Lauren Keats of Scarsdale Elected to International Board at BBYO Convention
Read this story in Westchester Jewish Life
The BBYO International Convention (IC) 2015 is an annual event that began 90 years ago as a way for BBYO members to connect once a year, but has now grown to be a setting for individuals across the Jewish community to learn, lead and work together toward ensuring a strong Jewish future, spearheaded by the next generation. This year, from February 12 – 16, more than 2,200 Jewish teens (a 24% increase from 2014) and 1,100 Jewish adults – including some of the community’s top educators, professionals and philanthropists – from 20 countries joined in Atlanta for this unprecedented moment.
For the first time ever, The Jim Joseph Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, The Schusterman Family Foundation and The Paul E. Singer Foundation hosted the Summit on Jewish Teens during the first 24 hours of IC 2015. Two hundred and fifty of the Jewish community’s most influential thought leaders and philanthropists attended to converse with each other, and with teens, about how to engage this age group in Jewish life now and in the future.
The convention was also host to the Coalition of Jewish Teens (CJT). Teen leadership from the five major youth movements (BBYO, NCSY, NFTY, USY and Young Judaea) met for 24 hours concurrently to the Summit on Jewish Teens to strategically plan ways Jewish teens everywhere can work across organizational borders to build a stronger, united Jewish community. They drafted a mission statement for their work moving forward: “We, the Coalition of Jewish Teens, stand united to shape the Jewish future through shared Jewish values.”
“BBYO’s leadership, both teen and adult, realize that the future of the Jewish community is brighter when we all come together,” said Matthew Grossman, BBYO Chief Executive Officer. “IC 2015 was an exciting step in making that happen and we’re looking forward to continuing this collaboration.”
Many area teens attended the convention along with sister and brother, Lauren and Spencer Keats from Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale. Lauren was elected to the next International Board along with 9 others from all over the U. S.
Additional Westchester County teens attending the Convention included; Timothy Chizzik from Temple Israel of Northern Westchester, Croton-on-Hudson; Justin Thaler from Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, Chappaqua; Leah Monack, Tess Nienaltow, Jonathan Holtz, Hope and Sarah Barkley and Leah Monack from Temple Beth Abraham, Tarrytown; Beth Nichols, Ariel Vasser, Max Abrams, Ben Meiner and Rebecca Maccabee from Temple Israel of New Rochelle; Isabella Puig, Sara Metzger and Zach Gordon from Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El; Emma Weiner, Allyson Werner, Ross Glinkenhouse and Mara Young from Woodlands Community Temple, Greenburgh; Gracie Aaronson from Temple Beth Am, Yorktown Heights; Sam Barnett and Hannah Bergman from Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford Corners; and Seth Marion from Larchmont Temple.
The International Board helps chart the organization’s vision for the coming year, and provides leadership and support to teen leaders in local communities throughout the BBYO system. They work to strengthen regions and chapters by enhancing the Judaic, social, educational and community service programming throughout the network.
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.
This past year, the BBYO Westchester Region has chartered an AZA and BBG chapter in partnership with Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale. The group meets from 6:30-7:30 pm every other Wednesday and teens do not have to be members of the synagogue to join. For more information on BBYO visit www.bbyo.org.