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A Great First Day at #AZABBGExecs2014

Posted on 08/14/2014 @ 10:00 PM

August Execs took off with a great (and early, for some) start! Delegates met up in the hustle and bustle of the BWI airport, shaking hands and learning names in a crowded restaurant. Like at every BBYO convention, we all had fun making funny first impressions and branching out. It was very clear that every delegate was energetic, excited, and enthusiastic about their region. Everyone was so eager to begin planning for an amazing year in AZA and BBG!

Once we all arrived at Capital Camps, we were immediately stunned by the beautiful facilities and scenery. The cabins that we're staying in are on top of a long and windy hill, overlooking the whole camp. We dropped off our luggage and went right back outside for a relaxing afternoon of getting to know one and other. It was amazing to see everyone instantly relating to each other about their past BBYO experiences. Whether the topic was summer programs, conventions, or regional programs, everyone had something to talk about. I didn't meet one person with whom I didn't have at least one mutual friend! Jewish geography really became the theme of the afternoon. And before we all knew it, we were surrounded by our new #AZABBGExecs2014 friends.

Later in the evening, we transitioned to dinner, followed by International Board installations and the inaugural address given by Sam Perlen and Amanda Freedman. Needless to say, we were all inspired by the entire ceremony. It was great to see installations and witness the beginning of BBYO's journey for the year. Then, as Sam and Amanda spoke about strengthening the movement in their inaugural address, everyone sat wide-eyed thinking about the potential we have when we're together, יָחַד, as BBYO leaders.

Later, each delegate regrouped with their co to talk about their region's strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own, and devised a game plan for the conference. This will help us throughout the weekend while we discuss the Movement's priorities for the year. Afterwards, we were put in pairs with other delegates to bond and find commonalities (shout out to my partner Sam from St. Louis Council!). Throughout the weekend, we're supposed to catch up with our partner in order to gain a new perspective about a different region. I can't wait to see what I learn!

After a long night of excitement, it was finally time for bed. Reflecting back on the day, I can't think of how it could have gone any better. I am humbled to be surrounded by so many inspiring and strong people, and I'm looking forward to spending the upcoming days of August Execs with them!

- Melanie Weiskopf, Achot BBG, Northern Region East: Baltimore Council N'siah


Wisconsin N'siah takes on August Execs

Posted on 08/14/2014 @ 09:00 PM

Whether it be cars, planes, or trains we have all arrived at Capital Camps! We started off the evening by watching our wonderful new BBG and AZA boards become installed for the 2014-2015 programming year. As the night progressed we enjoyed the companies of our Co-President and new "best friend," another Godol or N'siah from another region who we were able to learn from. During the icebreaker we designed a strategic game plan to get the most out of our #AZABBGExecs2014 experience, and it really set the tone for the weekend.

We went to bed excited for the next day's programming as well as our final BBYO Shabbat of the summer.

- Hilary Miller, Eden BBG, Wisconsin Regional N'siah


T-1 Day Until August Execs

Posted on 08/13/2014 @ 06:00 PM

This morning we woke up to a big window view of a beautiful sunrise that framed the greenery of Capital Camps. Needless to say, it was breathtaking. The calmness ended quickly as we hustled downstairs to breakfast and then to work. All through the day we perfected our programs, tying up any loose ends before opening day—TOMORROW! All of our program outlines were double and triple checked, edited and re-edited, all to ensure that everything runs smoothly throughout the conference.

Our work calmed down after lunch—which, by the way, was delicious! (Seriously, we had sushi)-- and we all ran through our programs, training sessions, and services one last time before sending them off to the printer. With the t-shirt design and campsite decoration process also complete, we are more than ready to welcome your regional execs tomorrow afternoon.

With all of our preparations for the conference complete, we’ll be holding a board business meeting tonight to make some final plans for the year. For those of you with questions about the International Leadership Network (ILN), Summer Coordinator Applications, and all other business, have no fear, they will be answered soon after #AZABBGExecs2014!

By the way, be sure to check all of your social media accounts Friday night to see a fun surprise video from your International Board. It’ll really give you the chills…

Don’t forget to keep following the blog and #AZABBGExecs2014 on social media to keep up with all that’s going on at Capital Camps!

Frats and Respects,

Mazki-Roni and Jake, your International Mazkirim Team


Hello AZA and BBG, and Welcome to Capital Camps!

Posted on 08/12/2014 @ 08:00 PM

Well, virtually, of course.

For the past few weeks, your International Board has worked day and night to plan #AZABBGExecs2014, and we finally arrived at Capital Camps this morning to put finishing touches on the program. On the schedule, we have Movement Initiative training programs that will turn your presidents into experts when it comes to understanding why we have them and how to use them, BBG and AZA separates to unite the N’siah Network and Godolim Team as one force, and a huge launch party to kick-off the year!

We all arrived to BWI airport by 2 p.m., and instead of a boring white shuttle taking us to camp, we made our way to Capital Camps in our very own party bus! (BBYO doesn’t do boring.)


The ride gave us an hour and a half to bond as a board. Now that we’re here, we’re ready to kick it into gear and get to work!

For the next two days, we will be perfecting our programs and preparing for the arrival of your council and regional Execs. Once we’re all together, we’ll start working on building a stronger future for the Jewish people!

Be sure to follow this blog and the hashtag #AZABBGExecs2014 throughout the week to stay in-the-loop about all of the magic that is taking place right here at Capital Camps!

Frats and Respects,

The Mazkirim Team

Jake Nitzkin and Roni Rose


Resources from August Execs 2013

Posted on 08/18/2013 @ 12:55 PM

You'll find below some of the resources that were distributed and utilized at August Execs 2013. These tools can and should be used at Chapter, Council and Regional leadership training meetings/conventions. Additional resources will be posted in the coming weeks at the new AZA and BBG website. If you need additional materials, please be in touch with any member of the AZA Grand Board, BBG International Board or AZA and BBG Staff Team. Here's to a great year!

AZA and BBG General Resources

Chapter Development and Program Excellence

Campaigns and Initiatives


August Execs 2013: AZA BBG For Every Jewish Teen

Posted on 08/18/2013 @ 12:45 PM

When BBYO’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Grossman took the podium Thursday night to address the AZA BBG International Executives Body, he said it best, “BBYO has thrived for 89 years, but this August meeting – the Executives Body – has only been experienced 89 times.” It’s a special occasion when the elected representatives of BBYO’s global network of Jewish teens are able to gather together to learn, grow, challenge and plan for the future together. And, that’s just what we did.

This weekend we evaluated our plans, affirmed our goals and worked through strategies on how we’d collectively and individually achieve them. We learned more about how our Movement Priorities give our Order purpose and if leveraged could bring depth and meaning to the regular programming that we offer on a weekly and monthly basis. While we learned from top-notch educators, we also learned from one another, as we compared our communities and absorbed all that we could about what was working in one place so we could replicate it in all places.

The weekend culminated with a huge launch party for AZA BBG International Convention 2014 hosted by BBYO Lonestar Region and BBYO North Texas Oklahoma Region in Dallas, Texas in February. This is our Movement’s largest annual moment, and the next time the AZA BBG International Executive Body will be able to meet in person. The theme of the year was also revealed: ‘Welcome Home’, further conveying that regardless as to whether it’s at a chapter meeting, at International Convention, at a sports tournament, at a summer experience or in Israel, where AZA and BBG are, we’re building community for Jewish teens anywhere and everywhere – we’re providing a them a home.

Thanks for staying with us throughout the weekend and look for more news from the AZA BBG International Executives Body in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing y’all in Texas!


August Execs 2013: AZA BBG Int'l Joint Business Meeting

Posted on 08/18/2013 @ 12:45 AM

The AZA BBG International Executives Body meets monthly – in person or via technology – to discuss important issues, to debate business that will advance our Movement forward, and to vote on legislation (either motioned by the International Boards or from the Executives Body/any Aleph or B’nai B’rith Girl) that alters the AZA and/or BBG’s constitution, BBYO’s policies and procedures or the infrastructure of the organization. At times, the AZA BBG International Executives Body votes on resolutions or recommendations to ignite culture change or to speak with one voice on behalf of BBYO’s global community to the broader Jewish or secular communities. Essentially, the AZA BBG International Executives Body functions like BBYO’s Senate, the upper chamber of a government’s Parliament or similarly to the Israeli K’nesset.

The first AZA BBG International Joint Business Meeting of the year opened with AZA rituals, and immediately, the meeting’s agenda got underway. You can catch up on all of the details of what transpired via the minutes, which will be posted on the AZA BBG website in the coming days. In summary, the Executives Body reviewed past minutes from AZA BBG International Convention 2013 in Washington, D.C., the series of ‘Movement moments’ since February (East Coast Kallah, the March of the Living, J-Serve, Stand UP Week, AIPAC Policy Conference, Stand UP and Rebuild Summit, Summer Programs 2013, the launch of BEYOND, etc.) and the new plan for the updated International Leadership Network.

You can download and read the full text of each of this August’s full motions in the legislative booklet that is posted on the blog page. In summary, here’s a list of the business discussed and the result following full votes:

  • AZA BBG Global Shabbat themes are available for voting online:
  • AZA BBG Oratory and Storytelling themes have been selected and will be posted for online voting once Alumni of the Year nominees are selected
  • Resolution Recognizing BBYO Mid-America Region: North Star Council – recognizing the transition of North Star Region into a Council of Mid-America Region, PASSED
  • Resolution Recognizing BBYO Liberty Region – recognizing the merger of Central Region East and Philadelphia Region, PASSED
  • Resolution Recognizing Slovakia and Lithuania as New BBYO Communities, PASSED
  • Motion, Approving the Creation of CLTC Session #8 to Accommodate Demand, PASSED
  • Motion, Establish Position of Mekasher/Mekasheret (VP of BBYO Connect and 8th Grade Recruitment/Rush Captains) at Chapter, Council, Regional levels, PASSED
  • Motion, Recruitment Requirements for Life Ceremony Eligibility, FAILED


August Execs 2013: Shabbat and Day 3's Program

Posted on 08/18/2013 @ 12:30 AM

Celebrating Shabbat at Capital Camps was truly something else. Grand Aleph Shaliach Gary Levine and International Sh’licha Tracey Katz worked with our staff, the I-Boards, and a number of Council and Regional Execs to create an inspirational, peaceful, and warm Shabbat environment. Each element of Shabbat highlighted BBYO’s tradition of offering choice and embracing pluralism, and was entirely teen facilitated with the goal in mind of modeling how Shabbat experience should be offered in each of our communities.

As always, Friday evening started off with a frenzy pictures. Everyone gathered together outside under a beautiful sunset to take in one last summer Shabbat greeting. Friends gathered in a myriad of categorical groups ranging from CLTC sessions to ILTC Blueprints to ILSI buses to Hubs to all ‘Rachels’. It was amazing to see how quickly this network had embraced one another in such a deep way.

Kabbalat Shabbat services were led by Gary and Tracey and were accompanied by our internationally renowned song leaders Eric Hunker, and Happie Hoffman. Held outside in a large, wooden amphitheater, the rich diversity of melodies and tunes ignited spirited song and traditional Carlebach dance. Shabbat dinner was followed by a series of issue-based conversations focused on hot topics in Israel that will all result in strong program templates on a variety of themes for chapters later this fall seeking to implement Speak UP for Israel activities. The evening ended with options for shira (song session), an Oneg Shabbat with Tish (stories, niggunim and tefillah), and hanging out until the early hours of the morning.

Saturday morning begin with multiple Shacharit options that afforded all participants either musical or traditional tefillah services. Our morning also included a series of program workshops specifically focused on Jewish holidays throughout the program year that AZA and BBG will leverage as ‘Movement moments’. Execs looked Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Pesach, Yom HaShoah, HaZikaron, Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim and built potential program templates that celebrated the very best of each of these dates, while utilizing the creativity and experiences of everyone involved in the discussions.

Following lunch, the Execs resumed their workshop schedule and explored the Movement priority of ‘Act Globally, Impact Locally’ to advance our Globalization efforts around the world, and dove into Program Quality and Excellence as we prepare for another year filled with thousands of chapter programs, hundreds of conventions and countless meetings. Important decisions were made, and regional plans were updated that should amplify our Movement’s efforts on these two important agenda items.

After a town hall conversation with Matt Grossman, BBYO’s Chief Executive Officer, the Execs joined with BBYO’s newest professionals to mark the transition of Havdallah and welcomed the new week – and the new year – together with prayers and songs. It was a beautiful ceremony that put everyone in an excited mood for our late-night legislative session to come, AZA and BBG’s first International Joint Business Meeting of the 2013-2014/5773-5774 program year.


August Execs 2013: Day Two Recap

Posted on 08/16/2013 @ 05:30 PM

Once the teens went over the 2013 Movement priorities, the broke into sessions throughout the day to talk about them more in depth.

The first two sessions throughout the day were related to growing the movement. The Execs brainstormed about how they can work toward moving AZA and BBG to take ownership of BBYO Connect, focusing on 8th grade and recruiting through chapters. In relation to recruitment in particular, their strategy is to first engage the broader community via large-scale programming. From there, more chapter-specific programming encourages connections with current members and education about AZA, BBG and BBYO as a whole. The goal then is to drive interest in members-only programs which really get to the core of what BBYO is about – which ultimately leads to growth in membership.

They later engaged in a session about expanding BBYO Stand UP to further BBYO’s impact. The goals this year are to track over 100,000 hours of community service and create 200 new chapter service campaigns through the BBYO Stand UP website. A first step in working toward a greater impact is this fall’s Teen Issue Summit – Hunger is Not a Game: A Teen Issue Summit on Hunger Awareness and Advocacy on November 10-12 in Detroit, Michigan.

Shortly after, the teens had a discussion with members of the Development team about the BBYO Friends and Alumni Network (FAN) and how to grow that community in their regions through particular strategies like phone-a-thons.

The teens finished the day with an interactive session about social media best practices – specifically, how to deal with certain tricky situations that are likely to arise while they are regional leaders.

This packed day of programming has now come to an end and the teens are resting up and getting ready for Shabbat. Soon, they will come together again before sundown in their dresses and slacks, mingle and take lots of photos!

Until the next post, Shabbat Shalom from August Execs 2013!


Movement Priorities Overview

Posted on 08/16/2013 @ 11:00 AM

After a morning of AZA and BBG Separates discussing AZA and BBG Global Shabbat, Storytelling and Oratory themes, the Execs came together to review the Movement priorities for the year. Check them out!


August Execs 2013 Kicks Off

Posted on 08/15/2013 @ 10:00 PM

To say excitement was in the air is an understatement. Talking, laughing, hugging and handshakes overtook the greeting area at Capital Camps as nearly 90 council and regional godolim and n’siot gathered in anticipation of August Execs. Arm in arm, everyone headed to dinner before the start of the first program.

After a welcome message from Ian Kandel and Anita Bormaster, BBYO Executive Director Matt Grossman shared heartfelt words highlighting both the magnitude and the honor of being installed into the International Order of BBYO. With that, Mika Stein and Michaela Brown were officially installed into the 89th Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the 69th International Board of the B’nai B’rith Girls. After their Inaugural Address, the remaining International Board members - Ryan Dishell, Jake Cook, Dan Widawsky, Gary Levine, Maya Guthman, Kate Reinertson, Sofie Jacobs and Tracey Katz - were installed as well.


AZA Installations - August Execs 2013


BBG Installations - August Execs 2013

Later, the teens talked about what it means to be a part of the Execs body. “We are the representatives of our members back home.” “We are the leaders of the change we want to see in our regions and in the Order.” “We work together and gain ideas from each other to bring back to our regions.” While all of these things – and more – are true, they were ultimately reminded, “You are the heartbeat of our Order.”

The night moved into icebreakers featured on the teen priorities: BBYO Stand UP, Speak UP, Globalization, Growth and Program Excellence. With this much energy, passion and drive in just one night, August Execs 2013 is sure to produce some amazing things.

Until tomorrow - Laila Tov.


Get Excited for August Execs 2013!

Posted on 08/14/2013 @ 04:00 PM

AZA and BBG’s International August Executives Converence (August Execs) is a gathering of the International Order’s leaders - almost every North American council/regional Godol and N’siah will be in attendance. They come together to review legislation, set BBYO’s priorities and drum up passion and excitement to motivate their regions for the coming year.

While BBYO moves forward, friends from BBYO Summer Experiences are reunited one last time before the school year begins. And, while some long-time friends turned cross-country counterparts are reunited, many others meet the rest of the regions’ leaders and the International and Grand Boards for the first time.

Decked out in regional spirit, chapter clothing and cowboy hats to kick off IC excitement, regional and International co’s alike will be competing for the title of Cutest Co’s or Most Spirited Regional Godol and N’siah.

Everyone will arrive at Capital Camps tomorrow - screaming and hugging their International friends, sporting their best regional t-shirts.

The excitement builds as the weekend continues, with events like International Board installations, Shabbat and Havdallah, priority sessions, business meetings and much, much more.

Every day brings something new to learn, not only from the educators and session leaders, but also from everyone’s counterparts and friends. As we learn from resources and guides, we also learn from one another, gaining experience and new views on tactics used in each of our regions.

We are beyond thrilled to see everyone. As excited as we are to help move our International Order forward and educate one another, we are even more excited to be together as one united executive body - learning, teaching, and growing with one another.

Make sure to follow this blog and #AZABBGExecs2013 on Twitter to keep up with the August Execs action!

See everyone tomorrow!

Sofie Jacobs and Daniel Widawsky
Your International Mazkirim


August Execs 2013 Starts Next Week!

Posted on 08/07/2013 @ 01:27 PM

Be sure to check into this blog as we live blog August Execs 2013!


What's Next for AZA and BBG?

Posted on 08/19/2012 @ 04:00 PM

Tags: augustexecs2012

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.

Voice Your Vote will be November 5 - 7, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio

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.

Registration opens October 4, 2012 for BBYO's largest ever International Convention.

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.

Registration is now open for the 2013 delegation!

Summer Experiences 2013!

Plan your Summer

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.

Learn more about BBYO's Summer Experiences

See the thousands of pictures from BBYO's 2012 Summer Experiences!


AZA and BBG Business at August Execs

Posted on 08/19/2012 @ 01:00 PM

Tags: augustexecs2012

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

Tags: augustexecs2012

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

Tags: augustexecs2012

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

Tags: augustexecs2012

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

Tags: augustexecs2012

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!


AZA and BBG Pass Resolution to Support U.S. Congressional Legislation Recognizing Jewish Refugees

Posted on 08/17/2012 @ 01:00 PM

Tags: augustexecs2012

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.


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