By Mira Lyon.
My earliest memories are of running around with the cool older youth group kids, playing in the Eisendrath or hanging out in the youth lounge. I was in awe of these teenagers who loved learning, laughing, and praying together, in small groups or at conventions of thousands. Their shared desire to sing, dance, teach each other, and do spectacular acts of social justice inspired me, and are undoubtedly a large part of my continued passion and interest in youth engagement and education. I’ve always loved the Holy Blossom youth community, and have grown up in it. I was a pre-school student, a ‘staff brat’ in HABSTY, a proud Bat Mitzvah girl, a Camp George-ite, and a Religious School student through Confirmation. As an active HABSTY member and eventual President, I had the opportunity to sit on the Holy Blossom board and speak as a youth representative with the leadership of the congregation. This all led to my election to the post of Social Action Vice President of the NFTY North American Board, the most incredible year of my life.
Through all of this I learned about global social justice issues, making Reform Jewish practice meaningful, and how to write engaging programs. I was empowered to put my ideas into action, teaching others and making lasting change in a way that many young people never have the opportunity to do. All of this was nurtured by the Holy Blossom youth leadership, who were dedicated to helping us learn from our peers and take initiative to implement our ideas on any scale.
In more recent years, I have been an advisor for all ages of youth groups. I love being able to take what I have learned and try to impart it to the younger generation, while speaking with them about their passions. We have an amazing group of young people at this synagogue with huge ambitions and talent, and I am excited to see what they can do in the future. I would be proud to have any small part in that.
My youth group friends are still my closest friends and some of the most extraordinary people I have ever met. We are scattered around the world, but all see how our involvement in our youth groups shaped who we are now.
Mira attended Leo Baeck Day School and CHAT when of age. She has an undergraduate degree from the U of T and a Masters from Saint Mary’s University. Mira is currently the advisor of the Junior Teen Volunteer Corps (Grades 7 &8).