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Happy AZA Founders' Day!

Posted on 05/01/2015 @ 12:15 PM

Growing up, I always looked forward to my birthday. I got a lot of presents, I got a lot of food, and I got to spend time with family. My whole life, I have had my birthday hover around Thanksgiving break. I was lucky - Thanksgiving also just so happens to be my favorite holiday.

Birthdays to me are about a few things:

  1. Celebrating a personal milestone of age
  2. Being thankful for all who have helped you get to this point in life
  3. Presents

Mother Chapter AZA #1's charter

Today though, on AZA Founders' Day, it is important to incorporate all three of these ideas. 91 is quite a milestone for a Jewish youth group started by 14 Jewish boys built off of revolt. Our quest to where we are as a Movement are today has not always been easy. We have had years where we have barely survived, but we have also had years like this past year where we have shown the world what we as a Movement are all about. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to celebrate 90 years where it all began: in Omaha, Nebraska. I felt like a kid in a candy store with the history and pride for AZA that surrounded me. I was able to come face-to-face with the original charter of Mother Chapter AZA #1, and I had the great pleasure to shake the hand of and have conversation with a friend of Sam Beber’s. Being able to celebrate our rich history where it all began was a special opportunity that I will not soon forget.


Your 90th and 91st!

Looking back on our last 91 years, we need to all say "thank you." With my birthday this year landing on Thanksgiving, I said a lot of thanks to my family and friends for helping me on my journey to becoming the man and Aleph I am today. Just like how I would not be the man I am today without my family and friends, BBYO would not be the empowering movement we are without very special people; people like Sam Beber, who had a vision for the Jewish future to be built by the youth, and Lynn Schusterman, who saved a dream from being no more. We also must thank the 14 Jewish boys who came to Sam Beber with a plan that would change the future for hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens all around the world. I also personally want to thank the members who helped to inspire me in AZA to reach for more and not settle for average. Members like Alex Metzman, Barry Goldsmith, Jacob Geltzer and Josh Halper. These are just a few members from my chapter (Athens of the South AZA #258), but there are so many more in our chapters that make a difference daily.

Now, for my favorite part, the presents! When it comes to presents, they are much better when they are earned and meaningful. In our 90th year, BBYO has put in an immense amount of work, and now it is time to celebrate with presents. BBYO membership and excitement is at an all-time high, and this is a gift that we owe to not just us, but also to everyone else who has contributed. This present is for the 14 boys in Omaha who were visionaries. This present is for every single member from the last 90 years who has put blood, sweat, and tears into BBYO. Now, it is up to every single member on this day and every day going forward to create presents like we have had and celebrated this year.

May we celebrate years like this year for the next 910.

Happy AZA Founders' Day!

Fraternally submitted with an undying love for, Athens of the South AZA #258, Cotton States Region #72, the past 90 years, to the next 910 more, and the Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph, and the 7 Cardinal Principles upon which it stands,

I will forever remain Aleph Samuel Albert Perlen, proud to be your 90th Grand Aleph Godol.


We pledged allegiance to BBYO


Jumping for joy on AZA Founders' Day!


90 says Happy B-day AZA!

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