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Thousands of Youth Hold Mass CPR Training in Dallas, Train Local Middle-Schoolers

February 14, 2014

Dallas – Nearly 2,000 Jewish teens participated today in a large-scale service and advocacy project where they learned Hands-Only CPR and, shortly after, trained hundreds of local middle school students in the technique. BBYO Stand UP Day took place as part of the organization’s 90th International Convention (IC), a gathering of the world’s leading pluralistic Jewish youth movement, and was organized in collaboration with the Dallas Division of the American Heart Association. Before the departing to Frisco Memorial Stadium, the teen leaders heard from US Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer, CEO of Change.org Ben Rattray and via video message, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky.

Following the training, participants built and sent 500 teddy bears to children with heart conditions across the American Heart Association network. The day culminated in the filming of a PSA with Dana Vollmer and members of "The Buried Life," Ben Nemtin, Duncan Penn and Jonnie Penn, with the goal of encouraging others to learn CPR so they are prepared in the event of life-threatening emergencies including cardiac arrests. Eighty percent of such emergencies happen outside a hospital, often at home, work or school.

“Today we showed what this movement is really about,” said Gary Levine, a student at Yavneh Academy in Dallas and one of two of BBYO’s International Vice Presidents of Jewish Heritage. “Not only were we able to learn these life-saving CPR skills, we had the privilege of passing that knowledge onto others.”

“Collectively, we’re at our best when we’re able to join together as upstanding citizens to effect a positive change in the community,” added the other International Vice President, Tracey Katz, a high school senior from Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to facilitate CPR trainings on such a massive scale,” said Susan Holmes, Executive Director of the Dallas Division of the American Heart Association. “Thanks to the help of BBYO’s teen leaders, thousands of youth will be better equipped to save lives.”

For more information about BBYO’s 2014 International Convention, please visit: bbyo.org/azabbgic or follow us on Twitter at @BBYOInsider and #AZABBGIC2014.

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 www.bbyo.org

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