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Excitement is building for the coming year of SJR-BBYO

This story was published in Jewish Community Voice

By DARA MOLOTSKY & ANDREW QUIGLEY | Regional presidents

Over Presidents’ Day Weekend 2017, more than 4,000 of the Jewish community’s top teen leaders, educators, professionals and philanthropists from across the world will come together in Dallas for BBYO International Convention (IC) 2017. They will meet and hear from inspiring speakers, deepen leadership skills, immerse themselves within and serve the local community, celebrate Shabbat and learn together, enjoy exclusive music performances and do their part to ensure a stronger Jewish future.

Last year, over 2,400 Jewish teens attended International Convention in Baltimore, MD. With 27 different countries and more than 700 Jewish communities around the globe represented, the movement collected as one, exemplifying world Jewry and how much power there is in coming together. A large majority of teens are attracted to International Convention after spending BBYO summers with their friends in different regions because it is a great chance to meet back up and spend time together. This year, international S’ganim Jeannie Spiegel and Grey Silverman, along with the BBYO staff, plan to bring a whole new meaning to the Jewish youth movement and the identification of one’s Judaism at IC. Of course, South Jersey BBYO will be making an appearance.

On Tuesday Sept. 27, BBYO South Jersey Region held a registration party to gather teens together to register and build excitement. A large number of teens within the region came out to Panchero’s to eat a burrito and register for IC. These IC registration parties are common throughout the International Order and attract many teens and parents.

Before IC, there are many different summits held for those who wish to start the convention early. There is the February Executives Conference for all International Board, Regional and Council presidents, and international chairpersons to attend; the Global Partner’s Summit; the Membership Growth Summit; and a Jewish Enrichment Summit. With the exception of the February Executives Conference, these summits are available to all teens in BBYO as a great resource and experience.

During IC, all participants will engage in meaningful programming, hear from and meet influential speakers, strengthen leadership skills, participate in leadership labs around Dallas, celebrate Shabbat, and learn more about the Jewish community across the world together. All it takes is a large coalition of Jewish teens to create an impact on a single Jewish teen’s life. BBYO consistently stresses how individuals create the group and not vice versa, meaning that each and every teen can be a #gamechanger and a critical part to the Jewish youth movement. This is why IC will be centered on the theme of “Changing the Game.”

International Convention 2017 will hold an estimated 4,000 teens from over 27 countries in Dallas. It is expected to be the biggest and best IC that BBYO has seen thus far. This year, South Jersey Region hopes to have at least 65 members attend IC 2017. Teens in South Jersey are part of something much bigger than themselves, and that is the power of the Jewish movement on the international scale. International Convention is a prime way to give teens the experiences they need to comprehend this power and how it’s so critical for the Jewish people as a whole to maintain.

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