AZA and BBG: This year, we celebrated our largest gathering under the theme: “The Power of Us.” There’s nothing that rings truer to me than this – our collective power is huge. It was the Power of Us that could welcome thousands of new members into our Movement. It’s the Power of Us that can give them a home. It’s the Power of Us that can change lives. It can inspire teens to lead. It can change the course of someone’s life. I know because it changed mine. My five years in this Order have been transformative ones. Thank you for giving me my people and a home when I needed it most.
As I look back on this year with an immense amount of pride, no one word can better describe this year than ‘comeback’. Together, we revitalized our brotherhood for the biggest year AZA has had to date. To say it has been the Year of the Aleph would be an understatement. I can feel the momentum that our Order has at this moment – it’s palpable. All I can say is thank you for everything you did to bring us to this point. Kickoffs on boats, restaurant rush nights, theme park fall fests, and everything in between – together, we created memories for tens of thousands of Jewish teens around the globe. As I got to watch your successes this year, I had countless moments that I was reminded that this is why we do what we do. To make forever memories. To foster community. To build a Movement.
To summarize everything I’ve learned in the last five years would be impossible. Rather, I’ll leave you with a list:
To the Morim network: you all made this worth it. You are what kept me going, and I’ll always be thankful for you all. To Jack, Talia, Jared, and Clara: thank you for being my #1’s. I’m always thankful for you all. Lilly: thanks for being an incredible partner in this work. What a rollercoaster this year has been, and there's nobody I would have rathered to do it with. To Sam, Morgan, Jill, the AZA/BBG Team and all of BBYO’s professional staff (particularly Ilana and Maddie!): thank you for believing in us and putting your trust in teen leadership. You all mean more to us than you know and you’re what makes our Movement move. To the other Matt Grossman: enjoy having your name back. To 97/77: It’s been an honor serving alongside you all. Thanks for the memories. To the next generation: Josh Rutman, Ellie Bombell, Alex Damereck, Josh Schwartz, Colin Bernstein, David Klein, Gavin Brown, Jeremy Iskowitz, and the many, many more that I know I’m forgetting at the moment– it’s all on you now. Thank you for continuing to steward the Movement I love so much. I know it’s in good hands.
Love this Movement with everything you can, because it needs our tireless devotion to keep moving. This experience has been one of a lifetime – I can’t begin to put into words what every moment has meant to me. There’s no other group of people, no other organization, no other Movement I would have loved to pour my energy and love into. Keep doing the good work. Our people need it.
Fraternally submitted with an undying love for Ashkelon BBYO #5407, Baltimore Council #59, the Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph, and the comeback that was: I forever remain Aleph Matthew Reid Grossman, forever your 31st Grand Aleph Moreh, and a proud lifetime Aleph.
Matt Grossman is the 31st Grand Aleph Moreh from Northern Region East: Baltimore
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.
Come along with me as I recount the many emotions the class of 2022 encountered at our last Winter Convention Havdalah.
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