2014-06-11 / Columns

BBYO teens join together to conclude year at Spring Thing 2014

BBYO BLOCK
By SAM EIGEN & CHARLOTTE NORDEEN For the Voice

Many Jewish teens around the community joined together in May at Camp Saginaw to celebrate the end of the programming year for South Jersey Region BBYO. Our annual endof year convention, called Spring Thing, consisted of several events: Havdalah, athletics, Shabbat electives, seniors sharing stories about their BBYO lives, and more.

The moving event also served a very important purpose: BBYO elected its new leadership. For the girls, Jessica Sklar is the 54th N’siah/President. Her counterpart is Michael Rosenthal, 54th Godol/President.

Along with every BBYO event, it was a great way for South Jersey teens to connect with each other. The weekend started with the teens joining together to participate in various field games around the camp, such as an apple home run derby and Jell-O jousting. Then, members joined together for a meaningful Shabbat service centered on the seven days of the week. After traditional prayers and a meaningful night, teens celebrated the 90th anniversary of BBYO through dancing, games, and music.

Saturday was a day of relaxation and more fun for everyone. Following breakfast, teens had the option to select a Saturday morning teen-led service, including services centered around music, childhood and more. The day resumed with teens having the option to attend a multitude of Shabbat electives, including “Shark Tank,” “BBYO Pictionary,” “Israeli Dancing,” and many others. After enjoying time to relax with friends during Chofesh, the teens collected into their respective chapters to gather more information from the candidates caucusing for the 54th Regional Board of SJR.

Later in the night, a teen-led Havdalah service was held by the lake at a bonfire with the region joining together to welcome in the new week. Various members of all ages shared a little bit of their BBYO experiences thus far, what they’re learning from the organization, and what they want to take out of it. Sammy Rosenbaum, a Jewish song leader, along with member Sam Waldman, led a song session. The remarkable energy was felt by everyone during these moments as tunes were chanted around the bonfire. Favorites were sung, such as “Wonderwall” by Oasis and “Save Tonight” by Eagle Eye Cherry.

Further into the night, Alephs and BBGs separated for meaningful programming and to view members being “inducted” into the region. The 53rd regional Morim led the ritual, where a member of the region is officially admitted into the youth movement. After this program, Alephs and BBGs celebrated their passion for BBYO through a spirit circle. Voices were lost and sweat was prevalent as members were ready to continue on to a BBYO annual tradition of “Life.” The term “Life” emerged when the seniors in BBYO started sharing their experiences and lessons they’ve learned to the younger members, as well as giving their BBYO-related apparel away. This process takes anywhere from four to eight hours and remains very sentimental for members of all ages, especially when tears are shed.

After an emotional night for both Alephs and BBGs, South Jersey Region’s 54th regional board elections took place. All candidates proved exceptional with their speeches, platforms, and qualifications, but only 10 could be elected.

“I am so excited to be able to serve on South Jersey Region’s Executive Board! This year is going to be full of so many new and exciting things,” said Jessica Sklar, the 54th N’siah/President.

Overall, Spring Thing was a huge success for all members who attended. Jewish teens connected through a myriad of activities, Shabbat services, Life, and bonding with their brother Alephs and sister BBGs. “Being able to become more active in the community and grow a new generation of young Jewish leaders will allow the South Jersey community to prosper,” said Michael Rosenthal, the 54th Godol/President. The future looks extremely bright for SJR with their passionate teen leaders! .

Sam Eigen is Regional Mazkir and Charlotte Nordeen is Regional Mazkirah for South Jersey Region BBYO.

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