International Convention 2022 is a rush of exciting and fun memories. Amid the excitement of meeting people from around the world, going to insightful programs, and getting to hear from some big names, sometimes, it can be challenging to step back and take in the moment. We are thousands of teens who come from all around the world, but the one thing that connects us all is our Movement. After months of planning from our Separates Captains (Jordy Levy, Kaitlin Footlik, Dylan LaBorwit, and Emma Goldfarb) and the Separates Steering Team, on Friday night, Alephs, BBGs, and members of BBYO experienced one of six meaningful and personal AZA, BBG, or BBYO Separates Experiences that delved into different types of connection.
Many Alephs connected with our Movement through The Power of Initiative as they delved into how different Alephs throughout history were able to make a difference by empowering themselves and each other. Participants made something from nothing through an interactive activity where everyone worked to build a strong structure. In a different program, BBGs explored the concept of Step In & Step Up by focusing on setting goals and working to achieve them, step by step. This program empowered BBGs to take initiative and highlight their strengths. Also, members of BBYO were able to explore their Jewish Identity by morally applying the ten commandments, the cardinal principles, and the menorah pledge to their own lives. Participants also learned how we, as Alephs, BBGs, and members of BBYO, can empower and support each other.
Teens were able to connect with themselves through self-reflection as they explored the topic of Acceptance. As members of BBYO destroyed a wall made up of societal expectations, they were able to reflect. Then, they made a web of connections to show how we are all connected through BBYO, and that this is a safe place where every teen should feel celebrated for their authentic selves. In another Separates program, Alephs were able to reflect on the topic through the poem, No Man Is An Island. Found in the Blue Book, an integral piece of AZA’s history, Alephs explored how we can be there to support ourselves and each other as brothers. They learned the heartbeat of our Movement after recognizing the differences between society’s expectations of us, and our expectations for ourselves and our peers. Teens left this program feeling more connected to themselves and their brother Alephs. This type of reflection is what BBGs experienced as they focused on Living in the Moment. This program allowed BBGs to learn the BBG heartbeat and reflect on helping ourselves and each other remain present and grounded among all of the exciting experiences IC has to offer.
International Convention can be so exciting; there is always so much to do, so much to see, and so many people to meet and have conversations with. Separates is intended to provide a unique contrast to the excitement with an engaging, meaningful and raw experience that will leave a lasting impact on participants. Members were able to leave each of the six AZA, BBG, and BBYO Separates feeling more connected to ourselves, each other, and our Movement. Having this experience on an international level is like no other, and now, each teen has the opportunity to apply these concepts to their everyday lives through acceptance, understanding, being present, taking initiative, and supporting each other as one united movement.
Jordy Levy is an Aleph from Greater Atlanta Region and loves 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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