Joining New England Yachad was one of the best decisions I could have made as a high school student looking for a fun and inclusive community where I could grow as a person.  I found out about Yachad in ninth grade at my school’s club fair, and after hearing about how much my classmates loved being a part of Yachad, I immediately signed up. I didn’t go to many events because schoolwork took priority. However, in tenth grade, I started going to a few more events, and towards the end of the year I went to my first shabbaton. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the shabbaton was. I met so many new people, and everyone was so nice. I went with friends who had been to many more Yachad events than I had been to, so they already knew everyone there, and everyone knew them. People came up and gave them big hugs and knew their names and all about them. I remember thinking, oh no, I don’t know anyone. What will I do? Then, one after another, people came up to me, introduced themselves, and started conversations. Within an hour or two, I felt like a person who went to all of the events. People were coming up to me saying, “Hi Sarah” and giving me hugs or high fives. I still remember that feeling, truly understanding for the first time how caring the Yachad community is. It seemed like everyone was going out of their way to be nice and inclusive, but as I became more involved with Yachad, I realized that that is just how everyone is.

Another thing I love about Yachad is that there is never any judgement. When I go to Yachad events, I see how people from school change from being stressed out, popularity-oriented, and sometimes even unfriendly to being sweet and compassionate people who don’t worry about what people might think about them. They let their silly and friendly sides out, and they allow themselves to be vulnerable because they know that no one will judge them. Yachad allows everyone to act however they want, and it provides a place where anyone and everyone truly belongs. No matter your age, gender, and views, everyone is always welcome.

I decided to intern at Yachad this summer because Yachad is such a great organization, and I wanted to do all I could to help. Yachad provides tons of fun-filled events every month. Yachad has some purely fun events and some events which also include some sort of enjoyable Jewish learning. Yachad is such a great organization because it provides a great inclusive community for those who would not always have the opportunity to be a part of such a tight-knit community.