Virtual vs. In-Person Conventions

January 22, 2021
Shayna Kotler

North Potomac, Maryland, United States

Class of 2022

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Do you remember last February? Walking into IC with your friends, seeing your summer program friends, or international friends? That convention changed my life, and I believe that this year, virtual IC could do the same. I know that it is virtual and people do not think it will be as fun, but I 100% disagree with that statement.

The very first convention that I attended was my NRE new member weekend, and it changed my life. I made so many friends and so many memories that I will never forget. The more conventions I went to, the more I wanted to go to the next one. Last September when I signed up for IC, I was unsure if I would have a fun time because I did not have any summer program friends and only knew 3 people from outside of my region. My friend Pearly told me that we could room together, and my friend Lily said we could carpool to the airport. When I got to the airport I saw so many familiar faces, some who I knew wouldn’t be hanging out with me much and some who would definitely stick by my side the whole time. When we arrived at IC, Pearly and I waited to be checked in, and I could not stand still. We were greeted by our friend Sofia (she went on pre-summit) who showed us around. We walked around the convention and then got ready for opening ceremonies.

Throughout the convention, I made many friends who have become some of my best friends and I talk to them almost every day. It also allowed me to become closer with the friends I already had. I would not give my experience up at IC for the world. I think that if anyone is given the opportunity to go to IC, even if it’s virtual, they should take it. IC is a once (or in my case 3 times) in a lifetime opportunity. It allows for you to become friends with people from all over the world, become closer with your region, it provides great leadership opportunities, and it will be the best weekend of your life. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for IC right now!

Last spring I went to two virtual conventions, my Council Convention and my Chapter Convention, and they were very fun! This fall I went to NRE Kallah and it was an amazing experience.

“Just because something is harder to do doesn’t mean it can’t be better than it would have been if the situation was different”—Shayna Kotler.

Just because IC and other conventions are online doesn’t mean that they won’t be as fun if they were in person.

“At virtual conventions, I was shown that you can still make friends, get leadership opportunities, become closer with your current friends, and form an everlasting bond with your Jewish roots”—Jordan Arlen.


Not really the same, can’t hug your friends, harder to interact on zoom, and won’t be in the convention (because you aren’t away from home).


You can go to conventions from the comfort of your home, no more gross convention food, make new friends, have tons of jam sessions, cool speakers, virtual concerts, attend opening ceremonies, won’t get lost at convention center/hotel, swag pack, and it is less expensive.

As you can see there is an overwhelming number of pros so therefore I will see you all at IC!

Shayna Kotler is a BBG from Northern Region East: DC and lives for musical theatre and making her friends happy. She also loves scrunchies.

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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