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BBYO in Buffalo Grove Patch

Read the article on the Buffalo Grove Patch

December 16, 2010

BBYO holds a special place in my heart. My parents met through a BBYO programming event when they were 13 and 14 years old and this June they are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I'm thankful BBYO existed back then and that it still runs strong today.

Within BBYO, there are chapters for girls (BBG) and for boys (AZA), throughout the United States. These groups have been providing Jewish teens with friendship, community service projects, leadership opportunities as well as Jewish education for over 50 years.

A Buffalo Grove BBG chapter, Ahavah, meets weekly at the JCC Community Center in Buffalo Grove. They also meet over the weekends for overnighters and social or service activities.

Emma Schneider, a Stevenson sophomore, joined BBYO because, "My Jewish education has taught me that I am lucky to have this life and it is my obligation to help others who may not have the advantages that I do."

Through the BBYO, Emma has made new friends from other school districts and reconnected with some old friends that she knew from a childhood program called Me and My Dad (also at the JCC). She has also gotten to know girls of other ages, that she may not have otherwise had a chance to meet.

Chapter president Eve Hirschman, now a junior at Stevenson, joined BBG in eighth grade and she has found mentors, friends, guidance and a place where she can always be herself. She said, "Over the years it has given me countless leadership, community service and social action opportunities as well as given me pride for my Jewish heritage. Without it, I wouldn't be the person I am today. It gave me an identity that bonds me with over 20,000 teens worldwide and it is my home."

This local chapter has an annual fundraising effort that helps to raise money for programs, scholarships and their charity Na'amat, which supports women and children in Israel. They are selling Lox Boxes, which is a box delivered to your doorstep (or sent as a gift) on Jan. 16. The boxes include a half-pound of lox, half-dozen bagels, cream cheese, onions, tomatoes, dessert and orange juice. They cost $20 each. If you're interested in helping these girls out with a purchase of a lox box, email Emma's mom at: tiffanyschneider@hotmail.com

There's nothing like having bagels delivered to your door. I think I can smell them now.

As always, email me with any news, topics or ideas that you want to read about. Remember, I'd like to be the first to know! I can be reached at laurenbgpatch@aol.com. 

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