Elizabeth Haifetz

Welcoming Georgian Teens to our Jewish Community

Posted: October 28, 2014

Whether in the United States or all the way across the world in the small country of Georgia, Jewish teens excitedly await the opportunity to meet their peers. For the first time, BBYO has reached out to the Jewish community of Georgia to connect Georgian Jewish youths to the greater BBYO community. BBYO teens from Argentina, the United States, Slovakia, Turkey, Uruguay, and other countries compiled a video together. I was fortunate enough to show the video to our entire Jewish community of students, parents, and grandparents in Tbilisi. Though only recently shown, the video has set in motion a genuine ripple effect. 

Sometimes we take things that are especially made for us for granted. I don't know how many times while in college that I brushed aside videos and emails that were sent to me in an effort to get me to join a group. Here in Georgia, it was a completely different story. Becoming enthusiastic about engaging in something is difficult for many Georgian teens. They go to school, they do their homework, they see their tutors religiously, and they love to have fun.  It's generally difficult to get teens motivated about things like volunteering, writing letters to Jewish peers abroad, leading and participating in Shabbat services, and even sometimes attending holiday festivals. But this new introduction seemed to ignite a spark.

Since then, we have started an "international circle," group. This group will consists of teens that are sincerely interested in becoming active leaders in the Jewish community. We will plan and organize large volunteer projects, as well as smaller ones like tutoring and making shalach manot. We will meet monthly for Shabbats at my place (adding a personal flair), plan holiday festivities for the little kids in our Mazel Tov group and for the elderly, and meet weekly to write letters and Skype with our new friends in BBYO around the world. I have a feeling that a small country in the Caucuses is about to take part in a very exciting and infinite journey that will bring everyone closer to their Jewish heritage. 

 

 

 

Oct 31, 2014 9:17:48 AM
Elizabeth Haifetz uploaded new photos into BBYO in Georgia
Oct 28, 2014 2:25:53 PM

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Elizabeth Haifetz
Joined: August 15, 2014

 

 

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