Is the Sabbath observed?
Yes! All programs must be approved by advisors and the Office, who may deem the program inappropriate for the holy day. Services are held when necessary at all conventions and programs. Saturday night programs include Havdallah and Conventions include Shabbat services. A Friday night dinner and service, though, is not guaranteed to be Shomer Shabbos. Some people may drive to the program or turn on lights. It depends on the hosting house, but since BBYO is non-denominational, no promises can be made.
Is the food Kosher?
All food at conventions are kosher-style, meaning dairy and meat are not served together. It is unlikely that the hotels have kosher kitchens though. The same goes for programs. Many members' houses do not have kosher kitchens, but at potlucks or programs with food, kids try to stick to an all-dairy or all-meat meal. There is a strict kosher option for kids at conventions, but the Office must be warned in advance.
Are there vegetarian/vegan meals available at conventions?
Yes. Similar to the strict kosher option, the vegetarian or vegan meals are available if the Office is warned in advance. There is a box to mark while signing up for conventions where teens may list their dietary needs or allergies.
How much of a time commitment is BBYO?
The beauty of BBYO is that programs happen every week on Saturday nights from 7-9 p.m. and meetings are every Monday night at the JCC from 7-8 p.m. Your child can decide what they want and want to come to on a weekly basis to what fits their schedule best. So, BBYO can become a decent time commitment if your child comes to a lot of programs (we recommend this option!) or it can be a fun thing on the side if he/she comes to a sleepover or a program every once and a while.
How much of a time commitment is to be a chapter board member?
Being on chapter board is a bigger time commitment. Most presidents request that their board members attend all programs, meetings, and board meetings. Of course, exceptions can be made, but teens should know that it is a commitment if he/she is elected. In addition, board members must spend enough time outside of BBYO to complete the job description which may include planning programs, writing newspapers, or responding to board emails. Chapter board members must keep in contact with their advisors, their president, and their Council board counterpart. Chapter board is a very fun and rewarding job (and awesome on resumes!), but it is also a crucial part to the survival of a chapter and therefore is a substantial time commitment each week. We encourage that parents talk with their child to make sure both the parent and child understand the time commitment before deciding to run for board.
Do I have to drive my kid to EVERY program, meeting, and convention?
No. We encourage older members to give rides to younger members or for families to carpool to programs and meetings. It is up to the parents to find out if the kids are safe drivers. Parents are expected to drop off their kids at the convention bus stop location.
Can my child switch chapters?
Yes. Contact Rachel Pazornick at the DC Office and they will make the switch right away!
How can I get involved?
There are many opportunities for parents to get involved! Attend an event like a chapter parent/teen Shabbat or parent brunch, host an event in your home, become a parent representative or become a chapter advisor!
What happens if an advisor cannot be present at a program?
Members try to plan programs when at least one advisor can come. However, a parent must ALWAYS be present at the house where the event is being held this way there will always be supervision.
How much does BBYO cost?
Membership Fees: Yearly: $75 Four Years: $149 Beyond the membership fee, price varies based upon your teens level of involvement. Some chapter/council programs will charge a fee for supplies, etc. Conventions and other events, like summer programs, have additional costs as well.