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As a new youth organisation, which has only recently restarted in Sydney, BBYO NSW is moving in the right direction and becoming a ‘rising’ youth organization in Sydney.
B’nai B’rith Youth Organization is a pluralistic international Jewish youth organization with over 80,000 teenagers in over 55 different countries. It gives teens opportunities they can’t find anywhere else and BBYO is run by teens for teens. It is a place where we are encouraged to have fun, connect with other Jewish teens in our community and around the world, develop leadership skills and Jewish identities. It’s a place where we are inspired to learn, grow, give back to our community and above all be ourselves. BBYO NSW allows us to host the events we want and achieve amazing things. We are growing at a breakneck pace with an amazing board of directors, consisting of Amy Forman, Devan Bloch, Meital Gertel, Sam Raichman, Caitlin Gordon and myself, Ruby Borer, all ages 13-15.
With BBYO NSW starting just weeks before the 2020 lockdown, we have been privileged to have hosted many in-person and online events. We have been fortunate to spend time on Zoom programs within our Chapter and with Chapters around the world. As a Chapter, we have hosted game nights, bake parties, and most recently an escape room, on Zoom, with great turnouts that exceeded our wildest dreams. We’ve also had the great honor of partnering with teenagers around the world, in places like South Africa, New York, Russia and closer to home in Melbourne, to put on amazing programs. In NSW’s privileged position regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we were fortunate to have also hosted many in-person events, with Havdallah and Shabbat services, visits to Shalom College Adamama farm and games Laser tag. All of the in-person events have been a huge success and we’re all excited to get back to doing our in-person work.
BBYO NSW would not have been possible without our parent organization B’nai B’rith. B’nai B’rith not only gave us a home here in Sydney and allowed us to run the B’nai B’rith kids club during the holidays, but they also gave us our counsellor. Vivienne Radomsky, the B’nai B’rith NSW Project Manager who has been our incredible advisor from the start, guiding us in everything we do. She is the best we could have asked for and never fails to inspire, help and support us. As crazy as some of our ideas may be, she always helps us find a way to make them successful with her own fun and unique ideas along the way. She taught us a lot and encouraged us to grow continuously. She is always present at our events and her incredible photography skills produce some of the best photos we have ever seen. We are so grateful for all she has done and continues to do for us and we couldn’t imagine BBYO without her.
As a board of directors, we look forward to the opportunities that BBYO will bring us. We look forward to growing as a Chapter, further developing our bonds with each other and learning new leadership skills. In addition to having the opportunity to participate in the international opportunities that BBYO offers, including the International Leadership Network and hopefully in a post COVID world, travel to America to participate in the International Convention or amazing summer opportunities. BBYO NSW has changed the lives of those who have had the opportunity to serve on the Board so far and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow as individuals and as a Chapter.
This article was written by Ruby Borer, 15