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I am a: teen friend/alum parent other

Rockville Native, UMD Student, Awarded Community Engagement Fellowship

Read this story in the Rockville Patch

BBYO, Inc., the world’s largest pluralistic Jewish teen movement, is thrilled to name Ira Rickman of the University of Maryland one of nine recipients of the BBYO Community Engagement Fellowship. As a Community Engagement Fellow (CEF), Ira will organize BBYO alumni events and initiate projects with partner organizations to maintain a thriving BBYO alumni community and enhance Jewish life on campus. This fellowship was made possible in part through a generous grant from The Morningstar Foundation of Bethesda, MD.

“I wanted to be a CEF because we are now moving away from thinking about BBYO as a four-year experience,” says Ira. “With this Fellowship, I can be a leader of belonging to the Jewish community in a meaningful way by providing a crucial pipeline in the transition to Jewish adulthood.”

As a teen, BBYO allowed Ira to explore his creative passions, make life-long friends and connect with his Jewish identity. BBYO gave Ira the leadership training he needed to succeed and continues to do so today.

As a CEF, in addition to engaging BBYO alumni and supporting Jewish campus life, Ira will be afforded professional development opportunities through participation in community-wide events such as the AIPAC Policy Conference and the JFNA General Assembly. He will also participate in an alumni mentorship program and staff BBYO’s Summer Experiences in the US, Israel and all over the world.

“The Fellowship program engages BBYO’s most talented young alumni in creating networks of their peers that will both participate in and initiate Jewish activities on campus,” said Matthew Grossman, BBYO’s Executive Director. “We are confident that Ira will help leverage the BBYO alumni community to strengthen Jewish life at the University of Maryland.”

The investment in this post-high school age group is a key component of BBYO’s 2011-2016 five-year strategic plan. Successful implementation of this plan relies on seven key tactics, one of which is “Strengthen BBYO entry and transition points.” As a “transition point,” this Fellowship positions BBYO to focus on the continuum of lifelong Jewish engagement.

At the University of Maryland, Ira is excited to bridge the gap between many of the diverse Jewish communities on campus and create connections spanning the entire school population.

Individuals interested in connecting with Ira can reach him at irickman@bbyo.org.

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