BBYO | AZA & BBG | International Convention | Summer

Identity

Tangible History

October 25, 2019

Lansing, Michigan, United States

To hold in your hand the very piece of paper that catalyzed so much change, the paper that was the beginning of our journey, the paper that was presented to Sam Beber and 12 teenage boys by B’nai Brith on May 3rd, 1924, now that is a feeling that I just had to share.

A few weeks ago I spent time with the amazing Jewish community in Omaha meeting with federation board members, their CEO, President and most importantly Mid America Region: Omaha Council’s board and members. One afternoon we took some time to visit the Jewish archives, which contain hundreds of documents from AZA’s founding. These papers are not mundane artifacts, but rather the literal foundation of our fraternity. 

You can hold in your hand the program guide and the schedule from the first IC detailing the first-ever meetings of multiple AZA chapters. The pieces of history contained in those boxes are endless. It is truly, breathtaking and includes pictures from sweetheart dances, letters planning an AZAA event, AZA’s first statement of its commitment to the state of Israel, and more.

As Alephs leading our chapters, our communities, and the future of the Jewish community there are times where the work feels burdensome and moments where we forget the magnitude of AZA. So let me remind you, that for ninety-five years our brotherhood has existed, persisted, and succeeded. We have lived through two world wars, the great depression, the cold war, the economic recession, and we are still thriving. So if you run into a moment where even for a second you lose sight of the vision and the movement, return to our roots because they are deep, strong, and most of all they are not going anywhere...

Ethan Golde is an Aleph from Michigan Region serving as the 95th Grand Aleph Godol of the Aleph Zadik Aleph. He enjoys soccer, cold weather and the occasional hour of free time!

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