Hey everyone!

I was just noticing that everyone is posting… except for me! I haven’t posted since November 7th – a whole month ago! Time really flies, it’s kind of scary. I just realized that… well, number one, I’m almost halfway through 11th grade, and number two, that this past year flew really fast. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
Speaking of time, I might as well tell you why I love Klal Yisroel (Jews) (title of post)… so I went to this amazing convention this Shabbos in Woodridge, NY. It was the annual Bnos Agudas Yisrael Leaders Convention. Meaning – I’m a Bnos leader here in Milwaukee. Bnos is a program all over the United States & Canada (and making its way to other places) for girls to gather together on Shabbos afternoons to play games, have snacks, hear stories, and have fun with friends that they may or may not see every day at school. In Milwaukee, it works like this: there are separate groups for 1st & 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade. Each group has 2 high school age leaders, except 8th grade – they have a whole separate group of leaders! Anyway, my friend and I are the leaders for 6th grade (in Milwaukee we call us counselors).
So anyway, back to why I love Klal Yisroel – we went to this amazing convention this Shabbos. We left school on Thursday afternoon at like 2:40. My sister brought us to the airport, we went through security and all and were making our way to our gate. On our way to the gate, we met a family here from Mexico. We got into a conversation with the wife (which started with “are you a Saltzman?”) and
reason #1 to love us: I called my sister and she turned around (she was almost home, so another 1/2 hour drive) to come pick up this family and bring them to their host’s house. Anyway, so we (me & 2 friends) took our flight, had a blast, and landed in Newark Airport in New Jersey.
reason #2: a frum Jewish car service picked us up and drove us to Boro Park at
reason #3: my mother’s friend’s sister’s house. This was at… about 9:30-10 at night. We stayed at this family’s house until like 12:30. During that time, we hung out in their kitchen (they put out a whole dessert reception for us – cookies, rugelach, a bowl of fruit and drinks) and then in their living room, looking through albums they have on their shelves (and looking for any pictures we could find of my mother’s friend cuz we actually know her)
reason #4: at about 12:30/12:40 Thursday night, a 15-seater van being driven by a couple coming from Lakewood stopped to pick us up. In the van were 7 other girls going to convention, and it was packed. We then went on to drop the husband off so he could daven Ma’ariv (remember what time this was!)
reason #5: at Shomrei Shabbos, where the street was swarming with frum people – at 1:00 AM!! Wow – it was overwhelming but amazing. Then we finally went to convention, got there at 3:00 in the morning, stayed up to make welcoming kits, and went to bed. Friday brought the rest of the girls to convention, bringing the total of girls present to approximately 250.
reason #6: we stayed up until 4:30 AM Friday night talking to girls from Lakewood we hadn’t met until that day! It was a blast, and it was soo cool because since we all learn the same Torah and have the same basic lifestyle, we could talk about all kinds of things – it was amazing.

<– first snow in the Catskills of the season (against the night sky)
reason #7: when Jews get together, it’s amazing! The fact that everyone was singing the same songs to the same tunes… the same tunes for the tefillos (prayers), it really gives a strong message at how amazing Klal Yisroel and the truth of our message is. We had an amazing Shabbos, then we had to leave on Motzaei Shabbos, a little earlier than everyone else.
reason #8: the same van brought us back, and went out of the way to drop us off in Passaic where we stayed for the night.
reason #9: we came to the house of friends of my parents (this was about 12 AM) and my mom’s friend brought us over to her neighbor’s house where we stayed the night (the family was sleeping, we only saw them for a second the next morning)
reason #10: bright and early the next morning, my mother’s friend dropped us off at the airport (at least 20 minutes away from her home) so we could make our 10:25 AM flight.

I LOVE KLAL YISROEL! Oh, and why does time connect? That was the theme of convention: “Im lo achshav, aymasai?” – “If not now, then when?”
Above is the convention’s theme banner.
K, so enough about Bnos. It’s amazing – you should see if they have it in your city and join. If they don’t, ask someone to start one.
So what am I listening to right now? Yosef Chaim Shwekey’s “V’simloch” on his album “Lo Lefached”. The whole album is gorgeous – I highly recommend it :)
YALDAH… let’s see. YALDAH is hopping. The winter issue is well on its way to being done. Should be at the printer within a day or two from the posting of this post. Spring issue is also well underway. We’ve started collecting writers’ writings :) and will soon get to work on photographers’ and illustrators’ creations…
Ok, I should go to bed.
Happy snowing!
– Nechama :)
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