BBYO is awesome.
I fall in love with this movement more and more each day, but this past weekend opened my eyes to an entirely new world of possibilities for how I can be engaged as a proud BBG. Whether it be a beautifully put together Havdalah (shoutout to the Havdalah admins, Ellie and Danny!) or learning about Israel in a J-Lab session, there were so many opportunities for any Jewish teen to find something they are passionate about, have fun, and find meaning in their individual IC experience, just like I did this year!
I arranged my schedule to fit in a little bit of everything over the four main programming days. I attended some programs that I felt deeply connected to such as a LEADS Lab about government and politics, a program in the BBG lounge about body positivity, and Perlman Quad chats about LGBTQ+ inclusion. I tuned in for some high energy plenary streams on the Mainstage on Hopin which were really cool Movement-wide moments too! There were classic traditional BBYO and Jewish moments such as late-night song sessions, themed Shabbat services, icebreakers to meet new friends, and more.
One of the main attractions was “Meetup” on Hopin, which has gained a nickname of ‘BBYOmegle’ since the format of meetups was very similar to the popular website called Omegle. I met so many cool people on Meetup and many of my friends did as well. One teen who was particularly passionate about the meetup feature started a petition on change.org to keep it live year-round, and a bunch of teens have signed it already.
The aspect of my IC experience that was particularly special to me was being a steerer for Havdalah experiences and LEADS Lab. I have been on countless chapter committees and regional convention committees before, but IC steering is truly different than anything I have done before. I learned a plethora of new skills such as collaborating with a team, moderating a Zoom meeting, and writing and revising high quality programs.
If you are considering going to IC next February in Baltimore, PLEASE DO IT! This is five days like no other, and I can absolutely guarantee that you will NOT regret it.
Ariel Schwartz is a BBG from South Jersey Region, that loves everything and all things BBYO.
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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