The weekend of December 9th, Manhattan Region and Big Apple Region BBYO gathered in New Jersey for their winter convention. The theme for this convention was Yom Menucha, meaning the day of rest. Teens participated in various activities centered around that theme of mental health, relaxation, and vacation, and had a blast of a weekend. Here is the day by day of what everybody did:
Upon arrival to convention, teens were greeted by their regional S’ganim and presidents with goodie bags and then they participated in some Yom Menucha related ice breakers to meet new friends and inspire connections. Everybody then went to opening ceremonies, where convention was officially kicked off. After, the teens were led in meaningful shabbat services, where a Jewish acapella group performed all of the prayers in song. This was truly a beautiful experience. Then, everybody had shabbat dinner with more performances from the acapella group. To end the night and great first day at convention, AZAs and BBGs split up for inductions and separates, where MHR and BAR officially welcomed new members to their regions and discussed important problems in everyday life and bonded as communities.
Saturday morning, teens woke up and headed to breakfast, after which they split up for morning services. The service options were a yoga service and a song service. Then, everybody gathered again for a parsha discussion, during which teens were split up into groups to perform skits on the week’s parsha, Vayishlach, a great Jewish enrichment experience. After that, everybody heard from the convention’s keynote speaker, The Challah Prince, who told his story about becoming a challah chef and showed everyone some amazing challah braids and shapes and how to make them. Teens then split up for limmudim sessions, such as Challah braiding, developing self empathy, yoga, and more, after which, they went to lunch. After lunch, everybody had an opportunity to go to another limmud session. Next, there were two programming blocks, where teens could choose from various Yom Menucha programs to attend such as friendship bracelet and card making for kids with mental illnesses, mood board making, paint and sip, and others as well. Then, everyone had chofesh, where they could hang out with their friends or experience a special photo opportunity with the Challah Prince himself, followed by dinner. Next, there was a meaningful Havdalah ceremony filled with traditional BBYO songs and prayers. Havdalah then kicked off into a vacation themed semi-formal dance with fun music, decorations, music, and dancing, a great time for everyone there. After that, AZAs and BBGs split up again for good and welfare, an amazing and meaningful BBYO tradition, followed by some much needed sleep after a fun-filled long day.
Sunday morning everybody woke up and left their rooms for the last time. Then, they split up by region and AZA and BBG for business meetings. Regional board members read their midstates and chapter leaders read their chapter reports, both of which commemorated how far the region has come thus far in the term. In the business meeting, Manhattan region passed important legislation to better the region. For example, Manhattan AZA and BBG voted to split the positions of Mazkir/Mazkirah and Gizbor/Gizborit, which previously were one position called Maz/Giz, on a regional level for the next term. This will inspire more leadership opportunities for teens in the region and allow the Mazkirim and Gizborim to do more with their respective positions. Furthermore, Manhattan BBG voted on their regional standup cause of melanoma awareness, and Manhattan AZA voted on their regional standup cause of StandWithUs. Manhattan region cannot wait to work with these causes to better their community. After the business meeting, everybody had brunch, their last meal at convention. Finally, there were closing ceremonies and cheer circles to finish off the great convention.
Overall, this convention was a great experience for MHR and BAR teens to connect and practice Yom Menucha. Teens from all over the New York City area had an amazing opportunity to meet other Jewish teens in BBYO, a memory which they will cherish forever.
Ariela Weber is a BBG from New York who shares a birthday with Billy Joel.
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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