The 2019 international BBYO convention was held in Denver, Colorado over President’s Day weekend. Members currently acting on the board or fulfilling leadership roles in their respective regions around the nation and world arrived on Wednesday, Feb. 13, while other members arrived on Feb. 14. The next four days were filled with speakers and group activities until members returned home on Monday, Feb. 18. Throughout the event, members from all around the world were able to connect and create new friendships.
When asked how the convention impacted his view of Jews on a global scale, sophomore Sammy Rubin stated that “[he] was able to meet many different people from various countries, including Argentina, Spain, China and Japan, and [he] was able to bond with them. They were unique and really cool.” Rubin was free to interact with individuals and learn about their cultures, along with how they practiced Judaism. Sophomore Paulina Lebowitz exclaimed that she “learned so much about Jewish communities from all over! Even Mexico!” It is evident that the convention provided an opportunity for individuals to educate themselves on the different traditions of Jewish teenagers from other parts of the world.
Although the convention only lasted four days, Rubin stated that his time there was worthwhile, consisting of an early morning starts and hearing from multiple speakers, such as actor and producer Gregg Sulkin and American Gun Control Activist Cameron Kasky. Rubin excitedly mentioned, “I was able to go skiing once, along with the free time they would provide.” Attendees of the convention were able to choose group activities from a wide selection, varying from visiting the Denver Zoo, like Lebowitz did, to hitting the slopes. Sophomore Ashira Rabinowitz indicated that her favorite day, in particular, was, “when [she] went snow tubing with all of [her] friends.”
The most anticipated event of the weekend was the concert, which both Rabinowitz and Rubin stated as their favorite part of the convention. Rubin vocalized, “Seeing T-Pain and Galantis was awesome because they are some of [his] favorite artists.” T-Pain ended his set early after being hit by a beach ball thrown from the crowd. In regard to the scandal that followed Rabinowitz stated, “I understand why T-pain left but I think it was disrespectful for him to just leave. You could tell he did not want to be there.”
Despite the slight issue with T-Pain, the concert, along with the convention, was a success. Members enjoyed the activities, all while creating lasting memories.