United We Rise is the central message that brings together Jewish teenagers worldwide for BBYO's 2021 International Convention. Alephs and BBGs from across the order have shared their struggles pertaining to the lack of connection in 2020 and showed how they have risen to the occasion and continued to become gamechangers in BBYO and their local communities.
Opening Ceremonies opened up with Andrew Feldman, from Dear Evan Hansen, who discussed his love for the musical Rent. Growing up an avid fan of the musical, he mentioned the parallels between the HIV epidemic, a prevalent theme in the musical, and COVID-19. The former cast of the Broadway musical and some Alephs and BBGs burst into song, singing “Seasons of Love.” The song set the theme of maintaining togetherness even during a dark period.
Another important moment was welcoming and celebrating all of the different regions in the order. Unlike past ICs, those that participated in the videos, usually the presidents, had to film remotely. The fact that the videos were not filmed remotely provided a new perspective as it allowed us to get a glimpse of different locations worldwide. For instance, we were able to see San Francisco's beaches and the snow in Ohio. If we were in person, we wouldn't be able to appreciate the vastly different climates that the United States and the rest of the world have to offer.
Finally, everyone's favorite part of the night was hearing and seeing Kesha perform live! Kesha not only performed hits such as "Blow" and "We R Who We R," but she also featured some of her new music, specifically "High Road,” from her new album. Additionally, we got to ask her questions. There, we heard about her favorite song that she ever recorded—"Bastards" from her album, Rainbow. She even mentioned that her favorite colors are turquoise and pink. At the end of the Q&A and to wrap up opening ceremonies, Kesha gave our generation a piece of advice. "To the future leaders of America, listen to your heart [and] have fun as life is short."
Ori Gal is an Aleph from Central Region West that loves making movies to entertain people.
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.
Inspired by this week's Parsha, our International Presidents share a profound blessing for every teen in our Movement.
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