Teen Topics | November 18, 2016

Regional President Laina Meyerowitz and International President Ellie Bodker

Regional President Laina Meyerowitz and International President Ellie Bodker

From October 18-31, the Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio region of BBYO was lucky enough to be visited by Ellie Bodker, who is currently serving as the international president of BBYO.

BBYO, which is the world’s leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement, has grown immensely, with 19,000 active members throughout North America, and reaches over 80,000 Jewish teens in more than 35 countries around the world.

As BBYO’s international n’siah, Bodker deferred admission to Syracuse University to embark on a gap year, during which she travels around the world visiting various BBYO communities. In Louisville, Bodker spent time with local teens and assisted in creating development and growth plans for Louisville BBYO.

Bodker came to Louisville during an exciting month, which culminated with the KIO region’s first convention of the year, Spirit convention. During her stay, Bodker spent most of her time with Jay Levine BBG and assisted in the chapter’s preparation for spirit convention, and even had a cameo in the chapter “hype video.”

Laina Meyerowitz, who is currently serving as KIO’s regional n’siah, described the event by saying, “[Ellie] exposed the girls to an international side of BBYO they hadn’t seen before.”

Senior Justin Bass answering a question during Ellie Bodker's reverse scavenger hunt program.

Senior Justin Bass answering a question during Ellie Bodker’s reverse scavenger hunt program.

Bodker also spent time with the Louisville BBYO chapter boards, and enjoyed getting to know members of both Jay Levine BBG and Drew Corson AZA. Bodker listened to the officers describe their BBYO experiences and offered helpful advice to improve the quality of the program.

Bodker also spent much of her time with JCL’s Teen Director, Kari Semel. Semel, who created an itinerary for Bodker’s stay, which included meetings with important community members and employees at the JCC. Staff who met with Bodker called her “impressive and motivating.”

When asked to describe her experience with Bodker, Semel said, “Ellie was fantastic to have in Louisville! Her passion and knowledge about BBYO are inspiring, and she embodies a level of maturity that most teens could only imagine.”

Louisville's BBYO board members enjoy dinner with Ellie Bodker

Louisville’s BBYO board members enjoy dinner with Ellie Bodker

The Louisville BBYO teens had a fantastic weekend at Spirit Convention, which took place during the last weekend of October. The Spirit Convention is the largest annual BBYO event in the Kentucky Indiana Ohio region, and offers an opportunity for chapters to come together and compete for the coveted Spirit Stick.

Bodker not only assisted teens in preparation for the event, but also attended the convention, and played a major role in facilitating programs throughout the weekend.

These programs taught the teens about two of Bodker’s main priorities: recruitment and community service. Joey Schuster, who is currently serving as Drew Corson’s chapter president, states, “Ellie’s reverse scavenger hunt program was charming. We learned a lot from her, and can’t wait to see her again at International Convention.”

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