Written by: Arli Marans, 10th Grade, Ahava BBG #2447.

Separates – what is it, why is it important? This tradition takes place all across the order and it gives members the chance to bond and get to know one another through deep and meaningful programming. For many, separates is one of the best experiences they have during their time in BBYO – whether they participate on a chapter, regional, or international level. Separates programming is a staple, no matter if it’s from a Zoom screen or on a hotel’s banquet room floor.

In Lake Ontario Region this year, BBGs were given the chance to join a Separates committee, where they would have the opportunity to provide input and ideas towards how we envision and run our Separates programming. I was thrilled when I found out I would get a chance to join this initiative, and work with my peers to ensure all BBGs found Separates as special as I do.

As part of our work each week, we were split into two main groups – one who put together surveys to gain further information on what members would like to see, and a team who would lead the BBG separates instagram account. To our delight, both the instagram account and the surveys were a success! On the Instagram, we take turns weekly to post about topics we believe have importance to BBGs across the region – whether it’s about Anita M. Perlman, stress relievers, or more. The questionnaires also provide information on how BBGs in the region feel and what they want to see in separates.

With the help of both the account and the surveys to give us input, we were able to create ‘BBG Separates: A Year In Review,’ an event for BBGs all across the region. This night exceeded our expectations by far, and everyone who had a hand in the planning process was amazed at how much fellow BBGs enjoyed it! With a turnout of more than 60 BBGs it truly was a night we will never forget! 

After starting off with an incredibly meaningful Havdalah ceremony, we separated into groups to continue our night with grade-specific programming. Grade eights came together for “A fresh start” as their first separates for most, while grade nines enjoyed some “Spring cleaning.”.  The grade tens bonded over “Getting that summer mindset” and talked about all things positivity, and our grade elevens had some fun “Building a mental calendar.”. With the year coming to an end, our seniors participated in one of their last BBG Separates of their BBYO career where we talked about “Letting go.”. All of these topics came together into our theme of “A Year In Review” and helped us all learn about how we can use the events from this last year to benefit our futures.

Not only did every grade have a chance to engage in impactful programs, but we got to bond with each other in a way that we normally don’t have the opportunity to do! Before the night came to an end, we joined back together as one group, one community of BBGs, to close what we began. Talking about the past year, shaking it all off, and feeling as close as ever to one another. 

Through BBG Separates Night, we took important issues and faced them head on, making every participant realize that their support system in this organization is bigger than they truly ever imagined. I’m so glad I had a part to play in the creation of this event, and I hope that this night was as impactful for others as it was for me!

Pictured: The senior BBGs attending BBG Separates: A Year in Review, learning about letting go and moving on.