Over the last 4 years, I have been emerged in Judaism through different youth groups.In grade 8, I was introduced to BBYO and I fell in love with it immediately. I then fell in love with my chapter, my region, and the friends I have made across the International Order over the years. However, as I became more and more involved with BBYO, I began to be introduced to other youth groups in my city. A big name was NCSY. There were a significant number of BBYO members that were also in NCSY as well as lots of my peers at school participated in NCSY. I stayed true to BBYO and kept that as my only youth group. In Toronto and I'm sure it is very similar in other cities; there is a rivalry between the Jewish youth groups, the members constantly fighting over which youth group was better.
At the start of this school year I wanted to take an extra course and I decided that the best option for me would be at Torah High. For those of you who don't know Torah High is an after school program that is sponsored by NCSY. The teachers at the school become the staff at NCSY programs. Being the BBYO member I am I still almost felt the rivalry present when people knew I was in BBYO. However, as the year went on I started making friends, enjoying the staff and needed to attend different NCSY programs for my requirements for my course. Never did I think that BBYO and NCSY would come together and the two organizations would plan an evening together.
“Mega Teen Purim Party” was announced and I was handed a flyer while I was at an NCSY program. Thinking nothing of it, I was excited; however I saw the date and said immediately, “I can't go, I have BBYO on Wednesday”. A few days later a friend of mine from BBYO asked me if I was going to the mega teen purim event. I was really surprised and confused, was he talking about the NCSY program?. My curiosity led me to ask my regional presidents: “who was sponsoring this event?” To my disbelief, they responded with “both NCSY and BBYO are doing a program together!”. Lots of questions ran through my brain over how this evening would work.
But then the day came. It was the day of the Purim party. I got on the bus to the event saying hi to both my Torah High friends and my BBYO friends. I think the night surprised most. Together, the two youth groups came together to put on one evening for its members to be able to enjoy alongside other Jewish kids in the community. It was very nice to see everyone getting along and doing what we love together.There was no competition between us, we were both able to see how similar we are to one another. How similar our goals really are to each other. Personally, this is something I will remember for the rest of my time in BBYO and take with me after I graduate and I hope many of you can also take something away from this story and from the sound of how the evening went.
Sydney Jacobs is a BBG from Lake Ontario Region who enjoys playing competitive hockey.
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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