On July 28th, 2022, my entire definition of legacy changed dramatically. As my coordinator started to introduce the separate and what we would be doing, I listened to it very closely and took everything in. She played a video about the Munich Massacre. This video demonstrates that these eleven athletes were killed just because they were Israeli, and how their families carried on their legacy once they were gone. She then handed us a paper and asked us to title it “Dear future self and end it with love, me.” Writing this letter was what I wanted my legacy to be. With tears down my face, writing made me think, what I wanted to leave to the BBGs and Alephs that come after me when my BBYO journey has concluded? Also, I thought of beyond that: For the rest of my life, what do I want to be remembered as? What legacy do I want to carry out?
Earlier in the year a senior who I was close with gave me a portion of her BBYO life. In this life were a bunch of her favorite BBYO clothing items, but one item in particular stood out to me. It was a red book that got passed down to her from her BBYO role model. Right next to the message from her BBYO role model, she wrote me one too. I was her next generation, she wanted me to be her legacy.
As I wrote this letter during the separate, she came to mind. She was my BBYO role model and I need to carry on her legacy just like the families of the victims of the Munich Massacre in 1972. After the separate we went back to the cabin, however, this seperate kept me up because of how much I could relate to it. I picked up my phone and texting her this:
“We had our separate program. It was about legacy. As someone who I look up to in BBYO this impacted me a lot because with giving me your life this means giving me trust in me to fulfill and succeed your legacy. We learned tonight to go beyond and anything is possible. I am so happy that you put this trust in me and I am so certain that I am going to do that. I love you so much thanks for everything.”
Writing this text gave me flashbacks to her picking me up or dropping me off for a chapter meeting and all of the advice she gave me about BBYO (and just life in general). She acted like the older sister I never had. One of the best things that I live by, but especially in this organization, is “you get what you put into it.” This means that if you apply to be a convention steerer, you are going to gain skills with it, and if you don't do that, you won't gain as much.
She taught me to also not plan so far ahead. Why? Don’t plan so far ahead because you will get so stressed out by the plan. It won’t let you have fun and something might change, making you want to do something else.
Walking into the first chapter meeting of the programming year was a different feeling because she and the rest of her class weren't there. The theme of my first chapter meeting was to wear your favorite jersey. When she passed down her life to me, she handed me the IC jersey for 2020. Wearing that jersey with pride, I thought of her and all of the lessons she taught me. That motivated me to apply for leadership roles for my chapter, region, and internationally too. Even though her time in this organization has concluded, I feel that she will always be my inspiration and someone who I look up to. She has helped me accomplish and surpass goals that I have for myself or a position I hold.
The younger generation of BBGs and Alephs are the ones that are going to keep our movement going for many more years to come. Keep the legacy of Anita M. Perlman and all of the 14 boys of Omaha, Nebraska alive and well. Every single person who signs up to be a member has a legacy. Whether the person stays for 1 year or all 5 of them. Every single person left something behind, good or bad. But the good must be carried on. To make the good last longer to the younger BBGs and Alephs that will take our places. Despite the fact that our names may be erased, the lasting effect of this movement will live on.
Sophie Tiger is a BBG hailing from T'sahal BBYO #5321 of the Greater Jersey Hudson River Region #22 and her favorite food is pizza.
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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