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Resolution on Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders

Posted on 08/13/2010 @ 03:30 PM

You may remember that the Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders began last year and is a unified alliance consisting of the international presidents of BBYO, NCSY, NFTY, and USY. It started together to connect our teen movements and to establish natural communication between our leaders. Please read the following resolution below which continues to strengthen the Coalition:

Overview:

Many teens in today’s generation belong to a youth movement. Youth movements are seen as a social outlet and each has its own identity, history and story. For teens heavily involved in a youth movement, a sense of pride is associated with membership. Each teen wants to see the movement they belong to flourish, succeed and grow. In Jewish youth movements, this is no different. These movements include, but are not limited to: BBYO, United Synagogue Youth (USY), North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), Young Judaea and Jewish Student Union (JSU). In recent years, tension between some Jewish youth movements has impeded partnership opportunities and a chance to make an even greater difference in the world.

The Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders is a unified alliance consisting of the international presidents of BBYO, NCSY, NFTY, and USY. We have joined together to connect our teen movements and to establish natural communication between our leaders. United as one force, we will stand behind causes we care about, voice our opinions about world issues, and leave an impact that no other Jewish teen movement has done so far. Our purpose in joining together is to unify an even greater teen movement in order to accomplish the one goal we truly have in common: tikkun olam, repairing the world.

The majority of programs and initiatives are done independently of one another, which is perfectly fine. However, for some areas, a greater impact can be achieved when working together. While each movement has it’s own rich identity and history, the work done by each movement would be more powerful and recognizable if the aforementioned movements worked closer together.

We are aiming to communicate through bi-monthly conference calls, face to face meetings, and when necessary, emergency conference calls.

Events such as the Haitian earthquake (January 2010) have illuminated the eyes of the current Presidents of major Jewish youth movements and inspired collaborative efforts to make a difference. Relief efforts are powerful in numbers and each Jewish youth movement can offer something.

The Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders will be the premier unifying force among Jewish teens around the world.

Our Goals:

  • Work together to plan and promote J-Serve to all Jewish teens
  • Pass pieces of legislation on matters that all Jewish teens care about
  • Jointly support and fundraise for causes/issues that matter the members of every movement
  • Work together to support Israel through advocacy and education

Next Steps:

  • Spread the word to your members back at home, and share with them how exciting this is for Jewish teens everywhere
  • Become friends with members of other youth movements (NCSY, USY, NFTY, JSU, & Young Judaea)
  • Support and contribute to CJTL’s Fall 2010 Initiatives
  • We have a conference call with the CJTL this Monday, August 16th

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AZA and BBG Commits to Raising $20,000 for Scholarships for Jewish Teen Leaders beyond North America

Posted on 08/13/2010 @ 03:10 PM

Motion: INTERNATIONAL SERVICE FUND REDEFINED FOR GLOBALIZATION

This motion has just passed! BBYO will proudly be raising money to support BBYO around the world by raising money to have more international teens at International Convention and Summer Experiences. Please read below for the exact motion:

Makers: The 86th Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph

The 66th International Board of B’nai B’rith Girls

Second: Julianne Simson, North Florida, Samantha Ulick, NRE: Baltimore, Lee Begelman, South Jersey, Josh Winik, New England

Background:

“Jews went global long before it was fashionable. That means we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of globalization, but only if we work hard to nurture our common heritage, honor our common ancestry and build a common future. Our young people are among the most mobile in the world, but there is a need to build connections that reach across borders and last a lifetime.” -(Sandy Cardin and Lynn Schusterman, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation)

“If connected to any Jewish community, young Jews … see themselves tied to a global Jewish community, when they feel broadly connected to an abstract feeling of a people more than a localized community or institutions.” (Anna Greenberg, 2006)

Whereas BBYO was founded to be an organization of Jewish fraternities (and later, sororities) that would stretch globally to encompass Jewish communities around the world; and,

Whereas BBYO has been an international organization since our first international chapter was established in 1926 with chapters existing throughout or at some point in time in more than 50 countries and six continents with Jewish communities around the world; and

Whereas BBYO has long instilled a sense of community and responsibility in North American Jewish teens to engage with, support, learn from and align with Jewish communities around the world; and

Whereas BBYO has long been a youth movement at the forefront of global Jewish communal issues including, but not limited to:

  • U.S. policy regarding Jewish immigration in the 1920’s/1930’s;
  • the war effort during World War II;
  • the establishment of the State of Israel;
  • the acquisition of Holocaust reparations for survivors;
  • the Free Soviet Jewry movement;
  • the renaissance of Jewish life across the Former Soviet Union;
  • JDC-led Aliyah efforts across North Africa, Ethiopia, Argentina and Russia;
  • support for Israel politically, culturally, and philanthropically throughout its entire history; and

Whereas BBYO has long championed advocacy and cultural efforts for Jewish communities around the world; and

Whereas BBYO has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes throughout its nearly 9-decade history, with significant focus on building Jewish communities around the world; and

Whereas the world has become increasingly small and teens have a higher interest in globalization and global citizenry, and this content would bolster programming and communal awareness while teaching key Jewish values (kol yisrael and arevim zeh l’zeh); and

Whereas with the steps recently taken on enhancing BBYO’s local, national and global impact through Stand Up!, our traditional philanthropic tool ISF (International Service Fund) has been updated to address pressing concerns beyond the important priorities championed by chapters, Councils and Regions; and

Whereas BBYO continues to grow stronger and larger each year since independence in 2002, and is currently revitalizing relationships with BBYO programs across Europe, Latin America, Israel, South Africa, Australia and beyond; and

Whereas BBYO leaders have been advocating for years to build stronger relationships with Jewish communities worldwide; and

Whereas BBYO has recently evolved its historic partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) – the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian organization – to systemically expand BBYO’s reach to more and more Jewish teen communities around the world; and

Be it resolved that BBYO will continue to evolve ISF and solidify the International Service Fund as the principal teen-led tool in supporting BBYO’s globalization efforts; and

that for the 2010 – 2011 program year, we – the International Executive Body – must lead our organization into a new era of spreading awareness and sharing the philanthropic support efforts to continue strengthening our relationships abroad; and

that for the 2010 – 2011 program year, after strategic planning with the International Office, the goal is to raise $20,000 to ensure that every country in the BBYO family is represented at International Convention 2011 and that our peers have the subsidy they need to make the long journey to BBYO summer programs; and

that BBYO Regions and Councils across North America – where possible – will commit to raising the $20,000 through a display of our Movement collaborating together to raise minimal sums to collectively achieve a great and important goal (this is beyond and not instead of current Stand Up! causes across the organization and does not include the $10,000 currently raised by Northern Region East & East Coast Kallah for Bulgaria and Serbia operating costs);

If agreed upon, to pass, pledges will be taken from the Executive Body, region by region, to build a united plan to achieve this goal. Pledges will be confirmed by September 1st once teen leaders can meet with Field Directors, and Regions and Councils will be paired with correlating BBYO communities throughout the world and in Israel, to establish community to community partnerships for the year ahead.

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BBYO Takes Action for Gilad Shalit and Alan Gross

Posted on 08/13/2010 @ 12:08 PM

The International Execs body passed two resolutions to support the immediate release of two imprisoned Jews in need: Gilad Schalit and Alan Gross. These resolutions will now now go to the other Youth Movement executive bodies for approval.

Schalit, the Israeli soldier who was kidnapped near the Gaza border, has been away from his home and family for more than 1,500 days. Gross, an alum of BBYO and a former DC Council AZA Advisor, has been held by Cuban authorities since December 3, 2009 while he was on assignment in Havana to provide communications equipment to the Cuban Jewish community to help with Internet access to connect with the global Jewish community. The BBYO community wishes to express its solidarity with the Gross family and the network of supporters who are working for Mr. Gross’ freedom.

Please click below for much more detailed information on the mentioned resolutions:

Gilad Schalit Resolution Alan Gross Resolution

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Execs Stand Up Session Prepares for the Coming Year

Posted on 08/13/2010 @ 11:37 AM

This morning, the International Board led sessions on Stand Up that included hearing speakers from AIPAC, who discussed the importance of Israel advocacy, and Rock the Vote, who discussed civic engagement and voter registration. Every teen filled out a voter registration form, so even if they aren't 18 yet, they will receive a reminder on their birthday that they are now eligible.

The first session of the program focused on advocacy learning and training while the second part focused on how regional presidents can guide their peers to develop strong Stand Up campaigns on the local level.

Take a look at the resources below that were used at August Execs to get your Stand Up Campaign launched and planned for the year ahead:

Stand Up Breakdown: What is Stand Up? Who Does What? How to Create a Community Map Jewish Values Matrix to Support the Importance of Service Stand Up Planning Road Map

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Motion Passed: Speak Up! for Israel: An International Advocacy Campaign

Posted on 08/13/2010 @ 03:08 AM

Below is the official motion supporting Israel and the global Jewish community that passed unanimously at August Execs 2010 this afternoon.

Maker: Southern Region: Dixie Council BBYO (South Carolina, Georgia – not including Atlanta)

Second: Mountain Region BBYO (Arizona, Utah, Nevada)

Motion: Whereas: BBYO is the world’s leading pluralistic, Jewish youth movement; and,

Whereas: At all levels of our movement, BBYO has a commitment to supporting Israel and the global Jewish community’s relationship with Israel; and

Whereas: BBYO observes a variety of simultaneous programming events such as AZA/BBG Shabbat, J-Serve, Founders Day, and other important days; and

Whereas: Currently, no week exists where BBYO teens focus solely on the state of Israel; and

Whereas: Most BBYO teens always have Israel in their hearts, and would support Israel by rallying, programming, and speaking up; and

Whereas: A Week of Israel Advocacy in BBYO would show how the International Order comes together to support the Jewish homeland; and

Whereas: This week would show that Jewish teens have a voice; and

Whereas: If we had an annual week of Israel Advocacy, there is a potential for 30,000+ Jewish teens to be participating in programs and events related to Israel at the same time.

Be it resolved that: AZA and BBG acknowledge that from this day forth, two weeks after AIPAC’s High School Summit shall be known as “Speak Up! Week of Israel Advocacy.” During this week, the International Order will come together for a week dedicated to Israel advocacy. As an International Movement, we will come together and show the world that Jewish teens support and stand with Israel.

Regions, Councils, Chapters, and members will be encouraged to “Speak Up!” for Israel, and hold programs and events that are based around Israel advocacy. They will be encouraged to write letters to congressmen, visit their local government offices, plan rallies, write petitions, create advocacy videos, build long term relationships with political representatives and be creative on ways to advocate on Israel’s behalf.

Resources and sample program ideas will be provided prior to this date for Regions, Councils, and Chapters to use. In addition to this day of Israel advocacy, Israel related programming will be stressed throughout the entire programming year, with the biggest programs occurring annually during the two weeks immediately following AIPAC’s High School Summit.

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BBYO Executive Director Installs Jeremy and Arielle

Posted on 08/12/2010 @ 11:08 PM

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Execs got right to business tonight with the installation of Jeremy Sherman and Arielle Braude as the Grand Aleph Godol and International N'siah and some special remarks from BBYO's Executive Director, Matthew Grossman:

I had the pleasure of seeing several of you this summer whether it was at CLTC, ILSI or at Impact DC. I enjoy immensely learning with you and from you when we spend time together and I want to share a quote from one the pieces that the Impact DC group studied this summer:

“The youth are humanity’s eternal possibility for happiness. This possibility occurs repeatedly and humanity misses it again and again. Generations of young people return to the stage again and again with the passion of absolute yearning in their hearts, devoted to ideals, ready and waiting to break through the blocked gates of Eden. Nothing stands between this generation and the fulfillment of its obligation but the deed itself; and hence they prepare themselves.”

The quote so struck me as representing this weekend’s activities – to prepare ourselves to break through the blocked gates of Eden – to prepare ourselves to repair the world.

You are here because you all share something in common. You were elected by your peers because they saw something in you which inspired them. Over 14,000 AZA and BBG members felt in their hearts that you best represent all that they stand for. And now you have an enormous opportunity and responsibility.

You have been given a platform on which to do great things. You are the leaders of an organization that reached almost 30,000 Jewish teens this past year. You performed more than 60,000 hours of community service including the implementation of JServe the Jewish teen day of service which engaged 8,000 teens in one day. You raised more than $120,000 for all sorts of charities, including those which reached out to our brothers and sisters overseas to make sure that they could be a part of this wonderful community you have created. And, on behalf of the entire Jewish community, you have reached out to your younger peers – at the moment after their bnei mitzvah - when so many of them disappear from Jewish life – you have shown them that they can own their Jewish journey - a journey that can be fun, meaningful and inspiring.

But all of that was last year and now it’s your responsibility to define our destiny for the year to come. Over the next few days you are going to be discussing your priorities for the year, legislating on the issues that will become permanent in our organization’s history and figuring out the best way that you, as a team of 80 leaders, can communicate and work together throughout the year. Having spent some time with the I-board and having gotten to know Jeremy and Arielle, I can tell you – you are being led by a very talented and committed group that is ready to work very hard.

One thing that I hope you will take time to ask yourself over the next few days is “what kind of leader do you want to be?” What skills are you going to develop within yourself that are going to strengthen your own character and your own ability to lead?

In this week’s torah portion, SHOFTIM, we read Moses last speech to the Israelites before he dies. He reviews certain laws with them and explores the meaning of justice. In fact, it is in this parasha that we get the well-known phrase “justice, justice, shall you pursue.”

There is a portion of the parsha that speaks directly to the concept of leadership and I’d like you to think about it. The portion says that a Jewish king is commended to write for himself a Torah scroll and to carry it with him at all times. The reason for this is so that the leader will always be guided by something greater than him or herself. This notion of humility is a critical leadership trait in Judaism, as Moses is actually singled out in the Torah as being the “most humble man of all.” A humble leader is one who puts the needs of others far ahead of his or her own need for power.

In many ancient cultures the people served the king, but in Judaism it’s different. In Judaism the leader serves the people. I bring this up because I want you to be mindful of the incredible responsibility you have to the 14,000 members of AZA and BBG. As you go about your meetings this weekend, think about what’s best for them, what’s best for BBYO and what’s best for the Jewish people. BBYO and your peers have given you an amazing gift – the chance to make a difference in the world and to show that world that Jewish teens stand for something great.

And as we begin to work together toward this noble goal, it is my pleasure to invite your Grand Aleph Godol, Jeremy Sherman and your International Nsiah, Arielle Braude to join me.

We begin the year with the first order of business of this executive body – the installation of Jeremy and Arielle:

“By the power vested in me by BBYO, Inc. and its Board of Directors it is my proud honor to install you, Jeremy Sherman as the 86th Grand Aleph Godol of the Aleph Tzadik Aleph…and you, Arielle Braude as the 66th International N’siah of the B’nai B’rith Girls.”

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Jeremy and Arielle Want You to Check the Blog

Posted on 08/12/2010 @ 11:08 AM

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Gearing Up for August Execs!

Posted on 08/11/2010 @ 11:08 AM

It’s the 86th and 66th Boards here at the National 4H Youth Conference Center in Washington, D.C. We are currently preparing for the August Executive Conference! We’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Regional and Council Godolim and Nsiot as we prepare for an exciting weekend ahead! We’ve been working endlessly to ensure this weekend is both extremely fun and informative. Our business meetings are intense, our programming is superb, and our new and revamped campaigns are going to bring our Orders to the next level! We look forward to seeing all the teens so we can get started on a great year!

Respectively Submitted, The 86th Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the 66th Board of the B’nai B’rith Girls

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