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BBYO inspires lasting connections
January 31st, 2014
It’s unlikely that ensuring continuity of the Jewish people is on the minds of the 500 Wisconsin teens who participate in BBYO activities. But that’s the impact of BBYO-Wisconsin Region’s engagement of Jewish teens from grade 6 through high school.
The delegation from Wisconsin Region BBYO that attended BBYO's 2013 International Convention held in Washington, D.C.
The BBYO mission is to deliver fun, meaningful and affordable experiences that inspire a lasting connection to the Jewish people. This is especially important for post-bar/bat mitzvah teens, as they may not have other opportunities for Jewish engagement during high school.
To the teens, BBYO is a fun way to develop relationships with other Jewish teens. Whether it’s a cookout or a 1970s-themed dance or just a chapter sleepover at a member’s house, teens are eager to participate. Part of the reason that programs are such fun for teens — they plan the events themselves.
The emphasis on teen-led programming also gives teens a chance to develop their leadership skills. Matt Levy, a junior at Nicolet High School, is the past president of his chapter, Solomon. This month he will attend the BBYO International Convention in Dallas and is also planning to spend the summer at the International Leadership Training Conference at Perlman Camp in Pennsylvania.
Rachael Badt, executive director, said, “BBYO is a global teen movement, and it’s a great opportunity for people to meet teens not only in their own communities but from around the world.”
BBYO “changed my outlook on leadership,” Levy said. “It has made me more capable of having a role in the Jewish community.” He also said that BBYO is making a difference in his life, “even by influencing me to choose a college with a strong Jewish identity.”
Visit BBYO.org/Region/Wisconsin for more information.