As I sit here and reflect on my last 4 years in BBYO, I can’t help but wonder: what would have happened if I had never joined BBYO? This is a reality that shakes me to my core, because I don’t even want to know how I would have turned out if I did not join. I wouldn’t have served on chapter board not once, but twice, win All-Star Mazkirah last year, win Outstanding BBG of the Year this year, and go on my first summer program, ILTC, last summer.
While I may not remember my first BBYO chapter event, that’s okay, because I remember my first regional convention. It was MIT/AIT LTI 2017. The convention that made me want to stay in this organization until now, when I am sitting at my desk, writing my life speech. I had seen the full potential of BBYO, how far it could take me, what I could do and what I could become.
If I had to give a piece of advice to someone who is on the fence about joining BBYO, I would strongly encourage you to keep trying. Keep trying, because I promise you, you will find your love and spark for BBYO. It will come to you, you just have to let it and embrace it. At first, I was very hesitant to join something I didn’t really know much about, but then I met Sari Tannenbaum, who has now become one of my best friends. She was the main reason I joined, she was so kind to me at my first meeting. We just had our last election. It was truly the “end of an era” as Sari put in when I told her how sad I was that my time in BBYO was coming to an end.
If you’re debating on running for that board position, go run for it! You will learn valuable skills, make connections, and grow as a leader by doing so. I ran for countless elections, including slides and whatnot, and I lost several times, each loss more difficult to process than the last. But, I was able to pick myself back up again because the love I had for this organization never left me. I knew I had to keep trying, and even if I didn’t win, I kept going. I knew I would learn from the experience of doing it over and over, and eventually, win the position. In short: Keep trying!!!
If you are on the fence about going on summer programs next summer, DO IT! It will change your life, even though everyone and their dog will tell you. Going to Perlman for ILTC last summer was the best 3 weeks of my life. I wouldn’t have done a single thing differently about my experience. I got to become a bat mitzvah in front of all of my friends, learn useful skills to bring back to my chapter and region, and make memories that will last me a lifetime. I am forever grateful that I got to experience such a magical place like Perlman, and if you are able to go, I highly recommend doing so. It will make you more passionate about BBYO than you ever have been. Even if you aren’t totally sure, just put a deposit down, and think about it. If you decide to go through with it, you will not regret your decision. I promise.
Respectfully Submitted With Undying Love For,
Car rides to Chipotle with a packed car every Wednesday (almost always), an insane of amount of BBYO clothes, huge flags that ended up getting taken away from me, my amazing BBYO friends near and very, very, far, Dorm 8, ILTC 2019, Rabbi’s Tish, IC 2019, IC 2020, Press Corps 2020, Journalism Team, Sports Leadership Summit, Press Corps Room snacks, very late nights at every convention, Munchkin BBG #0012, MIT/AIT 2017, LTI 2020, 16th Board, 19th Board, my heart and home Acharit BBG #2543, Gold Coast Region #51, the International Order of the B’nai B’rith Girls, and BBYO for serving as my home for the best 4 years of my life,
I forever and ever remain,
Jessica Gabrielle Budin
Jessie Budin is a BBG from Acharit BBG #2543 in Gold Coast Region #51 and she had her Bat Mitzvah at Perlman Camp.
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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