Jared Berklee and fellow BBYO Ambassadors bond in Italy

September 2, 2019

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Jared Berklee (top right) at the Arno River by the Ponte Vecchio—oldest bridge across the Arno River– in Florence, Italy with other BBYO representatives.

Jared Berklee (top right) at the Arno River by the Ponte Vecchio—oldest bridge across the Arno River– in Florence, Italy with other BBYO representatives.

Tulane sophomore Jared Berklee traveled to Israel for the Alumni Leadership Seminar in Israel (ALSI). He went for training as a lead counselor in BBYO’s Perlman summer program.

BBYO is the core influence in Berklee’s Jewish life. “I take pride in being a part of something both my grandparents fought for, in their own respective ways,” says Berklee. “For me, being Jewish isn’t prayer. It’s culture. I know I make them proud when I embrace my Judaism openly.”

Before the trip to Israel, Berklee was one of four BBYO teen representatives invited to Florence, Italy to candidly talk to Federation leaders about BBYO as an organization, and his personal connection. “They asked questions relating to BBYO on a chapter, council, regional, and international level,” says Berklee. “There might be interest on their parts in strengthening BBYO’s presence in their communities.”

“We went to Italy as BBYO role models,” says Berklee. “You look at us and see what four years of BBYO looks like. The four ambassadors were chosen to participate in the conference and left Italy with a special bond.

“BBYO is very popular in the U.S.,” says Berklee. “I’m a Reform Jew on the East coast who has been heavily involved for four years. They wanted to hear my story.”

Lisa Richmon

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