I became a member of BBYO in July of 2020, meaning that I was a MIT for five months! When you’re a MIT, it’s a confusing time, and being in a new environment full of people that you don’t know can be scary. For me, I had tons of questions about how things worked, and the lingo took forever to learn (Glossary at the bottom). Meeting new people was also terrifying, and I wasn’t sure if I was exactly “welcome.” Everyone seemed to already be friends. That is why I have put together my, “The Things I Wish I Knew When I Joined BBYO.”
Big/Little: Alephs and BBGs are paired with someone else in their chapter to be their ‘big’ or ‘little’. Younger members are ‘littles’ because they are still learning about BBYO, while older members are ‘bigs’ because they can guide their ‘little’ through that year.
Summer Experiences: A large part of BBYO is their summer camps or ‘experiences.’
CLTC: (Chapter Leadership Training Conference) which is 12 days all about leadership within a chapter and has two locations to choose from.
There are four programs that take place at the B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp in Pennsylvania.
ILTC: (International Leadership Training Conference) about leadership on the regional and international level
International Kallah: about exploring your Judaism and Jewish identity
Movement Makers: about learning leadership skills with the feeling of a normal Jewish summer camp
Camp BBYO: a normal Jewish summer camp while meeting people in BBYO.
BBYO also has many trips that you can take over the summer to other countries like Israel, Argentina, Bulgaria, Italy, etc.
The March of the Living (MOTL): A two-week trip that is one week in Poland and one week in Israel, participants learn about Jewish history and hear from Holocaust survivors.
RC: Regional Convention which takes place every year in most regions. To learn more about your RC, ask someone else in your region or check your chapter/region’s website.
Chapter Programs: Chapters have programming usually every week with the exception of summers and a few other days called ‘blackout days.’ Programing is an event/meetup/activity that the people in your chapter do together.
ILN: International Leadership Network. A great way to become a leader in BBYO; ILN consists of committees that get to change the BBYO community for the better. Committees include All Abilities Task Force, Genocide Education Committees, Press Corps, Racial Justice Education Task Force, and so many more.
The Shofar: BBYO’s international newspaper. The Shofar has tons of articles and videos by members, staff, and alumni with lots of information about their unique BBYO experience.
Chair Positions: Small leadership positions that some chapters have, usually assisting board members with planning programs, social media, services, and other small things to give a member a bit of leadership experience before something like board.
Lily Granai is a BBG from Hilah BBG in Northern Region East: DC and loves theatre, Grey’s Anatomy (Jolex for life), FaceTiming with friends, and BBYO of course.
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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