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Local teen elected to BBYO International board; area chapters shine at BBYO Eastern Region Spring Convention

This story was published in Jewish News

By Sherri Wisoff

BBYO International Convention 2017 and Eastern Region’s Spring Convention served as dynamic meeting places and real-world classrooms to provide teen leaders opportunities for shared leadership resources and new skills to help change the world.

The record-breaking crowd of this year’s International convention, up 296% since 2012, offered an encouraging statistic for teen engagement in Jewish life. Held in Dallas, Texas over Presidents’ Day weekend, 28 local teens joined more than 4,800 BBYOers, including Jewish teen leaders, educators, professionals, and philanthropists from 48 states and 30 countries, making it one of the largest Jewish communal leadership events in North America and the largest gathering of Jewish teens worldwide.

Elections for the 2017–2018 AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph—BBYO’s boy division) International board, was especially exciting for Tidewater. Jack Rosenblum, a 17-year-old student at Cape Henry Collegiate, was elected the 29th Grand Aleph Shaliach (International vice-president of Jewish Heritage). Jack will be a part of a 10-member teen board that will help chart the organization’s vision for the year and provide leadership and support to teen leaders in local communities throughout the BBYO system.

Rosenblum will focus on enhancing the Judaic content in programs through the BBYO community and oversee initiatives that highlight Jewish values and themes. He will also coordinate Kallah, BBYO’s summer experience for Jewish learning, spirituality, and self-discovery.

The son of Ellen and Scott Rosenblum, Jack says, “I could not be more honored to serve on the International board of BBYO. I have gained so much from this organization, and it amazes me how many lives we have the ability to impact. For everything BBYO has done for me, I am so thrilled to be able to give back, and to bring this organization to new heights.”

Last month, at Eastern Region’s Spring Convention, Tidewater AZA chapter, Dr. Israel Brown, led by Godol (president) Reed Goldner, won the Spirit Gavel and Simcha BBG (B’nai B’rith Girls), led by N’siah (president) Payton Stredler, brought home the Spirit Cup.

Erika Eskenazi, BBYO city director and director of children’s programming at the Simon Family JCC, says, “We are so proud of our Virginia Beach teens for their ruach (Hebrew for spirit) and hard work in preparing for the chapter spirit convention.”

For more information about BBYO, contact Erika Eskenazi at eeskenazi@simonfamilyjcc.org.

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