Who should join Simon Atlas?
Any Jewish teen in 8
th grade or above can join. You don’t have to be religious and you don’t have to know anyone in the chapter. Anyone who wants to make friends that can last a lifetime and have loads of fun every week should give Simon Atlas a try!
How do I get started?
If you don’t know anyone in the chapter, you can email our Moreh, who’s in charge of membership at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out when the next program is. You don’t need to be registered to come, and whether you know nobody there or half the chapter you’ll have a great time! Come to a few programs or meetings and see what it’s like. When you decide you want to officially join, talk to a board member or just click the link below!
What is Simon Atlas?
Here is what some former members have to say about SiAt:
Joining Simon Atlas AZA changed my life. I had never felt a strong connection to others. I had always been more introverted. I didn’t like that. When I joined SiAt, I immediately became invested in the brotherhood. It wasn’t a social group. It was a fraternity. A band of brothers. SiAt has made me into a mentor, a leader, a person I never could have otherwise become. SiAt became the first cause I could be passionate about. It became my calling. Let it become yours! Join SiAt today and make unforgettable bonds, memories and lifelong brothers.“ Gabe Schaner (Life Member)
When I was choosing a chapter to join in AZA, or “rushing” various chapters, something stood out to me in Simon Atlas, but I couldn’t quite tell what it was. So I kept circulating my Saturdays (when BBYO programs are held) between 3 different chapters. Each night had it’s perks, whether it be feasting on food from various cultures, or hanging out at a huge house complete with a movie theater, ice cream bar, a basketball court, and tons of video games. However, nothing was the same as when I went to a Simon Atlas event. I always had someone to talk to and I even cracked a few jokes that people laughed at, which made me feel a little bit less nervous. I guess what drew me into Simon Atlas was the friendly persona of every member I spoke to, whereas at the other chapter’s events I would have a couple quick exchanges with people, and then be overlooked for the remainder of the evening. Even if it is hard to discover what it is about Simon Atlas, Simon Atlas will intrigue you, and you will instantly be drawn in.“ Adam Vinner (Life Member)
Simon Atlas has truly changed my life. When I joined SiAt in the beginning of 8th grade, the only person I knew was the person who brought me to my first event. Everyone was a stranger to me when I arrived at that first program, but after five exciting minutes I seemed to know everyone in the chapter already, and they all knew me. As soon as I walked onto the lawn all of the guys approached me and started conversations with me. Even though I was the shyest kid I knew, there was something about this group of guys that made me feel comfortable talking to them. One kid even stayed with me throughout the entirety of my first program so that I felt at home. After that first program, I knew Simon Atlas was for me. In now my fourth year in AZA, I have become a more confident, outgoing person, as well as a leader. My terms as chairs and board positions have provided priceless experiences about being a leader. But AZA is more than just making new friends and learning how to be a leader; Simon Atlas has a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie that is unparalleled anywhere else. Friends at school are great, but when you join AZA, you gain an international order of brothers. Looking back through my 3+ years in Simon Atlas, there have been countless instances of ‘those’ moments that are simply unforgettable. Whether funny, meaningful, or fraternal, Simon Atlas has it all. Where else can you experience a sleepover where everyone shares their innermost feelings by candlelight, because they trust everyone in that room, or experience programming so meaningful that some break down in tears? And under all of this, is a sense of unity from our Judaic roots, which we explore often. I could not be prouder of this fraternity, and can truly say that with undying love my heart and home is and forever will be Simon Atlas AZA #126.” Sam Mininberg (Life Member)
Whenever people ask me what AZA or BBYO is, the simple answer always tends to be “a Jewish youth group” but that just doesn’t describe it right. Some better answers would be fraternity, leadership, modern Judaism, and lifetime friendships. Simon Atlas has a deeper meaning in my heart, which is family. I first came to SiAt to expand my personal circle of friends. It seemed like a simple plan, hang out on Saturday nights and Mondays, meet new people, have a good time. At this point, I didn’t realize how amazing of a decision I had just made. Now, a year after my first event, I am growing and expanding through Simon Atlas. I have an opportunity to be anything I want to be, and will be accepted for it. The best part of this is that I’m going through this process with the young men I can proudly call my Brother Alephs.“ Chad Gruzin (Life Member)
Words cannot describe what the name Simon Atlas AZA #126 means to me. SiAt provides so much to the people who give it a chance: whether it is becoming a leader and a better person, opening up about my life with numbers of different guys, experiencing once in a lifetime opportunities, or always having a good time. When joining SiAt, I was an 8th grader who didn’t have a set group of friends to spend time with, but SiAt allowed me to form strong friendships with people around the county who I see every single week. SiAt has given me friendships that will last lifetimes. The brotherhood that is there when you walk through the door at a program, in the circle of brother Alephs at Havdalah after programs, and at meetings is seen and felt every single time. You enter SiAt with few or even no friends and leave with hundreds of brothers. I will always look back on my high school years and see that SiAt was the best choice of my life, and truly a life changing experience. If I can give any of you 8th grade boys out there one piece of advice, it would be to give SiAt a chance to impact you the way it has for so many others, including me. There is no better way to experience your high school years.“ Ben Fleischer (Life Member)