BBYO Hungary invited teens from six different countries to their second Eastern/Central European International Convention. This year we had four teens from Poland (Krakow and Warsaw), one teen from Bulgaria, two teens from Denmark, one teen from Bosnia and Herzegovina, two teens from Croatia, seven teens from Serbia, and 31 teens from Hungary at the convention. We had all kinds of activities such as sightseeing, airsoft, Kabbalat Shabbat, Halloween games, and more while we learned about each other's communities. On a more serious note, we discussed the terrible synagogue shooting attack in Pittsburgh, as it happened around the time of the convention, and how it applies to our lives as Jews in Europe.
One of the most exciting programs was a game where we all had to create our own camp. The director of the Lauder-JDC International Jewish Camp Szarvas ran the program for us. We learned planning out a camp is very difficult from logistics to the venue to the programming content. There are many big questions to ask when planning: what should we do, where should we do it, what should we eat, how we get to the camp, and so on. These were all logistic questions we were challenged to think about. For many of us who attend Szarvas camp over the summer, we have never thought about the camp logisitcs and realized how challenging the experience is to pull off each year.
Leaving this convention, I looked back on the friendships I built and the meaningful discussions we shared. This convention taught me amazing lessons and allowed me to reflect on my Jewish identity. The weekend taught me to be thankful for everything that I have, and appreciate everything I get to experience. I am so lucky to have been able to participate in this convention, and I can’t wait to see all of my friends again. I had the best experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Sara is 15 years old living in Budapest, Hungary. She studies at the Lauder Jewish Schools. Sara is one of the founder and most active member of BBYO Hungary. Last year she served the community as the slicha. This year she is the youth leader of BBYO Junior. Sara speaks Hungarian, Hebrew, English and little Spanish too.
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Last week the International Presidents took part in Taglit-Birthright's Think-a-thon, here is what Ethan learned from the experience.
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