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.
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.
Emigration from one diaspora community to another is not easy. Acclamating to new cultural conditions and somewhat varied home,school, and religious life was not easy. BBYO and my fellow AZA's were there for me when I had no friends, they were my brothers when I had none. I owe a lot to the cause of BBYO, its great and I truly hope it continues to flourish into the future.
Viva la Chartreuse Ostrich!
I was new to Las Vegas and knew no one, I joined BBYO as soon as I moved and met friends that I am still in touch with until today, (23 years later). Meeting girls and boys that had the same values and of course religion as me helped set the course for my Jewish future as a leader in the jewish community, as a mother and a wife. In three months I will have the opportunity to introduce my son to BBYO and all the great memories that I have he will have the opportunity to receive.
BBYO changed my life. Not only did it give me somewhere to belong, it introduced me to my best friends and gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. The leadership opportunities were tremendous, and I can't imagine my high school years without it.