Before going on a Summer Experience, I was fairly nervous. I had gone on CLTC in 2017, so I knew a little bit about what to expect. Yet I was still somewhat intimidated. It can be scary to experience BBYO on an International level and to come across so many new people, especially if it is your first time.
But when ILTC began, I realized how wrong I was. There was no need to be nervous, as the welcoming environment and the number of opportunities that presented themselves made that fear easy to forget. There are so many reasons to show that, despite any preconceived notions, a BBYO summer experience is worth it.
ILTC was such a privilege because I was able to gain perspectives from all around the world. You get to learn how BBYO operates around the world and how you can use what you learned to make a difference at home. I believe I am truly capable of improving my region because of everything people taught me. Plus, ILTC was an opportunity to build a network of people long after the program ended.
ILTC also empowered me to be able to discover myself as a leader. Learning my strengths, weaknesses, and how to improve upon them, I grew to utilize and maintain the skills I developed. This was something I had always sought to discover, and it was a major reason I went on this program. I can now say with full confidence that I know myself better than I did before going on ILTC.
ILTC allowed me to connect to the Jewish identity that I had found myself questioning before going to Perlman. Being exposed to great Jewish and Israel programming allowed me to view my Judaism in new perspectives. I learned traditions and customs I was never aware of, and how to relate Jewish values to everyday life, which made it easier for me to maintain this new connection.
ILTC was an opportunity to find not only people I can learn from but friends I will keep forever. The bonds I built in just three weeks are some of the strongest I’ve ever formed, and I was amazed at how easy it was to find people who are interested in the same things as me, and who care about me as much as I care about them. They made me feel like I belong somewhere, and I will cherish that forever.
It is not a stretch when people claim that these programs change their lives. ILTC has helped me to grow as a person, connect to my identity, and find the people who have similar goals and will work with me to achieve them. I would go back in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. This program was the experience of a lifetime, and everyone deserves to have an experience like this one.
Ashley Faber is a BBG from CSR and loves to play the violin.
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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