It’s Friday, the 26th at 6:00 PM. I’m waiting excitedly at the University of Michigan Hillel, along with the other Ann Arbor teens from Hatmadah BBYO. The rest of the region was soon to arrive in our city, a place that had never held a regional convention, until now.
I spent the past two months working diligently with my co, the Regional Shaliach, and our steering committee members to create an amazing Shabbaton for our region. The weekend was filled with local speakers, meaningful separates, a StandUP cause launch, and more. I was incredibly nervous, but knew that it would be amazing.
After we finished with services at Hillel, we arrived at the Ann Arbor JCC—a space that is a fraction of the size of the JCC in Metro Detroit, a usual central location for our region. We started the evening with a Holocaust program ran by my co, Josh, and I. It went over well, and definitely grabbed the attention of our convention body. It truly set the tone for the weekend of programs that would take us out of our comfort zones and allow us to delve into discussions that are unusual but necessary.
One of the highlights for the weekend for me was my separates. I led it with our regional S’ganit, who is also a close friend of mine. The program discussed the issue of mental health and individuality, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over with the BBG’s in the room. However, once it was over I couldn’t have been prouder of myself, and especially the BBGs in that room. They all shared pieces of themselves that most of us didn’t know, and it definitely opened my eyes and brought us closer together.
Yakirah Mitchel is a BBG from Michigan Region, has been a vegetarian her whole life, and loves garbanzo beans.
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