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BeSTY Board Reflections

Note: The following article was written in collaboration with Greta Cutts and our 2020-2021 BeSTY Board. We have since welcomed Lily Booker as our new Youth Advisor and have elected a new BeSTY Board. We cherish everyone past and present who makes our teen programming so fun and meaningful!

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Greta Cutts was the Youth Advisor to BeSTY, Bet Shalom Temple Youth. She summarizes their activities of the challenging past year:

This year BeSTY discovered that not even a pandemic can keep us from staying connected. When we could be together in the warm summer weather, we bonded from a distance at our drive-in movie and got to know each other in small groups. After people moved indoors we used video calls to read each other bedtime stories, watch movies and bake cookies, comparing how much flour we all managed to spill in our kitchens! Countless group messages, Zoom meetings, drive-by gift drops and virtual brainstorming sessions proved that a lack of physical proximity cannot break BeSTY’s strong bonds. 

We are certain that the connections we’ve made will never waver, no matter how far apart we are. Check out what BeSTY’s Board Members have to say:

Regan Gross

The relationships I have made through BeSTY are ones I feel I will have for the rest of my life. They are different from any other friendships I have ever had, but in the best way possible. They have always loved me for me, and made me feel like I can be myself around them. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

-Regan Gross

Lily Kowal

BeSTY has given me the chance to meet lots of amazing new people and see and talk to people who I otherwise would not have been able to see because of COVID. It has also given me the opportunity to create new friendships and get involved with my community.

-Lily Kowal

Naiya Laskin

With my time in BESTY I’ve strengthened my public speaking skills and learned how to volunteer for more things without getting overwhelmed. I’ve made new friends and gotten closer to ones I’d already had.

-Naiya Laskin

Mason Krasnoff

Through BeSTY I’ve gotten to strengthen existing friendships while also creating new friendships with people I would not have been able to get to know without BeSTY.

– Mason Krasnoff

Adina Locketz

During my time in BeSTY I have made new relationships with people who I did not have a chance to meet before and strengthened the relationships I had already made. I am so glad I had this opportunity to make strong friendships with people in this community. 

– Adina Locketz

Brenna Gross

With my time in BeSTY I have made new friends and strengthened old friendships. The relationships I have made with BeSTY are genuine and strong.

– Brenna Gross

Naamah Murphy

I have made friendships through BeSTY that I believe could last my lifetime. We all come from different areas of the Twin Cities, but together we are an amazing community that is there for each other and has a lot of fun. 

– Naamah Murphy

Sonja Milkovich

BeSTY has helped me to get to know people in other grades who I might never have talked to without it.

– Sonja Milkovich

Sarah Mikhelson

BeSTY helped me to connect with many Jewish high schoolers I typically wouldn’t get to talk to. I love the strong community that we all worked together to make.

– Sarah Mikhelson

Emma Locketz

I have made lifelong friends that I will continue to keep in my life even after I leave BeSTY. I have made so many amazing connections through BeSTY.

– Emma Locketz

Noah Rubin

Through my BeSTY experience I have met some of my best friends. It has provided me with amazing experiences and memories with my peers. 

-Noah Rubin

Sydney Frank

Because of BeSTY I have been able to get to know and become friends with more Jewish teens. It is nice to have friends who are Jewish outside of camp who live close to me. 

-Sydney Frank

Sophie

BeSTY has given me the opportunity to connect with other teens who I probably wouldn’t have known otherwise. I have created connections that I know will be long lasting and have helped shape me into the person I am today. 

-Sophie Homberger

Danielle Mazo

I have created some great relationships in BeSTY throughout the years. Even though we all go to different schools we connect through Judaism and other similar interests.    

-Danielle Mazo