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Thirty Jewish Leaders Go to Camp for Reverse Field Trip

July 9, 2014

On Tuesday, July 8, 30 leaders from more than 20 organizations in the Jewish communal world across North America visited BBYO’s International Leadership Training Conference (ILTC) at B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp to join nearly 250 of BBYO’s top teen leaders, as well as staff, from seven countries (Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Israel, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States) for Nishmah V’Na’aseh Communal Leadership Encounters, a “reverse field trip.” These issue experts, educators, practitioners and Jewish community professionals led sessions on topics ranging from service and advocacy to community building and program planning to globalization.

According to Jed Margolis, Executive Director of Maccabi USA, "BBYO connects with teens in a unique and positive way by empowering them as leaders and shapers of their future. We, at Maccabi USA, are developing a stronger relationship with a number of successful organizations so that 1+1 equals 3. It was important for Maccabi USA to be a part of this day to help cultivate more ambassadors for the Jewish community because, together, we are stronger."

For many, the summer and time at camp offers the chance to “check out,” but BBYO’s top teen leaders are staying connected, learning about the Jewish community and their role in shaping a strong Jewish future. Every year, BBYO members travel to ILTC to get the most out of their summer. They learn to be better leaders through skill building and exploring Judaism, and they enjoy the traditional favorites of a Jewish sleep away camp - the competition of maccabiah, Shabbat under the stars and making new friends from around the world in a fun camp setting - leading to lifelong lessons and memories.

“Nishmah V’Na’aseh opened my eyes to all the ways I can play a part in – and be a leader for – the Jewish community,” said Aaron Dane, a rising senior at Walt Whitman High School from Bethesda, MD. “It really put into perspective how what I’m learning here at ILTC during the summer, and in BBYO year-round, can be put into use throughout my lifetime. It was an amazing opportunity to have these professionals here with us to help us grow.”

The full list of participating organizations included: 14th Street Y, Alpha Epsilon Pi, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), BBYO Beyond – BBYO’s gap year program in Israel, BBYO International, B’nai B’rith Beber Camp, B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp, The iCenter for Israel Education, Israel on Campus Coalition, JCC Manhattan, Jewish Community Center Association of North America, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Jewish Teen Funders Network, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Maccabi USA, Maccabi World Union, Mazon, Moishe House, Repair the World, Slingshot and World ORT.

“We are thrilled that so many professionals from esteemed organizations in the Jewish communal world joined us for Nishmah V’Na’aseh. Our teens learn about these topics year-round, and to learn from these individuals firsthand makes it that much more meaningful,” said Kevin Falik, Senior Regional Director of BBYO Cotton States Region and one of the BBYO staff members who organized the program.

Nishmah V’Na’aseh took place at B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp, BBYO’s summer home for its ILTC and International Kallah programs. Over the coming years, as part of the recent purchase by an entity associated with B’nai B’rith Beber Camp, Perlman will undergo a renovation of all major structures on the property while expanding living spaces to accommodate the growing demand for BBYO programs. Every key structure will be built out and modernized according to BBYO’s specific needs.

For more information, questions or photos, please contact Elyse Goldberg.

About BBYO

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

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