Atlanta Teen Brittany Bruck Elected to BBYO International Board at Largest International Convention in 90-Year History
Read this story in the Atlanta Jewish Times
BBYO’s International Convention connected teens, stakeholders and supporters
80 Atlanta teens recently attended BBYO’s largest annualInternational Convention (IC) in Dallas, Texas. Themed “Welcome Home – Every Jewish Teen, Anywhere,” the convention brought together nearly 2,000 teens plus hundreds of stakeholders from 20 countries for a historic weekend of global Jewish engagement.
For the Atlanta community, Sunday’s elections of the 2014-2015 AZA and BBG International Boards was a highlight. Brittany Bruck, 17, of Northview High School was elected as the 26th International Sh’licha (Vice President of Judaic Programming, Community Service, and Social Action). In this role, Brittany will be a part of a ten-member teen board that will help chart the organization’s vision for the coming year and provide leadership and support to teen leaders in local communities throughout the BBYO system.
“I am ready to empower every BBG to stand by their beliefs and explore traditions to further define our Jewish identities and to work cohesively with the greater Jewish community to advocate for Israel’s existence, our values, and personal passions. It is our time, and I’m eager to inspire, be inspired and make our mark, shaping the world so the Jewish people will prosper for future generations to come,” said Brittany Bruck.
IC began with Thursday night’s Opening Ceremonies, where the IC body was welcomed with video addresses from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. A delegation from NFTY joined BBYO and Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs addressed the crowd on the growing effort to create cooperation rather than competition among the movements.
In his video, Prime Minister Netanyahu lauded the 90-year history of BBYO, saying, “I join you all in celebrating BBYO’s 90th anniversary…BBYO encourages young Jews of all backgrounds to be proud of their heritage… you’re helping to create a human bridge to connect the young generation of American Jews with the young generation of Israeli Jews… and I want to encourage you, for the next 90 years, to continue doing exactly that.”
In addition to the Prime Minister, the convention body heard from Lynn Schusterman of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Ted Perlman (son of founding member of of the B’nai B’rith Girls, BBYO’s division for young women, Anita Perlman) and were treated to a surprise appearance by singer songwriter Aloe Blacc whose song “Wake Me Up” has become the unofficial anthem of IC.
During the convention, the nearly 2,000 teens participated in BBYO Stand UP Day, which started with a plenary featuring inspirational change makers from the community like Change.org CEO Ben Rattray, global advocate in the fight against sexual violence and former Miss World Linor Abargil, Simon’s Fund founder Darren Sudman and Olympic Gold medalist Dana Vollmer.
Saturday was dubbed Limmud IC, a day of learning featuring over 100 session options facilitated by influential thought, business and clergy leaders including former Starbucks President Howard Behar, Fox Sports producer Bob Steinfeld, representatives from StandWithUs, Survivor winner and founder of Grassroots Soccer Ethan Zohn, BBYO alum and current Nike employee Michelle Caplan, former NFL Giants Linebacker Keith Davis and Phired Up Productions founder Matt Mattson.
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For 90 years, BBYO‘s leadership programs the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority) have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of more than 400,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life.
Now, BBYO’s network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers and philanthropists serves as the Jewish community’s most valuable platform for delivering to the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah audience fun, meaningful and affordable experiences. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world-wide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel education and Jewish values.
Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, but rather by its acronym “BBYO.”
For more information on BBYO, please visit www.bbyo.org.