### Teens from COMMUNITY NAME Joined Teens from 13 Countries for International Convention
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From February 16 – 20, Atlanta hosted more than 1,100 of the global Jewish community’s brightest teen thinkers, strategists, philanthropists, and educators from 13 countries, for the largest-ever BBYO International Convention (IC). Each year, IC convenes the teen leaders of AZA and BBG, to set the course for the coming year, determine strategies for strengthening BBYO as a youth-led movement and connect teens to the worldwide Jewish community.
The convention’s theme, “Our Tomorrow Starts Today,” was designed to help participants make an immediate difference directly in Atlanta and the world as representatives of a movement of more than 31,000 teens. As a key feature of its headlining Day of Service and Advocacy, BBYO premiered an all-teen audience screening of The Bully Project, a feature-length documentary that depicts “a year in the life” of America’s bullying crisis, including a Q & A with the film’s director and anti-bullying training from Facing History. (BBYO is the only North American-wide teen partner of The Bully Project and will be the first all-teen audience to view the film.)
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Click here to see the latest photos and videos on the IC 2012 Live Blog, including coverage by Jewish Life TV and Jewish Rock Radio.
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Upcoming Dates of Interest
Insert here your upcoming FAN Events and major teen events that you think FAN leaders should be aware of. This is the place to showcase the awesome programming you are doing!
A Note from Sarah Schonberg, BBYO's FAN Director
FAN's First Ever Southern Regions/Districts Alumni Reunion at IC
Share Your Simcha with BBYO!
Have you or a BBYO alum you know recently celebrated a simcha? Share it with BBYO and we will announce your news in our upcoming annual alumni newseltter, FANfare! Email all simchas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BBYO in the News (include local article links as available - in date order)
- BBYO teen leader Jacob Sorrells, 18, from Rockville, MD wrote an opinion piece called "Bucking the Trends: Teens Call for Collaboration and a Place at the Table" focused on engaging his male peers through partnerships with teens of all backgrounds and affiliations. Jake points out that urging all Jewish teens and the Jewish communal world to work together elevates the teens’ agendas and priorities, and ultimately, the betterment of the Jewish people. (eJewishPhilanthropy.com, January 12)
- Matt Grossman, BBYO's Executive Director, published "Teens Seek Something Greater than Themselves," sharing specific strategies he sees as influential in raising the bar on Jewish teen engagement. He references providing teens ownership around their experiences, offering a menu of interesting activities such as youth group, summer camp and Israel travel, and creating a network based on shared values and goals.(eJewishPhilanthropy.com, January 23)
Study Abroad in Style - and Save!
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International Convention 2012 Continued...
In addition to The Bully Project, teens participated at 18 other service learning sites throughout Atlanta, including:
- A pro-Israel advocacy track to be held at Emory University Hillel in partnership with AIPAC’s leadership development staff with guest speakers including the Vanguard Group, an all African American young professionals and graduate student pro-Israel advocacy network from Atlanta, members of AIPAC’s Board of Directors and congressional staff.
- Media and advocacy training at CNN and Fox News
- An urban expansion study, discussion and clean-up hike with the Atlanta Beltline Project
- Development of Public Service Announcements at Vox, the Atlanta based teens-only publication
- The creation of a new panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt through the Names Project, and more.
Additional IC 2012 highlights included:
- The presentation of BBYO’s Alumni of the Year Awards to AJ Robinson of Atlanta and Judith Finer Freedman of Toronto.
- The re-release of BBYO Sings, a collection of traditional BBYO songs from the organization’s history, performed by the original creator and Atlanta’s own Dr. Artie Gumer.
- A keynote speech on the importance of global Jewish Peoplehood and interdependence delivered by Avraham Infeld, renowned Jewish scholar and President Emeritus of Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.
- Congressman John Lewis spoke on the importance of volunteering in your community.
- Attendance by the JTA, the global news service of the Jewish people, with a session focused on using their news archives for an in-depth look at Jewish history. The JTA published the winning essays focused on personal Jewish identities of AZA’s and BBG’s Oratory contest.
- Teen delegations in attendance representing Jewish communities in Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and from across the United States.
- An evening for participants to “Stand UP and Be Counted,” highlighting BBYO’s social action priorities through celebration of what the teen movement has accomplished, headlined by hip-hop artist Chiddy Bang.
- Live broadcasts from Jewish Rock Radio and Jewish Life TV (JLTV).
“BBYO’s IC brought to Atlanta some of the brightest thinkers, strategists and leaders of the entire global Jewish community – and we are all 18 years old or younger,” said Samantha Levinson, International Teen President (N’siah) of BBYO. “We could all have been doing a lot of other things, but we’re here to chart the future of the Jewish people as a unified movement committed the continuity of our Jewish traditions.”
Click here to view the 2012 IC Live Blog!