BBYO Brandeis Chapter #932 Standing UP for Causes
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It’s in the cards for Bnai Brith Youth Organization’s Louis Brandeis #932 chapter members to make a difference and for these young men – that difference is here and now.
On sale now is the 2013 AZA-Card, with more than 70 local merchants participating, providing varied discounts available to consumers between May 10 and 27. Proceeds from the benefit will support Brandeis chapter scholarships, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center, in memory of those lost, close to Brandeis members.
“We hope to improve the lives of people in our community, and to connect with stores, restaurants, and other merchants in the area, giving everyone who participates a chance to be associated with positive causes,”said Braden Fineberg, 16, a sophomore at Townview Magnet School, and Brandeis’ treasurer.
“We can’t thank those who have come on board enough, and the response has been incredible – by the businesses signing on, and by the public as we’ve started selling the cards,” said Fineberg, who initiated the fundraiser, noting that BBYO and its chapters are registered nonprofit 501C3. “This project has gone beyond our expectations and we look forward to a successful program.”
Brynn Ginsberg, a BBYO Advisor with BBYO’s Fannie Sablosky chapter, heard about the project and immediately knew that the fundraiser was a fit for Zinga Frozen Yogurt for whom she works as Marketing and Events Director.
“We are so proud to be supporting the AZA-Card program. We see lots of BBYO kids here every Saturday night and we’re proud to see that the community is important to them, that giving back is what is important to them,” said Ginsberg. “This is a creative and wonderful way for the kids to do good and for community businesses to be a part of that.”
“Part of BBYO is about standing up for what we believe in and the causes we are supporting, we definitely ‘stand up’ for completely,” said Jacob Herstein, 16, a sophomore at Yavneh Academy, and President of Brandeis. “Pancreatic cancer has affected a number of boys in our chapter, and throughout our region and it has brought lots of pain. We want to be part of the cure, hoping no other teens experience the tragic losses that our friends have endured.”
“In supporting the Human Rights Campaign, we realize the difference we can make as young people speaking with respect, and by bettering ourselves and how we treat everyone,” said Herstein. “We hope to set an example.”
“We are completely impressed with the thoughtfulness of these young men’s behavior. The road to equality can be slow, but as you change hearts and minds, the path is cleared. These boys see a problem and they want to be the change,” said Robb Puckett, co-Chair of the local HRC Steering Committee and a member of the National Board of Governors. “It speaks much greatly to the character of the kids, their parents, and their community that they looked at how many young people speak, some of them included, and they wanted to change the behavior, to forge an ‘I don’t say that’ campaign. We are honored to be chosen by the Brandeis boys as beneficiaries of the AZA Card program.”
Ascribing to BBYO’s charge, the Stand UP initiative empowers teens to identify a cause that inspires them, and develop their own campaign to affect positive change in their local and global community. It empowers a generation of young Jewish leaders who are self-aware and motivated to become agents of change within and beyond the Jewish community.
Reaching out further to support those in the area, Brandeis members are currently hosting a toiletry drive to benefit those served by the Samaritan Inn Homeless Shelter in McKinney. Toiletries including hygiene and household cleaning supplies and household paper goods are being collected from now through May 4.
“It’s easy to lose focus about what is important,” said Herstein. “When you give back, you get back to the basics of creating strong Jewish bonds, and strong Jewish values.”
Judge Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jewish judge appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, known to uphold individual rights would be proud of the gentlemen representing his legacy. “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done,” he once said. For the men of Brandeis Chapter 932, making the difference, is worth doing.
To purchase an AZA-Card, visit www.azacard.com. To make a donation to the Brandeis Collection for Samaritan Inn Homeless Shelter, or for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.