Team BIEC’s Summer Wrap-Up
It is already three weeks into September and, I’m sorry to say, summer is officially behind us. Team BIEC had an incredible summer, and we would like to apologize for not keeping you more posted on all of our crazy adventures…and take this opportunity to catch you up.
Summer at BIEC usually means one thing, and one thing only….Birthright season! This summer, however, we managed to not only send 360 young, Jewish Montrealers on free trips to Israel (and spend a little time in the Holy land ourselves), but we travelled around to Montreal-area camps, hanging out with staff and doing some great team building activities, as well. Oh yeah…and we also put together a great fundraiser basketball tournament for the Trevor Williams Foundation, held an amazing Birthright Reunion, picked an awesome new batch of leaders for our Madrichim in Training program, and welcomed one returning and two new members to our team (Hi Yoni, Sam, and Sarah!).
So now that you are probably back in school and looking for entertaining ways to make the time in your classes go by faster, here’s a brief look back on one of Team BIEC’s most successful summers!
Birthright is awesome! Yes, I know, we work at BIEC and therefore probably have to tell you that, but I can assure you, I’m not lying when I say that spending 10 days on a bus with 39 other Jewish young adults who are as interested in traveling, learning, and having fun as you are, while exploring an amazing, beautiful and always interesting country is pretty much the greatest experience you can have. This summer, all of us in the BIEC office, as well as 360 other young Montrealers, were lucky enough to spend a minimum of 10 days in Israel on Birthright trips, bus hopping from one Birthright bus to another, and meeting awesome people. If you had an amazing time on Birthright this past summer, or any other time, please spread the word that registration for winter trips is open until Wednesday, September 21st at 10am.
Summer for us means Israel, but for a lot of young Jews, summer also means packing up your duffle bags and heading off to camp. This year, we were lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of our summer up north, touring through all of the major camps in the area; Camp B’nai Brith, Y Country Camp, Camp Kinneret-Biluim, Camp Massad, and Pripstein’s Camp. Whether it was enjoying YCC’s Chicken Finger Tuesdays in the dining hall, spending a Shabbat watching “rikud” (Israel dancing) on the beach at Kinneret-Biluim, playing basketball at Pripstein’s, doing some great team building activities at CBB, or cheering on all five camps at Massad’s Sports Festival, no matter where we went, we had a total blast. The Camp Tour gave us a chance to engage with BIEC alumni (past Birthright and March of the Living participants), meet new people, and spend some quality time with the future leaders of our community…today’s camp counsellors! We’d like to send a huge thank you out to all of the camps, directors, and staff for welcoming us with open arms, smiling faces, and lots of yummy food!
Other fun stuff!
Between the trips to and from Israel and the drives back and forth from up north, Team BIEC has been putting together an awesome calendar of upcoming events. A few weeks ago, we held a basketball tournament at Park Haven Recreational Facilities to raise money for the Trevor Williams Foundation; to send underprivileged kids to basketball camp. A huge success, the tournament brought out around 60 people and raised enough money to send a camper to basketball camp, fully paid! We also hosted an amazing Birthright Flashback Reunion for all of our summer buses, at Mac Bar in August. With nearly 300 people in attendance, the event was a great way for participants to reconnect with their buses and share amazing memories from their summers in Israel.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been busy working with our amazing new group of MITs (Madrichim in Training) and spent the last weekend up at CBB with them, for our annual MIT training weekend. We would like to congratulate all of our new MITs on their acceptance into the program! With training weekend behind us and some great sessions coming up, we are looking forward to another year of working with even more devoted, inspiring, and fun MITs!
Finally, we would like to welcome three new members to Team BIEC! We are happy to have Sarah Atkins, Director of Informal Education, back in the office after a year away. We are also excited to welcome former MITs Yoni Loeub and Samantha Star to the team! Yoni will be working as Hagshama’s Regional Director, and Sam as the March of the Living Program Associate.
There are a lot of great things coming up with Team BIEC this fall, including the Shabbat Train launch, Reverse Mifgash, social action projects, apple picking, cooking initiatives and more! So please check out our newsletter, stay tuned, and keep reading What The BIEC for weekly posts, guest bloggers, and lots of fun stuff!