Every sibling around the international order has their own unique experience and story that shape them on the chapter, regional, and international level. For those of us in Eastern Region this is certainly no exception. When Southeast Council, North Carolina Council, and Virginia Council come together from four separate states for just three days for a long weekend, the most amazing things always happen. Year after year our New Member Weekend grows and we continue to uphold old traditions and create new traditions that impact stories of new members and leave the legacy of our older members.
In Eastern, BBG and Aleph education is a crucial part of the New Member Weekend experience. The BBGs get to know each other as we write messages on a sheet, and then we tie dye the sheet with meaningful activities. Later in the weekend each BBG will receive a piece of the sheet to wear as a bracelet or anklet. This piece of jewelry made out of the tie dyed sheet will carry their memories of New Member Weekend with them throughout their journey in BBYO. Eventually these small, but essential pieces of cloth will show their memories of New Member Weekend when they become the seniors leading BBG education, and they can show the new members their bracelets from the same experience four years ago.
On the other hand the Eastern Alephs have a very different, yet meaningful tradition in its own way. Each year alephs bring the same seven foods that each represent one of the cardinal principles. After teaching the new members about the principles, the new members get to take turns picking their favorite principle. Then the relationship between the food chosen and principle is explained, and after they dump the corresponding food on the presidents to signify being fully embraced in BBYO. This tradition always brings a smile to everyone’s face, and creates a fun, happy, and engaging environment.
A second tradition that the morim decided to start bringing back include the structure of our havdalah service, and certain special elements and monuments throughout the service. It begins on a dark hill only illuminated by the stars and soft candlelight. Slowly as the members approach the top of the hill they form a circle around the center where the teens lead the service. Once the official havdalah part of this experience has ended, and we have welcomed in the new week we split into our mock chapter groups. Each group sets off lanterns into the clear night sky making this a heartwarming and magical experience.
This is what makes Eastern Region unique. Just like how our regions are all so different so are we, we all have different pages in each other’s life story.
Abby is a BBG living in Charleston, SC and she loves to dance!
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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