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BBYO is the leading pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 80 years, BBYO has provided exceptional identity enrichment and leadership development experiences for hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens. In 60 communities across North America, Jewish teens connect with one another, volunteer in the community, celebrate their Jewish heritage, prepare for leadership roles, and travel the world together, all within a Jewish context. The power of the experience is proven through BBYO's 250,000 alumni, who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts, and Jewish communal life. Many claim it is BBYO to which they "owe it all," and research shows that BBYO participation leads to powerful Jewish connections, attitudes and practices later in life.
BBYO's renowned leadership model of experiential democracy, with teens leading other teens and creating their own BBYO programs under the guidance of adult volunteers and staff, is carried out through more than 500 AZA chapters (for young men) and BBG chapters (for young women) throughout North America. Starting in 2002, when it became independent from B'nai B'rith, BBYO re-invented and expanded its approach to teen engagement to include opportunities outside of its traditional chapter-based membership model. Through this marriage of tradition and innovation, BBYO increased the number of teens involved in its programs from 13,000 to approximately 26,000 currently. In doing so, BBYO has been able to more effectively carry out its mission.
- Amanda Feuerman
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