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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

BBYO

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development

Mission: BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement in North America aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 80 years, AZA and BBG (boys and girls chapters respectively) in communities around the world have been providing exceptional leadership programs and Jewish identity enrichment, shaping the lives of 250,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life. Now, more than ever, BBYO offers innovative opportunities for teens to connect with one another, serve their communities, navigate the college admissions process and travel the world, providing each participant with a network of lifelong friends, a perspective which adds value and meaning to life and a shared commitment toward strengthening the Jewish future. 

Programs: Inspired by our past and motivated by the needs of the future, BBYO is committed to reaching Jewish teens in unprecedented numbers. This commitment comes at a critical point, as the Jewish community is struggling to connect young people to their heritage and history. Fewer and fewer Jewish teens are engaging in Jewish life following their b'nai mitzvot, and one study shows that by the time Jewish teens reach their senior year of high school, less than 30% are involved in any formal or informal Jewish experiences. As a teen-led, pluralistic organization, BBYO is uniquely positioned to reverse this trend and to ensure a more secure Jewish future by using new approaches and emerging technologies to capture the Jewish teen market in ways that were once unimaginable. Key to the organization's success has been a highly effective leadership model operating on the local, national and international levels through a fraternity/sorority-based chapter structure. Formerly affiliated with B'nai B'rith, in 2002, BBYO was restructured as an independent international organization. While still capitalizing upon its leadership development programs, this move to independence affords BBYO the opportunity to forge a new direction and adopt a much more expansive and transformational approach to engaging Jewish teens. BBYO now offers a broad array of social, political, spiritual and cultural opportunities. Jewish teens are encouraged to create and lead their own communities through local chapters and BBYO's unique online network - www.b-linked.org. Once connected, they have access to a variety of resources to help them through the college admissions process, take part in community service projects, travel to Israel and around the world and communicate with their peers.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

karenflam

Donor

Rating: 4

BBYO is an important social forum for Jewish Youth of any denomination.

Previous Stories
1

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

BBYO and Central Region East BBG was a very important part of my Jr. High & High School experience. Growing up in a mostly Christian part of PA, this was a low stress, fun way to meet other Jewish teens, make friends and have tons of fun. I also attended ILTC which was a great experience.

8

Board Member

Rating: 1

i was a member in PCR region. On board. Now i joined to make new friends, and i did. i was enjoying up until i went to an Official event. i thought bbyo wasnt supposed to be about drugs. but there was kids smoking weed, drinking, and other stuff. its not ok. I recently quit. i experienced this in 6 different chapters around the PCR region. Some of the Older kids (senior, junior, sophmores) where getting freshmen and 8th graders into drugs. thats not okay with me. And also, there is a lot of racial discrimination. They would use the "n" word a lot! and other terrible and rude words. i do not recomend signing your child in BBYO. its not a good organization

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a member of the Big Apple Region from 2002 through 2006. In that time, I gained the most comprehensive leadership experience I could possibly have gotten. In addition to be selected to the Young Leadership Institute as a freshman, I was my chapter's Shomerit Habrit (Sunshine Girl), N'siah and Regional Mazkirah. Perhaps the experience that I reflect most upon in the years since I was involved in BBYO was my participation as a delegate to the 2006 March of the Living. I am confident that I would never have had the experience of going to Poland and seeing the horrors and destruction of the Holocaust and then immediately after being able to go to Israel, to see the Jewish homeland and how the Jewish people have risen from the ashes to remain a united people.

13

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was in BBYO in the early 90's and had a truly transformation Jewish experience that has shaped my life. Not only did I marry someone I met through BBYO, but I had my first Israel Experience through ISI. My experience in BBYO led me to focus on a career in Jewish Communal Service in my 20's. BBYO is a wonderful Jewish experience and I hope my child will have the same opportunity that my husband and I did in shaping our Jewish identity.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

BBYO has provided me and teens across the world with a true Jewish experience. From meeting Jewish teens like myself to learning how to become a Jewish leader in my community, I cannot begin to fathom all the ways that BBYO has affected my everyday life. From BBYO, I have embraced my Jewish Heritage and have learned what it truly means to be a leader.

9

Former staff

Rating: 4

I was a member of BBYO and subsequently a staff member. Membership in BBYO fundamentally changed my life, affording me an opportunity to learn interperonal and leadership skills, to be exposed to young Jews accross our nation, to put our traditions to work performing service for others in need, and many other ways too numerous to mention.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great for both of my children. Happy we found it! My daughter grew as a great leader, coordinator and speaker within the organization Regards, Ella R.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son started BBYO in 2008 at the beginning of his 9th grade year. He experienced a tough year starting high school....the pressure, the AP classes, a new school, girlfriend issues, you name it...he went through it! BBYO was the touchstone that brought him through this very difficult year. He is now fully active and is an officer of his chapter (Hurricane's in Miami) and is striving to take a position as a regional officer and attending IC 2010 as well. He is fully invested in BBYO, as my husband was many years ago. It has played a large part of getting him through some very trying times and we, as parents, feel so thankful for this program.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was an amazing experience in high school that shaped myself as a leader, friend, and person. I learned how to stand infront of a crowd and give a speech, how to manage a room filled with thirty high schools girls, and I learned how great of a leader I can be. BBYO deserves this award, and I am grateful for my experience.

1

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

BBYO brought me to the friends I still have now, 27 years later. I remain best friends with my first AZA friend even today. Now, I see not only my kid and my friend's kids, but I see the children born of "my kids" when I was an advisor, as they too have now grown up. And many stay in touch with each other, not to mention me. From my awkward teen years, to Israel for the first time, to being an advisor, I would need dozens of pages to recite the best years of my life.