MAHAR Conference: Strengthening Jewish Community and Tradition Through BBYO Programs

November 14, 2023
Djordja Kovacevic

Podgorica, Montenegro

Class of 2024

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The MAHAR conference is a significant annual Jewish event that was held this year in Montenegro from October 16th to 19th. As one of the largest Jewish conferences in the Balkans, it brings together members of the community from across the region and beyond. This year's conference was particularly special because, for the first time in the history of MAHAR, special BBYO programs were organized.

The conference featured over four programs, including Jewish enrichment programs that were aimed at educating members about Jewish culture and tradition. During the Jewish enrichment programs, participants acted out some of the most desirable values of people, such as kindness, honesty, and compassion. They also participated in a mini-competition to determine which of these qualities is the most crucial by enacting a small show. The programs were highly engaging and interactive and helped members connect and deepen their understanding of Judaism. 

The general info session was held to help parents understand what BBYO is, where it started, and the organization's main focus. The session included presentations and discussions led by BBYO members and staff, who shared their personal stories and experiences to provide insight into the organization's work.

In addition to the official programs, members also had opportunities to socialize and relax. They watched football games, caught up on their studies, and shared experiences with each other. Each chapter had its events going on, and members enjoyed hearing about them and sharing their own experiences. These informal interactions helped foster a sense of community and belonging among the members. 

The conference was emotional for many parents and community representatives who grew up without as many opportunities to connect with Judaism as we have today. They were grateful for everything BBYO has provided us with and were touched by the chance to learn more about the organization. Overall, the conference was a valuable experience that provided members with the opportunity to connect with fellow members, learn more about BBYO, deepen their understanding of Judaism,  foster a sense of community and belonging, and get more prospects in which we succeed.

Djordja is a BBG from Podgorica, Montenegro, BBYO Balkans, and is currently the only active member of BBYO in Montenegro!

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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