Ultimate Interview with the International Presidents

March 1, 2019
Talia Knoble Gershon

London, United Kingdom

Class of 2019

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Tell us about yourself!

Mason : Is from Boston, Massachusetts, vegetarian since he was born and math team captain in his senior year.

Noga: is 19, passionate about making the world a better place, and joined BBYO as a platform to better the world.  

How did you get involved in BBYO?

Mason : Sophomore year I was in a statistics class with the chapter S'ganit (I’m in a BBYO chapter) and she found out that I was Jewish because I was going on a local Israel trip. She constantly asked me to come to a program. I finally relented and decided to go to a dance and I really liked it so I kept coming back.

Noga: At the beginning of eight grade at I went with my best friend to my local BBYO chapter for the first time . The chapter Moreh at the time was someone I looked up to and encouraged me to stay in the movement. This is a key reason as to why I believe that the people who bring us into the movement are vital to BBYO.

What's your best/funniest memory from a summer programme?

Noga:  My most special memory from a summer programme has to be from the first moments of CLTC.  Upon landing at the airport I wanted to branch away from my friends from my region. I decided to go up to a girl who I didn't know and ask if she wanted to go to Starbucks. We spent the rest of CLTC getting to know each other and became best friends. We roomed together at every IC and went to all the other summer programs together. I can’t imagine my life without her , and I am so happy that CLTC allowed me to branch out and meet new people.

Mason:  My best memory from a summer program was during my time as a CLTC coordinator. The night that I led the spirit circle was so amazing. Getting to teach teens from all around the movement the cheers that are central to our movement was a super impactful experience.

Some questions for Noga for BBG’S upcoming 75th anniversary !!

What are your big aims for BBYO this year?

I believe there is a lot going well in terms of membership and people running for position and global reach. I read the book passed down from each Nsiah to the next and a letter from 1958 that spoke about the  the importance of inspiring one person to go to a summer programme or go outside their comfort zone, this resonated with me strongly. I want to make BBYO more of a place that can empower young people. This is very important  especially as the 75th BBG anniversary is coming up.

Best thing about BBYO ?

I believe BBYO offers a unique haven to each person , because it means something different for each person.  For me, it is so amazing how BBYO allows for effective social justice, to be able to rally and make change around the world , in our communities and countries. BBYO allows for Tikkun Olam to be fulfilled.

Best memory from Europe trip?

The overall best part was the people that I met , friendships that I made and relationships I was able to reunite with. I have amazing memories from every region i visited, from my first snowball fight in Latvia to the Great Gatsby immersive experience in London. The people I did the trip with had an impact on my life greatly and I will look fondly on my time in Europe.

Why did you run for International Nsiah?

I really believe in our movement and what it does and i think we work best when we empower our grassroots and our members to want to make a difference in the world. I hope in this position  can work and inspire people who want to make their local experiences and have programs that inspire and make a difference. I ran for international board because i care about the international movement and the members , it's really all of you!

How will you use what you have learned in BBYO later on in life?

I have been in BBYO for six years which is  essentially a third of my life. The organization on all levels has made me who I am as a leader, friend ,person , and sister. I can't imagine a Noga who hasn't gone through the movement. One of the most special skills that BBYO has taught me is how to fail, you are given the room and support to fail in BBYO and learn from your mistakes. That is a skill I know will serve me my entire life.  

Talia Knoble Gershon is a BBG from United Kingdom and enjoys politics and current affairs.

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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