Singing Against Hate

March 7, 2019
Lara Gilkarov

Vienna, Austria

Class of 2018

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A few days ago, BBYO Austria participated in the Jew Factor for the first time as an official delegation in Vienna.

The Jew Factor is a performance competition between youth groups in Vienna, in which each organization is performing a song with a choreography. A variety of awards are given out after the competition.

This year, in order to display and defend our values, we called our song ‘Stronger than Hate’ and we wrote the lyrics according to this title. Happily, we even received an award for the category ‘Best Lyrics’, as there were a few awards to win, including the main performance award. We had three amazing singers and four incredible dancers, which made a total of seven performers for a chapter, that only had around 10 members a year ago (35 and counting today).

We are incredibly proud of our show, and the hard work was worth every single second of it. We only had a week to practice the lyrics and the whole choreography, and thanks to the energy and motivation we had, we were able to make it happen.

The message, that we were trying to send with our song is that the Jewish youth, which are represented all over the world, has the responsibility of stopping the spread of hate and violent attacks. Why? Because this leads to ignorance and intolerance, which we, as Jews, cannot accept. We cannot accept it because it leads to the blindness of people who do not know about the events our people had to endure and they could easily happen to anyone again.

We are the next generation, we need to make sure that we are ready to fight for what we stand for, now more than ever. It is not only a privilege, but also a duty to spread tolerance, love and respect, as much and as far as we can.

During International Convention, we had the chance to meet and listen to parents of mass violence victims and to one of the founders of a movement fighting for gun safety reform known as ‘March for Our Lives’. These speakers inspired us to take action and take initiative to avoid more mass violence, anti-Semitism, and hate, which are all important issues in Austria today.

BBYO USA proudly marches, represents and defends our values at these demonstrations, which makes our community so proud. We’re proud of being a part of a global youth Movement that takes action by showing interest and sharing ideas from their bright minds and by spreading mutual respect and love. BBYO wears its values every day, and as members of this Movement, we will do the same.

We would like to thank everyone who made this evening so special, including the jury and the other performers, thank you for letting us perform in order to share our ideas and our important principles.

Check out BBYO Austria's performance below!

Lara is the advisor of BBYO Austria.

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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