Bnos Convention Focuses on Leadership and Individuality

Four hundred Bnos leaders from across the country gathered in the Lakehouse Hotel in Woodridge, New York last Shabbos for the 2024/5784 annual Bnos Agudas Yisroel Convention, a jam-packed Shabbos full of networking with other Bnos leaders, practical tips, chizuk, and of course, fun! The hundreds of girls who attended represent hundreds more who lead Bnos groups in their 39 hometowns across America, from Lakewood to Las Vegas to LA. 

As with every year, the convention featured renowned speakers and storytellers, panels, and divrei Torah from Bnos leaders. Mechanchos from across the country joined the convention, linking past generations of Bnos to today’s girls. This year’s convention, themed im ain ani li, mi li, focused on the power of each individual Bnos leader and the uniqueness each girl can bring to her Bnos group. 

Because of the situation in Eretz Yisroel, the convention was pushed off for a few months, and the convention opened with additional perakim of tehillim for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel. While the spirit and fun were still apparent at the convention, the traditional Motzai Shabbos dancing was shortened, to send a message to all the Bnos delegates that when our brethren are suffering, we need to recognize their pain. 

As the number of Bnos leaders across the country skyrockets too high to host everyone at one convention, the Bnos convention now serves another purpose: providing the representatives not only with activities and ideas for themselves, but with the mission of bringing the inspiration home to their fellow Bnos leaders and spreading the chizuk and achdus. 

Workshops, panels, and activities provided the girls with a collection of games and ideas to bring home to their co-leaders and Bnos groups as well as a deeper understanding of what it means to be a leader.  

Highlights of this year’s convention were Rabbi Avraham Goldstein, who inspired the girls with the tale of his unique journey in life and how he overcame the obstacles in his path, and master storyteller Mrs. Chaya Rivky Leiser teaching the girls the art of telling stories. Other guest speakers included Miss Batya Feigenbaum who shared her life story with the girls and explained to them how to rise in the face of challenges, Mrs. Debby Garfunkel, who spoke about the importance of maintaining achdus when Klal Yisroel is in pain, and Mrs. Sara Isaacson, who discussed how to prevail in the face of adversity. The Bnos leaders were enraptured with their newfound understanding of their own inner strengths. 

“Our Bnos leaders do such a tremendous amount of work for their groups, and they really do wonders for their girls,” said Mrs. Chana Baila Hass, national director of Bnos Agudas Yisroel. “We want to let them know how much we appreciate them and be mechazek them to continue their amazing work.” 

This is illustrated by Bnos’ new Leaders Initiative. The initiative, currently including a monthly newsletter and conference call for all Bnos leaders, will be expanded to include more activities to unify, inspire, and encourage Bnos leaders across the nation. 

“Aside from all the practical things I learned that will make my Bnos group even better for my girls, I gained a sense of how important I am as a leader,” said Chaya, a Bnos leader from Philadelphia, PA. 

“Having so many Bnos leaders together is a tremendous chizuk to them and to us,” said Mrs. Hass. “We get to see how far-reaching our impact is, the girls feel that they are part of something huge, and that sends them home with drive to become even better Bnos leaders.” 

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