Since their establishment in 1924 and 1944, the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) and B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) have served as BBYO’s core teen leaders. With more than 600 chapters worldwide, AZA and BBG, rooted in brotherhood and sisterhood, provide a place for teens to build a movement capable of creating change surrounding today’s critical issues all while learning important skills such as public speaking, event planning, and project management.
AZA and BBG teens also explore their Jewish identities on a deeply personal level while developing lifelong friendships and having fun. Based on a local network of teen-led, democratically functioning chapters partnered with opportunities for international travel, conventions and summer experiences, AZA and BBG’s unique programming convenes and connects Jewish teens of all backgrounds who will become inspired to live Jewish lives while making a difference in the world.
About the Aleph Zadik Aleph
The Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) is the fraternity component of BBYO. Since its establishment in 1924, AZA has provided Jewish and personal enrichment to hundreds of thousands of young men throughout the world. It's Hebrew letters - Aleph, Zadik, Aleph - stand for Ahava, Tzedakah, Ahdoot, which symbolize fraternal love, benevolence and harmony.
With emphasis on the importance of the well-rounded individual, AZA's unique programming includes social programming with B'nai B'rith Girls and other AZA chapters, community service projects, athletic tournaments and Judiac enrichment programs. The diversity of programming, coupled with the sense of camaraderie and leadership training, provided by AZA simply cannot be paralleled by any other youth organization. Often, AZA chapters plan events jointly with local BBG (B'nai B'rith Girls) chapters.
To learn more about the history of the Aleph Zadik Aleph, click here.
About the B'nai B'rith Girls
For more than 65 years, the B'nai B'rith Girls (BBG), the sorority component of BBYO, has helped teenage girls build leadership potential and self-improvement, develop a positive Jewish identity and form friendships that last a lifetime.
Like AZA, BBG offers young women the opportunity to enjoy social, athletic, community service and Judaic programming. BBG is a place where all Jewish teenage girls can have fun, develop relationships, embrace tradition and community, and find something inside themselves that only the B'nai B'rith Girls can bring out. It is no wonder why so many BBG members say they feel at home in BBG. Often, BBG chapters plan events jointly with local AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) chapters.
To learn more about the history of the B'nai B'rith Girls, click here.
AZA and BBG are teen-led organizations. Each chapter, council, region, and international program elects officers with different responsibilities in order to sustain the Order. Chapter officers serve six-month or full-year terms. On the council, region, and international levels, all officers serve for one year. Click here to learn more about leadership structures and the various leadership positions in AZA and BBG.
AZA and BBG Begins with Members
While countless opportunities for leadership exist within AZA and BBG, the organizations succeed due to the active participation of all Alephs and BBGs. It is every member’s right to utilize AZA and BBG to their full capacity, whether it be attending programs, assisting in event planning, inviting other Jewish teens to get involved or by serving as active members of the Jewish community.
AZA and BBG are Built on Pluralism
The Aleph Zadik Aleph and B'nai B'rith Girls have always been a Movement that Jewish young men and women can join regardless of their levels of Jewish observance. It is the mission of AZA and BBG to create a united Jewish community that grows because they celebrates Judaism’s differences. At conventions, programs, and summer experiences, Alephs and BBGs are encouraged to learn more about the different Jewish customs and rituals from other Alephs and BBGs from around the world. AZA and BBG are very privileged to welcome many kinds of Judaism, but also many different kinds of Jews. AZA and BBG are open to all men and women regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. This notion was affirmed by the “Stand UP for Each Other” campaign, an initiative that present the cardinal principle of fraternity within the context of inclusivity – creating a safe space for all Jewish teens in AZA and BBG.
Levels of AZA and BBG
Because there are thousands of Alephs and BBGs around the world, it is necessary to break AZA and BBG down into smaller groups. The following structure has been developed over time to maximize each Aleph’s and BBG's opportunity for involvement.
Chapters: The smallest, most personal, and arguably most important group within AZA and BBG is the chapter. Each member of AZA and BBG belongs to a chapter and each chapter functions much like a large family. Chapters plan programs geared toward the interests of their members and train new members in the ways of AZA and BBG. A chapter’s small size allows for the development of strong bonds between the Alephs and BBGs of the chapter. The chapter is the most important level of AZA and BBG because it affects Alephs and BBGs most directly.
Councils:Several chapters in the same area may be grouped into a council. Some areas have councils and others do not. They are usually used to break up large regions in order to provide additional leadership opportunities and make communities of chapters more manageable. Councils exist to serve the chapters and to allow for interaction between chapters.
Regions: Chapters in a larger area are grouped into regions. They vary in size from one large city to several states or provinces. Regions serve to bring chapters together so that they can exchange ideas, socialize, compete, and work together on larger projects. Regions also exist to serve the chapters and to help them in any way possible. Councils and regions represent all AZA and BBG communities at the international level.
Note: Certain regions that are composed of councils elect council boards as opposed to a single regional board. This scenario, known as council predominance, may occur for a variety of reasons, such as large geographic distance between councils, very large regional membership, or if the councils vary in strength to the point where each council is better served by independent leadership.