My Advice to Future Shlichim

February 7, 2020
Rachel Rosin

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States

Class of 2022

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Judaism is crucial to the prosperity and growth of BBYO and that is why Shlichim are so crucial in our movement. Religion is the reason for our establishment. Strive to commit immense hours into this position. Passion is key, declare if you love every aspect the position has to offer. Within the Jewish community, traditions vary. Consider the most popular practices.  Alephs/BBGs display more engagement when services are familiar and recognize this when programming.

Leading a successful service can be challenging. Keeping attention and respect throughout the service can be tricky if you don’t have a plan. Think of your chapter’s personality. Would a more traditional or alternative service suit them better? If an alternative service is more of what you’re going for here are some ideas: First, incorporate a theme. Use this theme to make the service more fun and engaging. For instance in one of my past services the theme was space. I took the meaning behind each prayer and incorporated it into the theme. This caused all members to be very engaged in prayers and become more interested in their significance. Another way to make services more enjoyable are decorations. They are fun and create a more welcoming atmosphere. Another idea is a game show Shabbat, which is a great way to keep everyone involved and active. You can even give out BBYO swag as prizes cause who doesn’t love that?! If you’re aiming for a more traditional Shabbat try contacting a local Rabi and collaborate with them to make the best service you can. 

Utilize the acronym “SPACE” when choosing a standup cause. This stands for Service, Philanthropy, Advocacy, Community, and Organizing, and Entrepreneurship. Service relates to actively supporting the stand-up cause, which can be done through volunteer work. Philanthropy is donations and fundraising, you can host fundraisers and encourage members of the community to consider supporting your cause. Advocacy is spreading awareness and standing up for a cause. You can spread the word through social media promotions or fun facts in your chapter’s weekly emails or organize training that gives your members the tools and knowledge to have greater conversations about your cause. Community organizing is all about getting people outside of BBYO helping your stand up the cause. This can be done through school, temple, work or any other public place. Lastly, entrepreneurship, fixing issues if possible. This can be accomplished through speakers directly involved with the organization discussing the significance of it. Afterward, you can run programs discussing how your chapter can actively make a difference.

Now that you have a basic understanding of SPACE consider it when choosing a stand-up cause. First, think of major issues that are important to you and other members in your chapter. After you brainstorm topics look into organizations that help it. Make a list of organizations that revolve around the topic. Be sure that you can actively help and create programs involving the organization. Once you have a list of organizations that fit the criteria make a list of about 3-5. Let your chapter vote on them. Be sure that EVERY organization on that list is a good fit. You never know which one will be chosen. Incorporate your standup cause into events, programs, and fundraisers to make the most change you possibly can.

Rachel Rosin is a BBG from South Jersey Region whose favorite sport is swimming.

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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