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A busy fall for BBYO teens!

View this story in Connecticut Jewish Ledger

Close to 300 teens from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts gathered together at the Danbury Crowne Plaza the weekend of Nov. 13-15 for the Fall Convention of BBYO’s Connecticut Valley Region.

And what a weekend it was. The weekend began with AZA/BBG Global Shabbat. The BBG girls’ (BBG) theme for their services was “Women of the Holocaust,” during which six women who survived the Holocaust recounted their stories. The AZA boys’ theme centered on brotherhood, praying as one unified Jewish voice.

Close to 100 BBYO parents joined their children on Saturday morning for services led by the a cappella group Six13, followed by a luncheon with guest speaker Ankie Spitzer, widow of Andre Spitzer, one of the 11 Israeli athletes killed in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Ankie discussed her ongoing efforts to get the International Olympic Committee to acknowledge the 11 athletes in a moment of silence at future games.

BBYO CT Valley Region President Shaina Lubliner and Membership Vice President Nohar Segal inducted Ankie into the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) International Order of BBYO; and David Steinberg presented Ankie with the chapter charter of the newly named Andre Spitzer AZA of Greenwich. At the close of Shabbat, the teens, with Ankie at their side, lit 11 Havdallah candles in memory of the 11 slain athletes. The service was live streamed for parents and alumni to watch from home.

Following Havdallah, Gary Dell’Abate of the Howard Stern Show spoke about his involvement in charitable projects, to help the teens kick off BBYO CT Valley Region’s “6 Weeks of Service” — an initiative that began with the Fall Convention and lasts through winter break, in which the teens take part in local community service projects.

The convention was capped off with a series of parties and events that raised hundreds of dollars for different causes. During the evening, the teens also made close to 300 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that they then donated to a local homeless shelter.

On Nov. 18, BBYO Connecticut Valley Region partnered with the Stamford JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest committee for a pre-screening of the fourth installment of the “Hunger Games” at the Majestic Theater in Stamford – a part of BBYO’s national partnership with Lionsgate Entertainment and the group’s ‘Can-Tribute’ initiative. Close to 200 teens and parents came out for the exclusive event, through which they collected more than 500 items for the Stamford Jewish Family Service’s Kosher Food Pantry.

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