closest friends.” —Dylan Brown
“This past weekend, I was reminded of why I fell in love with BBYO in the first place. The overarching feeling of sisterhood and fraternity that filled the rooms of the hotel made every single aspect of this weekend unforgettable. From bonding with my sisters and brothers for what seemed like a million hour bus ride, to the amazing programming tracks, to the chapter showcase and more, Fall Convention 2018 was truly one for the books!” —Sophia Rybnik


Hannah Alper is a BBG from Lake Ontario Region and is currently serving as Regional Mazkirah. She has been an activist since the age of 9!

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