BBYO | AZA & BBG | International Convention | Summer

Opinion

Top 10 Takeaways I Have Gotten From My Time in BBYO

February 3, 2020

Rockville, Maryland, United States

10) Don’t Only Go to Social Activities

The best part about BBYO is that there are so many unique opportunities to immerse yourself within. Try out all aspects of BBYO such as Shabbat services, programming, leadership, and more. The Judaic and Community Service programs can be very fun and rewarding with the right mindset. Find your passion in BBYO. 

9) BBYO is About Having Fun, Remember That! 

Elections, which I will discuss later in this article aren’t all of what BBYO is about. Yes, having a board position is an amazing experience. However, BBYO is not just for leadership titles, you joined to have fun and grow as an individual. Remember that! 

8) Plan a program in your chapter!!

In my opinion, the best leadership experience you can get in BBYO is to plan a program. Whether it is a chapter program, or steering a Regional or International Convention, it’s a very rewarding experience. Directly planning a program is the best way to bring your ideas to fruition. 

7) It’s Okay to Miss a Program If You Need a Break

Yes, BBYO can be very stressful at times, you may not get along with everyone in your chapter, or school may be stressful. That being said, if you need to miss out on a program to prevent yourself from BBYO burnout, I recommend it. Your mental health and emotional wellbeing always come first! 

6) Go to Regional Conventions and IC!

In my opinion, there is NOTHING more fun and meaningful than going to a regional or international convention. You feel something special during Havdallah, especially at IC. You realize there is nothing that feels quite like that moment during the year. You get a special feeling when you sing the Havdallah blessings with hundreds or even thousands of Jewish teens. You really do feel the power of our movement. Oh yeah, the programming at conventions is also amazing too. 

5) Be Welcoming to New Members and Prospects

When you see a new face at a chapter program, you would want to see them enjoying themselves, right? Well, in order for this to happen you need to be welcoming and TALK to prospects at chapter events. Based on personal experience, I have seen it happen where nobody talks to prospects, then they don’t ever come back to an event. While my chapter and I do take responsibility for some of these instances, we have instantly regretted it ever since. Especially if you are in a small chapter, you should be welcoming to all new members and prospects. Your chapter should want to grow, regardless of size. 

4) Go to a BBYO summer experience

My absolute FAVORITE BBYO memories are from the summers I spent meeting new friends and acquiring new leadership skills. Whether you go to CLTC, International Kallah, a passport program, or anything in between, you will realize that once there, that there is nothing like a BBYO summer. I can guarantee that you will experience Shabbats like never before at a BBYO summer program.

3) Keep in touch with your BBYO friends throughout the year 

Whether you have BBYO friends in your home region, or BBYO friends from all over the globe, you know that friendships made in BBYO are unlike any other friendships you have made in your life. To maintain those friendships, you should not only see them at conventions, summer programs, or chapter events. You should make plans to meet up with them outside of BBYO, especially if you’re out of town and have friends where you are visiting. Make plans to visit your best friend from another region, it truly is so fun to see a friend that you normally don’t see in a much smaller setting.

2) Don’t Get Caught Up in Elections 

For some, getting elected onto chapter, regional/council, or international board would be the icing on the cake for their baby journey. I can assure you that being on board is not the main part of BBYO. You joined to have fun and make new friends. My advice is that if you lose your dream board position, don’t fret over your election losses. Losing an election can be a big step in the right direction and you just don’t know it yet! Remember, BBYO is about having fun with your friends and making memories, not being on board. 

1) Be yourself

The best part about BBYO is that it accepts ALL of its members, you shouldn’t have to try hard, show off, or impress people to gain friends. While that may work for some people, it won’t work with the majority of members. BBYO is the one place where I feel most accepted by being my true self.

Jeremy Hasson is an Aleph from Northern Region East: DC Council and is an avid sports fan and photographer.

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