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Thousands of Jewish Teens Shatter Records by Registering for BBYO International Convention in First 48 Hours

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT
Debbie Shemony, 202.857.6691; dshemony@bbyo.org

WASHINGTON, DC— If breaking records is any indication of success, BBYO is off to its most dynamic and vibrant year in its 93-year history. BBYO’s International Convention (IC) is heralded as one of the most iconic teen cultural events in the world, and serves as the largest international gathering of Jewish teens in North America. Within the first 48 hours of registration opening for this year’s IC (February 15–19, 2018), over 3,000 teens registered to attend. A unique five-day program, IC attracts more than 5,000 attendees including teen leaders, top philanthropists, celebrities, thought leaders, and business executives who support BBYO’s programs and teens. As illustrated by this extraordinary response to IC, BBYO continues to buck the trend of youth disengagement and shape society’s most influential teens for decades to come.

In addition to an initial overwhelming response to IC registration, thousands more Jewish teens have registered to take part in a BBYO initiative known as “Fall Fest,” a month-long campaign featuring unique events and experiences created for teens, by teens, showcasing the best of what each community has to offer. Fall Fest is open to all Jewish teens across North America and in select countries around the world, and features exclusive events such as VIP movie premieres, interactive private dining experiences, charity rides hosted by leading spin studios to raise funds for teen-selected causes, behind-the-scenes access to professional sporting events and concerts, and more.

BBYO has shown me, and so many of my friends, that whether we’re in the middle of the woods in Kharkov, Ukraine or in the offices of our senators on Capitol Hill, teens have the passion and the power to make a difference,” said Rebecca Sereboff, BBYO BBG Teen President. “Together, we’re creating a space where anyone, regardless of their background, can be a proud and participatory Jew, and I’m so excited to be a part of this incredible growth we’re experiencing.

Since 1924, BBYO has established itself as the Jewish community’s premier platform for reaching and inspiring teen leaders. With consistent annual growth, BBYO’s global movement engages more than 80,000 teens across 600+ local chapters in more than 40 countries with an international network of more than 500,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts, and Jewish communal life. Despite consistent declines in involvement of today’s teens across many Jewish and secular institutions, BBYO membership continues to increase both in breadth and depth of engagement.

In addition to breaking International Convention registration records and hosting thousands of teens at Fall Fest events, 2017–2018 is panning out to be a banner year throughout BBYO across many other dimensions, including:

  • Record-breaking participation of over 400 teens in BBYO’s International Leadership Network
  • A marked increase in attendance at Fall Kickoff events and weekend convention programs over previous years
  • Expansion of BBYO across the global spectrum into Australia and China, in addition to over 40 other countries
  • A first for Hungary in hosting a central European Jewish teen convention, with over 40 participants
  • For the first time ever, a delegation of 14 BBYO teens attending a sold-out International Conference in Kharkov, Ukraine, as part of JDC and BBYO’s global partnership focused on building a worldwide movement of Jewish young people

This level of engagement is a testament to the focus we place on having teens at the center of the conversation,” said Matt Grossman, CEO of BBYO. “By listening to their needs and engaging our remarkable community of teen leaders, we are creating spaces in which young Jewish people can grow, thrive, and build firm foundations for life.”
BBYO is a safe and welcoming teen community where young men and women develop their own personal Jewish identity. The teen-led programming is always fun, with an emphasis on connection to the local and global Jewish community. Teens emerge with precious friendships and useful leadership skills that will serve them well into the future. Committed to a pluralistic experience, BBYO welcomes all Jewish teens regardless of background, denominational affiliation, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or abilities.

About BBYO

BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 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. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world-wide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel education, and Jewish values.

Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, but rather as “BBYO.”

For more information on BBYO, please visit bbyo.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

BBYO International Office
800 Eighth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
P: 202.857.6633 / F: 202.857.6568

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