What's Next for AZA and BBG?
Posted on 08/19/2012 @ 04:00 PM
The conclusion of AZA BBG August Execs 2012 means that the programming year is about to begin!
What can you look forward to?
Voice Your Vote!
As Jewish teens, we have the responsibility to uphold obligations to our community and country. At Voice Your Vote, we will learn about both sides of the 2012 election so that we can make educated decisions and advocate for what you believe in. We will have the opportunity to volunteer on both sides of the campaign and learn how we can stay civically engaged well after the election.
AZA BBG International Convention 2013!
Washington, DC will host more than 1,000 teens from across the world for a weekend of service, meaningful programming, elections and a uniquely special Shabbat.
March of the Living 2013
Join thousands of Jewish teens internationally to confront the depths of tragedy in Poland and travel on to Israel to celebrate the rebirth of the Jewish People. The March of the Living takes place every April to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel Independence Day.
Summer Experiences 2013!
They were the best days of your life. Now it is time to share that experience with younger Alephs and BBGs. The opportunities are endless as BBYO expands it's offerings to more programs, cities, and dates.
AZA and BBG Business at August Execs
Posted on 08/19/2012 @ 01:00 PM
The Executive Body at AZA BBG Execs 2012 came together to discuss, debate and decide on a number of business items. Read on to see what passed, and what didn't!
- Resolution Recognizing Pacific Western Region BBYO – recognizing the merge of Pacific Coast Region and South Western Region, PASSED
- Resolution to Recognize One – Year Anniversary of BBYO Connect – celebrating last year and committing to further the involvement of AZA and BBG members and leaders with special attention to ensuring a smart, successful and meaningful transitions for 8th graders from BBYO Connect to AZA and BBG, PASSED
- Resolution to Welcome Estonia into BBYO Community – welcoming as Estonia as our newest global affiliate as a result of the Schusterman Foundation supported BBYO/JDC Service Corps Fellow Program, PASSED
- Resolution to Support U.S. Congressional Legislation Recognizing Jewish Refugees Joint Legislation for AZA and BBG – declaring support for the Congressional bill by sending a letter of support to sponsoring representatives and other key Congressional leaders and partner organizations, PASSED
- Resolution to Commend U.S. Congressional Pro-Israel Leadership on the Passage of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act – declaring support for the Congressional bill by sending a letter to the bill’s sponsors thanking them for their bipartisan support, PASSED
- Motion, Scheduling Speak UP for Israel Week 2012 – creating a 7-day period kicking off with AZA and BBG Shabbat, November 9 – November 16, PASSED
- Motion, Establishing the Global Network Committee (GAN) – ensuring the every community affiliated with BBYO share representation and work to build our Movement from a global platform, PASSED
- Motion, Recommendation for a Strategic AZA Membership Committee – focused exclusively on growing AZA membership in the year ahead, PASSED
- Motion, Empowered Democracy Act – expanding the time current allowed by the Constitution to hold business sessions from August and February to monthly, FAILED
- Motion, Resolution to Adopt the BBYO Educational Framework – agreeing to adopt the Educational Framework as a guideline for programming, PASSED
- Motion, to Accept Updated BBG Constitution – updates to BBG Constitution to reflect past motions, new language, PASSED
Lessons in Leadership at August Execs
Posted on 08/19/2012 @ 11:00 AM
On Saturday night we were joined by Officers of BBYO's Board of Directors: Chairwoman Estee Portnoy, Walter Solomon, Marc Saperstein, Stacy Schusterman, Rachel Gebaide, Howard Wohl, Rob Ruby, and BBYO's Executive Director, Matt Grossman.
It was an honor to welcome them to be a part of our August Execs community for Shabbat and dinner, and it was a privilege to be able to learn from them.
The visiting Officers also participated in a program where they sat on a panel to discuss "Lessons in Leadership" and they shared their own experiences with the Execs Body.
This program was led by Grand Aleph Godol, Logan Miller and International N'siah, Sarah Minion. Logan and Sarah asked a series of questions and each officer had only 60-seconds to give their answer. It was really unique to hear about the different experiences they each have had.
They encouraged all of us, and the Alephs and BBGs at home, to think creatively, dream big, face challenges and to not be afraid to make mistakes.
Many thanks to the Officers of BBYO's Board of Directors and for all of the adults who support what we do in our Chapters, Regions and on the international level.
From strength to strength, we strengthen each other.
Tweets for Israel
Posted on 08/19/2012 @ 10:00 AM
Before we began our Shabbat programming on Friday evening we were led by our Grand Shaliach Benji Fages and International Sh'licha Andie Djamal for a program about Israel and the different ways that we could individually and collectively support Israel.
It was a really interesting program and great to hear the different ideas and perspectives from the Execs Body.
At the conclusion of the program we were able to write our own pledges for how we would like to support Israel. Then we made our pledges digital! We got onto our phones and tweeted our commitment to @ISRAEL. We shared our promises with different Heads of State, media outlets and Jewish and Israeli agencies.
This activity started at August Execs with 85 teens tweeting about Israel and in less than 30 minutes our tweets had made more than 100,000 impression and soon teens from around the world were joining us to pledge their own support.
This was a great example of the ways we can mobilize and globalize for our campaigns and initiatives this year.
A Shabbat Experience at August Execs
Posted on 08/19/2012 @ 12:00 AM
On Friday evening we worked to together to plan and develop different Shabbat programs to meet the needs and interests of the entire Execs body. It was very important for our community to try new things, whether that meant prayers in a different style, sung with a new tune, or sitting in separate seating.
Our Shabbat experiences gave the Execs body the opportunity to learn something new and most importantly to choose how they wanted to welcome the Sabbath.
One service was led by Grand Aleph Shaliach, Benji Fages and was conducted in a more traditional style. There was great participation from our Execs body. It was a spirited service and included ruach through the prayers and conversation throughout.
The other service was led by our International Sh'licha Andie Djamal and Grand Aleph S'gan, Ryan Ladd. They were joined by our song leaders, Happie Hoffman and Eric Hunker. Their Shabbat community sang beautiful songs in new melodies.
At the conclusion of our services the entire Execs body joined together for a Shabbat dinner. We enjoyed a beautiful meal and were joined by members of BBYO's Board of Directors' Executive Committee: Walter Solomon, Marc Saperstein, Rob Ruby and Chairwoman of BBYO's Board, Estee Portnoy. It was a great opportunity to share with them the highlights of our weekend so far and to hear their own stories from their time in AZA and BBG.
Day Two in Review
Posted on 08/17/2012 @ 05:00 PM
After a night of rest, we were up early to spend our first full day together here at August Execs. The morning discussions looked into the current state of the order from all stakeholder perspectives, as well as a review of the Five Teen Priorities of our movement.
From there, we moved into an interactive Stand UP program led by our International Sh'lichim, Benji Fages and Andie Djamal. Participants went through rotations where they learned about planning engaging J-Serve projects, the transition from Panim Summits to the new AZA/BBG Issue Summits, and bringing Stand UP to the chapter level. During this program, it was also announced that the first AZA/BBG Issue Summit of the year will be Voice Your Vote, which will be November 5-7 in Cleveland, Ohio. Watch the promotional video below!
Next, we moved into separate business meetings where AZA reviewed a "Recommendation for a Strategic AZA Membership Committee" and BBG adopted a revised constitution. Both AZA and BBG also brainstormed AZA/BBG Shabbat themes, as well as prompts for the International Storytelling and Oratory contests.
After a delicious lunch, we moved directly into a program planned by our International Mazkirim, Nick Phillips and Michaela Brown. Inspired by the Twelve Tribes of Jacob, the exec body was split into twelve tribes where they learned about globalization through the lens of the culture of our movement, an interactive global network, and fundraising for the International Service Fund. The program concluded with an opportunity for co pairs to set goals for globalization involvement and fundraising.
Eager to continue our day of learning, we learned about BBYO's commitment to Israel through our Speak UP initiative. Once again the execs were able to learn about engaging chapters and members with Israel advocacy and education. Concluding our day of hard work, we staged a Twitter takeover where teens, both at execs and across the Order, tweeted at stakeholders and partners in the Israel community with the format; “ @_______, know that I pledge to…. #bbyo4israel.” In the span of just 30 minutes, we were able to spread the hash tag (#bbyo4israel) to over 112,000 members on Twitter!
As we welcome Shabbat, the atmosphere at execs is one of excitement and motivation- we can’t wait to see what the next two days have in store!
Day Two Legislation
Posted on 08/17/2012 @ 01:00 PM
Today in split business meetings, two cool motions were passed!
Check them out!
AZA and BBG Pass Resolution to Support U.S. Congressional Legislation Recognizing Jewish Refugees
Posted on 08/17/2012 @ 01:00 PM
Today concluding our Stand UP program, AZA and BBG passed a motion pertaining to standing up for supporting Jewish refugees around the world. Check out the motion below!
Maker(s): 88th Grand Board, Aleph Zadik Aleph; 68th International Board, B’nai B’rith Girls
Second(s): Ilana Ladis (Miami); Brianna Dines (Michigan); Alexa Vecchio (South Jersey); Jonathan Schuster (Southern: Atlanta); Justin Zimmerman (Gold Coast)
Background WASHINGTON (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
- A bipartisan group of six Congress members is sponsoring a bill that would ensure recognition of the plight of 850,000 Jewish refugees displaced from Arab countries since Israel's War of Independence in 1948. (Jerrod Nadler (D-NY); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); Howard Berman (D-CA); Ted Poe (R-TX); Joe Crowley (D-NY); Bob Turner (R-NY))
- Their bill in the U.S. House of Representatives also would recognize other displaced populations, including Christians from countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf.
- The legislation specifically calls on the Obama administration to pair any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees with a similar reference to Jewish or other refugee populations.
- Both B’nai B’rith International and the World Jewish Congress were among those who applauded the proposed legislation.
- Justice for Jews from Arab Countries has been pushing the issue for many years and was instrumental in obtaining a House resolution on the matter in 2008. The resolution noted that for any “comprehensive Middle East peace agreement to be credible and enduring, the agreement must address and resolve all outstanding issues relating to the legitimate rights of all refugees, including Jews, Christians and other populations displaced from countries in the Middle East.”
- The U.S. Senate is considering a similar resolution.
- “The suffering and terrible injustices visited upon Jewish refugees in the Middle East needs to be acknowledged,” said U.S. Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-N.Y.), the lead sponsor of the measure. “It is simply wrong to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing the rights of nearly 1 million Jewish refugees who suffered terrible outrages at the hands of their former compatriots.”
- “Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries and Iran endured unimaginable hardships,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a news release sent to JTA. “Their plight has been ignored by the United Nations, other international bodies and many responsible nations. Any comprehensive Middle East peace agreement can only be credible and enduring if it resolves all issues related to the rights of all refugees in the Arab world and Iran, including Jews, Christians and others.”
Whereas, AZA and BBG are committed to ensuring the safety, recognition and rights of the Jewish People – and all other people – regardless of location, criteria or borders; and
Whereas, AZA and BBG are committed to ‘Standing UP’ and ‘Speaking UP’ for all those within and beyond our community in need of advocacy, support and protection; and
Whereas, BBYO has been a vital communal component of the Jewish community’s framework since our founding, notably in the aftermath of the Shoah (Holocaust) by aiding Jewish refugees, by supporting the Yishuv in the establishment of the Jewish State, by advocating for the safe migration of Syria’s Jewish population in 1972 and the years-long efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry;
Be it hereby resolved that the 2012-2013 Executive Body, on behalf of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the B’nai B’rith Girls, declares our support for this Congressional bill; and
Be it moved that the 2012-2013 Executive Body (utilizing volunteer authors on site during this conference) send a letter to the sponsoring representatives, and other key Congressional leaders and partner organizations expressing our support for this bill’s passage.
Kicking Off August Execs!
Posted on 08/16/2012 @ 11:00 PM
Since welcoming over eighty of BBYO’s International Executives to Capital Camps and Retreat Center last night, August Execs has been in full swing. The evening got off to a great start as we welcomed family, friends, and BBYO special guests to the Inaugural Address of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and B’nai B’rith Girls, given by Sarah Minion, the 66th International N’siah, and Logan Miller, the 88th Grand Aleph Godol. Their remarks were both inspirational and informative as they introduced the 2012-2013 teen priorities.
Soon after the inaugural addresses were delivered, the 88th Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the 68th International Board of the B’nai B’rith Girls were installed. It was the beginning of many milestones to come from these teens, as they are the first board to hail from three different countries.
Following the ceremony, the teens were engaged for the rest of the evening in programs that centered on furthering current democratic practices of the organization. Teens searched for innovative solutions to old challenges, brainstormed how to prioritize chapters in innovative, bold ways, and made significant strides in owning the movement as their own.
Keep looking back for more information on the happenings at Execs!
Getting Pumped for Execs
Posted on 08/15/2012 @ 09:00 PM
Today the International Boards and the rest of the August Execs team headed up to Capital Camps to set up for the big weekend ahead. Execs and guests will be staying at the newly finished Nesiya Retreat Center at Capital Camps in Waynesboro, PA. As the first group to stay at the building, participants can expect spacious meeting rooms, as well as comfortable living spaces.
Some things to look forward to this weekend include: the Inaugural Address from our 88th Grand Aleph Godol, Logan Miller, and 68th International N'siah, Sarah Minion, increased opportunities to participate in BBYO's pluralistic atmosphere through three optional services daily, the making of AZA/BBG history during business meetings, interactive, teen-led programming centered on the Five Priorities, and a unique opportunity to interact with members of BBYO's Board of Directors.
A new, fun element of Execs this year is our very own Execs Shuk, featuring BBYO apparel and accessories at sale prices. We are also running a silent auction for two lucky execs to come home with their very own AZA or BBG banner! All proceeds from the shuk will go towards the International Service Fund (ISF). Other fun aspects include a "co spirit" competition and opportunities to be featured in upcoming promotional videos for BBYO.
Throughout the weekend, be sure to follow the action on this blog and using the official Twitter hashtag: #AZABBGExecs. Have something you want to see on the blog? Be sure to comment below!
We can't wait to see you all tomorrow as we celebrate the beginning of yet another momentous year of our movement!