BBYO expands into Westport & Weston
This story was published in the Connecticut Jewish Ledger.
The Connecticut Valley Region of BBYO is widening its reach in order to provide meaningful Jewish experiences for Jewish teens in the Woodbridge and Weston areas. The world’s leading pluralistic Jewish youth movement, BBYO is working with Temple Israel in Westport to charter a new chapter of its leadership program – the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, BBYO’s high school fraternity) and the B’nai Brith Girls (BBG, BBYO’s high school sorority).
Nearly 60 Jewish teens have joined the new chapter in anticipation of its inaugural program, a teen community Havdalah followed by a surprise limo scavenger hunt that brings participants to secret event locations.
The new chapter in Westport is being formed as BBYO experiences record growth across North America. This year BBYO Connecticut Valley Region membership is up 14 percent in large part to the recent formation of a Cheshire chapter in May 2017 and growing support across the state for BBYO from community leaders, Jewish agencies, volunteers and alumni.
“This is an exciting time for the Jewish communities of Westport and Weston,” said Tyler Pepe, BBYO regional director. “Forming new chapters means that more teens have the opportunity to find a place to be themselves, find themselves and to build their own Jewish community.”
BBYO Connecticut Valley Region’s programming is teen-led and designed to reflect the interests of the teens involved. Diverse chapter and regional school-year programs and summer experiences at camp, on campus and around the world offer teens ways to meet new people, explore new ideas, play sports, connect with their Jewish heritage and learn about Israel.
“Temple Israel is thrilled to partner with BBYO,” said Rabbi Michael S. Friedman. “The support BBYO offers its chapters is extraordinary. Our partnership is only a couple of months old and we have already seen a dramatic increase in engagement and excitement.”
BBYO Connecticut Valley Region’s next event is the Beau & Sweetheart Semi-Formal on March 10. Dinner and transportation from BBYO communities is included in the $36 registration cost. The event is open to all Jewish teens in the area who pre-register online.
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