BBYO Continues Annual Toga Party Tradition

On Friday, November 1, over 70 Jewish teen BBYO members from around the Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio region gathered together for the young men of Heart of Ohio AZA’s annual chapter fundraiser.

Heart of Ohio is one of the three Columbus BBYO chapters, and in partnership with Pops DSK AZA and Aliah BBG, invited BBYO teens from the region to join them for an entire weekend of programming and activities.

The TOGA dance party has been a Heart of Ohio staple program for years, and this year the chapter’s board, led by Chapter Godol Matt Gordon, decided to extend the event into an entire weekend.

The weekend began with a joint service with the NCSY youth group, with help from NCSY chapter presidents Noah Chazan and Aleeza Hartstein. Differences and similarities between the two youth groups were celebrated at the event’s Friday night services, which were meaningful for each group to see. Following the joint Shabbat services, the youth joined together for Shabbat Kiddush and dinner.

The morning of Saturday, November 2, brought teens together at Wexner Heritage Village to lead a Shabbat morning service with the village residents. Columbus BBYO members took turns leading prayers and met with former AZA and BBG members who currently reside at Wexner Heritage Village. The service was followed by an afternoon full of athletic programming at the JCC, ranging from dodgeball to basketball.

The TOGA dance party took place in the JCC’s Zusman building on Saturday night, where DJ NV provided music and entertainment for all. Surprise guest Fresh Beats made a special appearance at the end, sharing some freestyle beat-making, rapping and live looping. The night finished with a lock-in at the JCC on College Avenue, where participants enjoyed a late-night movie and more.

BBYO extends its special thanks to the chapter board of Heart of Ohio AZA; Rabbi Yaakov Frankiel; Columbus NCSY; Wexner Heritage Village; and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus for a great weekend!