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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What is BBYO?

A: BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 80 years, AZA and BBG chapters around the world have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the lives of 250,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life.

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Q: What does BBG and AZA mean?

A: AZA means Aleph Zadik Aleph. The Aleph Zadik Aleph is the fraternity component of BBYO. New members are often referred to as AITs or Alephs in Training. BBG means B’nai B’rith Girls. B'nai B'rith Girls is the sorority component of BBYO. New members are often referred to as MITs or Members in Training.

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Q: How did BBYO form?

A: The first 25 years of BBYO was launched with the creation of the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) in 1923 by a group of boys from Omaha, Nebraska in an attempt to create a fraternity that not only accepted Jews but was also based on Jewish values. In 1924, AZA was declared an international organization with the help of advisor Sam Beber. The official establishment of the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) did not occur until 1944, years after the first permanent chapter was established in San Francisco, CA in 1927. B’nai B’rith adopted both youth movements in the mid 1940s and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) quickly spread around the world. It didn’t take long for BBYO to be recognized as the premier Jewish youth movement of the global Jewish community.

In 2002, BBYO was restructured as an independent international organization. After 80+ years of support, B’nai B’rith International (BBI) ended its financial support of BBYO in 2008 BBI’s divestment from BBYO comes at a time of significant growth in its efforts to reach more Jewish teens with more meaningful Jewish experiences. Over the past five years, BBYO has doubled the number of teens involved in Jewish life throughout North America, from 13,000 to nearly 26,000.  Now, more than ever, BBYO relies on the support of local communities to support this growth, despite the cut in funds from B’nai B’rith.

BBYO is structured to involve teens both locally and internationally through its chapters, regions/councils, and international opportunities. More than 450 chapters distributed across 42 regions/councils in North America make up what is called International BBYO, headquartered in Washington, DC. BBYO also has counterparts across the globe in Israel, UK, Australia, Bulgaria, etc.

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Q: What makes BBYO so unique from other youth organizations?

A: BBYO prides itself on being a teen-led, adult-supervised program, but most importantly, it is a chapter-based, democratic organization. Individual members are the most important part of the chapter.  Members will get as much out of their BBYO involvement as they are willing to invest into it.

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Q: Who is eligible for membership and when can I register my teen?

A: BBYO is a high school youth organization. Teens can join BBYO during their second semester of their 8th grade year. In Atlanta, teens are introduced to BBYO at the end of their 8th grade year and choose a chapter at the end of 8th grade or beginning of 9th grade.

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Q: How do I register my teen for BBYO?

A: Register on www.b-linked.org.

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Q: If I’m having trouble registering on www.b-linked.org, what should I do?

A: You can contact the local BBYO office for help, bbyo@atlantajcc.org or 678-812-3970.

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Q: What is the chapter placement process?

A: New members are not placed immediately into a chapter when they join. At the end of their 8th grade year, they will have the opportunity to attend recruitment programs and try out chapters in their respective geographic location (Dunwoody/Sandy Springs/Intown, East Cobb, or North Metro). If they miss the recruitment programs at the end of 8th grade, the same programs will occur at the beginning of 9th grade. After they try out the chapters they will fill out a Chapter Placement Form indicating their chapter preference or the three friends they want to be with in their chapter. New members will be placed in a chapter by the middle of September prior to New Member Convention.

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Q: Can my teen join any chapter?

A: In regards to chapter placement, our chapters are localized so that chapter members are in one area. For girls, we have three Dunwoody/Sandy Springs/Intown chapters, one East Cobb chapter, and one North Metro chapter. For boys, we have two Dunwoody/Sandy Springs/Intown chapters, three East Cobb chapters, and one North Metro chapter. Teens should join a chapter within their geographic location.

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Q: Why are chapters localized?

A: The reason for geographically based chapters is to allow teens and parents to get the most out of the experience within their chapter and not be limited due to travel time during the week. On the weekends, all chapters interact together for programming, and members have the opportunity to mingle with their friends from other chapters and areas. We really find this to be the most successful way to function for both our chapters and members as it allows teens to make new friends but also get excited about joint programming on the weekend because they know their other friends will be there.

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Q: What if my son or daughter does not want to join a chapter within their geographic location?

A: We ask that your son or daughter tries out a chapter within their area for a few months. If after the few months your son or daughter is not enjoying their experience, the teen can switch to another chapter.

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Q: How does my teen switch chapters?

A: Simply contact the BBYO local staff to switch chapters. BBYO staff will want an explanation as to why your son or daughter would like to leave. The staff might also decide to get the chapter involved to hear what is going on, in addition to talking to your son or daughter to find out the reasons. We do encourage teens to stick with their chapter, but we do want teens to have a positive experience and will make the chapter switch a positive one.

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Q: What is Atlanta Council?

A: Atlanta Council is one of the 42 regions/councils that form International BBYO and is part of Southern Region with Dixie Council.

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Q: What areas does Atlanta Council serve?

A: Atlanta Council serves all of metro Atlanta including, but certainly not limited to Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Intown, Marietta, Roswell, and Alpharetta.

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Q: What is the purpose of Atlanta Council?

A: Atlanta Council serves as the governing body for the 11 Atlanta chapters. Two full-time staff oversee the chapters, volunteer advisors, the council board, and all council functions.
Twelve teens are elected by the members to serve on the Atlanta Council board.  These teens train and work with chapter leaders and members, as well as determine the direction of Atlanta Council.

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Q: Who makes up the council board?

A: Twelve teens are elected yearly in January to serve on Atlanta Council Board.

The positions for AZA Council Board are:

  • Godol – President
  • S’gan – Vice President
  • Moreh – Vice President of Membership
  • Shaliach – Vice President of Judaism, Social Action, and Community Service
  • Mazkir – Secretary
  • Gizbor – Treasurer

The positions for BBG Council Board are:

  • N’siah – President
  • S’ganit – Vice President
  • Morah – Vice President of Membership
  • Shlicha – Vice President of Judaism, Social Action, and Community Service
  • Mazkirah – Secretary
  • Gizborit – Treasurer

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Q: What is a BBYO Chapter?

A: The core unit in BBYO is the chapter. Chapters strive to: develop programs and projects that satisfy the basic interests of members; attract new members and involve them in the activities of the chapter; maintain continuity of leadership by developing new leaders; and stimulate the chapter’s activities through diverse programming.

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Q: How do chapters function?

A: The chapter is made up of an executive board of individuals who are democratically-elected by their peers to conduct the business of the chapter. These boards are elected by the rest of the chapter for one term, which lasts six months to a year. Each chapter has a volunteer advisor(s) who support, suggest, and supervise their chapters, work with chapter boards, and act as a friend (with authority) to our youth.

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Q: Who makes up the chapter executive board?

A: Chapter executive boards are elected for 6-12 month terms (depending on the chapter).

The positions for AZA Chapter Board are:

  • Godol – President
  • S’gan – Vice President
  • Moreh – Vice President of Membership
  • Shaliach – Vice President of Judaism, Social Action, and Community Service
  • Mazkir – Secretary
  • Gizbor – Treasurer
  • Sopher – Newspaper/Newsletter Editor (not all chapters have a Sopher)

The positions for BBG Council Board are:

  • N’siah – President
  • S’ganit – Vice President
  • Morah – Vice President of Membership
  • Shlicha – Vice President of Judaism, Social Action, and Community Service
  • Mazkirah – Secretary
  • Gizborit – Treasurer
  • Sophranit - Newspaper/Newsletter Editor (not all chapters have a Sophranit)

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Q: What type of programming do chapters do?

A: Chapters organize regularly scheduled events to provide opportunities for local Jewish teens to gather socially and to enrich their Jewish experience. Additionally, by participating in the process of programming – from brainstorming to budgeting, marketing to evaluation – BBYO teens learn and utilize important skills that will help them for years to come. To ensure that programming is diverse, each AZA, BBG and BBYO chapters continue to program around the organization’s historic focus areas; these are known as folds.

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Q: What are the folds?

A: Folds are programming focal points for the teen leaders in BBYO. AZA has five folds: athletic, community service/social action, education, Judaic, and social. BBG has six folds: community service, creativity, Jewish heritage, sisterhood, recreation, and social action.

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Q: What are chapters like in Atlanta and where are they located?

A: Atlanta Council BBYO is made up of 11 gender-based chapters where young men (Aleph Zadik Aleph) and women (B’nai B’rith Girls) can experience acceptance and solidarity. Members are eligible to join a chapter in their geographic location based on their home address at the end of their 8th grade year.

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Q: Do you have program guidelines?

A: Yes, BBYO staff, volunteers, and youth leaders have the collective responsibility to monitor and maintain the integrity of BBYO activities and programs. These standards have been developed and designed to assist the staff, commission, and youth leaders to achieve the above stated goal.

We have national standards to adhere to AZA and BBG By-Laws and Constitutions of International BBYO and Atlanta Council. Locally we also have program guidelines for individual chapter programs, as well as council events, which are determined by Council Board each programming term.    

Programming focal points known as folds provide a structure to strengthen chapter programming. AZA has the following five folds: athletic, community service/social action, education, Judaic, and social.  BBG has the following six folds: community service, creativity, Jewish heritage, sisterhood, recreation, and social action.

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Q: Do you have a Shabbat policy?

A: Yes, the Sabbath is a day of rest and all programming on that day should reflect this spirit.

Business and formal decision-making is not permitted on Shabbat.

Dances and similar social activities may not occur on Shabbat.

Travel is not permitted on Shabbat unless it is to attend a Shabbat experiential program or authorized by the BBYO office. When necessary, alternate travel will be provided for those who require it.

BBYO groups may hold community service programs on Shabbat with authorization from the BBYO office.

Fundraising activities are not permitted on Shabbat.

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Q: What do I do if my teen has religious school at 9:30 on Sunday morning, and there is a chapter meeting or the sleepover is not over until 10:00 am?

A: BBYO requires a chapter meeting or program on Sunday to start after 12:00 pm. If your teen is attending a sleepover, send a written notice to the advisor or call/email prior to the event to arrange early pick-up for your teen on Sunday morning.

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Q: What do I do if my teen no longer receives emails or phone calls about chapter programs?

A: The advisor and presidents make every effort to involve each member of their chapter to ensure that he/she hears about details of every program. If there is a communication error, please call the advisor and president to let them know. If you can’t reach your advisor or president, please contact the local BBYO staff.

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Q: If my teen breaks a rule at a chapter program, what is the punishment?

A: Depending on the offense, the chapter advisor may simply talk to the teen and work it out at the program. The advisor will notify us as to what happened and how it was handled.

If it is a severe offense, such as hazing or something involving illegal substances, advisors are trained to call staff and ask how to handle situations.  The staff will talk the advisor through the situation and following the incident, staff will determine the appropriate punishment and talk to both the parent and teen.

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Q: What should my teen do when the chapter goes to a restaurant, and we keep kosher outside the home?

A: If your teen will tell the advisor he/she needs a kosher restaurant, then every effort will be made to accommodate your teen. You may prefer to have your teen meet the chapter for the program after the restaurant, or have your teen order a dairy or a vegetarian meal.

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Q: Who makes policy and carries them out?

A: BBYO Inc. sets all national policies for the organization. Local policies are set by the professional staff, in consultation with lay leaders and the JCC, and carried out by the professional staff and the volunteer advisors who work with chapters.

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Q: Why must there be policies?

A: We utilize policies to: help carry out the goals and objectives of BBYO; clarify what we stand for and how our program fits in within these goals; and reflect prevailing values.

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Q: What is the intent of the policies?

A: The intent of the policies is to provide the members with an atmosphere conducive to carrying out the objectives of BBYO and the purpose of the specific program, while insuring the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of all members.

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Q: What is BBYO’s policy on smoking and alcohol consumption?

A: Drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated under any circumstances. BBYO has a zero tolerance policy regarding both.

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Q: What are the consequences if my teen smokes, uses drugs, or drinks alcohol during a BBYO event?

A: BBYO has a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol. Your teens are aware of this policy and have signed a drug policy statement that is included on their BBYO participation application.

Therefore, if a teen shows up at any BBYO event visibly intoxicated, smelling of alcohol, or with any alcohol or drugs in their possession, you will be called to take your teen home. Your teen will face a mandatory suspension from all BBYO activities. Their reinstatement may occur only at the discretion of the BBYO Director after a joint meeting with the teen and parents.

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Q: Is there hazing in BBYO?

A: Hazing is forbidden. BBYO International policy states, “BBYO has been and shall remain an organization based on the principles of spirit, brotherhood, sisterhood, and values. Hazing is a practice that operates separate from all of the values and beliefs that we teach as an organization and is a legal danger to the continued existence of BBYO.” This includes any act that is subtle or causes physical or emotional harm. All programs or functions must have prior approval by the advisor and staff.

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Q: Is gambling permitted at BBYO functions?

A: Gambling in any form is not permitted at any BBYO function.

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Q: Is there a Program Attendance Policy?

A: Yes, the Program Attendance Policy states:

Local Council and Chapter programs must end by 11 pm. If a program is a sleepover and a participant is not sleeping over then he or she must leave the program by 11 pm. BBYO chapter members attending their BBYO chapter program must stay from start to finish.

If participants are going to be more than 1/2 hour late a parent must call the advisor and let them know. If parent doesn't notify the chapter advisor, the participants will not be allowed admittance to the program without parent permission. BBYO programs have specific end times. Parents should be aware of when programs end since BBYO assumes no responsibility for participants after the program ends.

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Q: What do I do if my teen needs to arrive late or leave a program early?

A: If the participant in a BBYO activity must arrive late, parental consent must be given prior to the event to the advisor. Any participant must remain at the program until its conclusion unless a phone call from a parent/guardian is provided to the advisor or staff before the program begins about their early departure.

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Q: Does BBYO keep Kosher?

A: Kashrut laws are observed at all BBYO functions where food is provided. When kosher food is not available, only vegetarian or dairy foods are permitted. If a chapter is having a dinner and each member is purchasing their food, they may individually choose to follow Kashrut laws.

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Q: What do I do if I don’t want my teen in the car with another teen driver?

A: You can drive your teen to and from the event or you can call the advisor and discuss an appropriate alternative. The advisor (at their discretion) can drive your teen.

You can also help out with some of the driving and talk to the advisor about setting up a carpool system with other families that live in your area that might have the same concerns. BBYO staff and advisors are happy to assist in this process.

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Q: What forms are required in order for my teen to participate in BBYO?

A: Each convention registration requires release forms (electronically) in order to participate in the weekend events. Driving forms must be signed if you allow your teen to drive with another teen during an event.

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Q: Is there a form for hosting a program?

A: Parents must fill out a consent form to host a chapter sleepover and return it to the BBYO office. If a parent is hosting an evening, morning, or day program, there is no need to fill out a consent form.

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Q: Is there a form for volunteering to supervise a program in the place of an advisor?

A: There is not a form but please read the information below about supervising a program:

  • Before agreeing to host and be a parent supervisor for the chapter event, speak with the chapter advisor and/or local BBYO professional to make sure it is an official BBYO event and to find out if the advisor will be present for the event. Know the start and end times of the event.
  • It is recommended that at least two adults supervise all events. If no advisor can attend the chapter program, you must be present for the duration of the event as a parent supervisor.  
  • If the advisor is present, please make sure your presence is known. Please make sure you and the advisor speak with the chapter at the beginning of the program about the policies and any rules for your house. You will also need to occasionally check in during the event. For example, if the event is in the basement, stop in a minimum of a couple of times throughout the night.  
  • If an advisor is not present, then your presence must be more akin to program supervisor, until the program has ended. (Being a program supervisor means facilitating the program for the evening and being present in the same room as the event for as much of the time as possible).
  • If food is being served, it must be kosher. If kosher food is not available, it must be dairy or vegetarian.
  • This is your house. BBYO rules and your rules apply. If the activity is to be limited to a specific part of the house and/or if you do not want food and drinks in a certain part of the house, tell the advisor or the teen leader.
  • Additional Program Guidelines per BBYO:
    • Participants should stay inside the house unless a supervised and organized activity is going on outside.
    • The advisor or parent supervisor must remain on site and available during the designated hours of the program.
    • You will have a list of emergency number for all participants and emergency services.  These will be provided by the chapter advisor or local professional (Laura Fendrick).  
    • BBYO is an alcohol, drug and tobacco free organization.  Please refrain from using such products during the program.
  • If an advisor is not able to be present:
    • The same guidelines as above still apply, but you should make your presence known more frequently.
    • If there are any issues that need to be dealt with immediately, please contact the BBYO staff member who is on call that weekend.  Please contact us even if you are unsure of a policy or how to handle a situation.
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
    • Teens may not leave a program to get supplies or food (this includes your teen). All teens must stay on-site for the entire duration of the program once they have arrived.
    • The only people who should be at a chapter program are the chapter members and guests. Guests include the beau, sweetheart, and Atlanta Council Board. These guests will follow the same rules and BBYO policies as the other program participants.  An advisor or supervisor should be aware of the guest or guests visiting the program and should be introduced by the N’siah or Godol upon their arrival.
    • AZA chapters choose a girl to be their sweetheart and BBG chapters choose a boy to be their beau. It is an honorary position. They must follow the same rules and BBYO policies as the other program participants. An advisor or supervisor should be aware of the beau or sweetheart visiting the program and should be introduced by the N’siah or Godol upon their arrival.
    • Regardless of the time, if a policy is violated by any teen, that teen is to be sent home immediately. Please contact the professional staff, Laura Fendrick, as soon as the violation takes place. When teens are dismissed from a program, a parent must be contacted and must pick them up (even if the teen drove themselves).  
    • If policy is broken and the teen or teens involved do not come forward, the event should end immediately and all parents should be notified to pick their teen up from the program (even if the teen drove themselves the parent must pick the teen up).  Immediately contact the professional staff, Laura Fendrick, as soon as the violation takes place.

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Q: If my teen is on a medication, should I keep him/her off the medication during the weekend of a BBYO program?

A: BBYO encourages the continuity of all prescription medications such as Ritalin, Claritin, insulin, an asthma inhaler, etc. A break in the medication schedule during the weekend of a BBYO program may cause the teen to feel acutely distressed or unfocused and may interrupt programming. We want your teen to fully participate and enjoy our program.

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Q: Is it important to let BBYO know if my teen has allergies and takes medication?

A: It is imperative that BBYO knows what medications your teens take and what their allergies/ailments are on their convention registration form. If we have prior knowledge of your teen’s restrictive diet, we will make every effort to accommodate them.

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Q: How do I know if my teen is taking his/her mediation?

A: BBYO staff collects medications brought to conventions and will administer medications as needed.

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Q: What if my teen needs to hold onto his medication?

A: Your teen can hold onto his/her medication for the weekend once you give permission on his/her convention registration form.

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Q: What types of programs does Atlanta Council have?

A: Typically each year Atlanta Council holds the following programs:

  • Kickoff
  • 5 conventions
  • Community Service events
  • 2 Dances
  • Family Shabbat
  • Winter Basketball League
  • 8th Grade Party

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Q: What is the Kickoff?

A: Kickoff happens at the beginning of the programming year in August to “kickoff” the program year. We invite all 9–12th graders to participate. At this time, we welcome new members and welcome back our returning members.

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Q: What are conventions and what types do you have?

A: Conventions are weekend programs designed with a specific theme in mind. During the conventions, teens do BBYO-related activities focused around the AZA and BBG folds (see fold explanation below).  Typically we have five conventions during our programming year.  The conventions are:

Leadership Training Institute (LTI):  This weekend convention focuses on basic leadership training and other information needed for current and future leaders on the council and chapter levels. During the weekend we also have a variety of other social, educational, and Judaic activities.  LTI is held in August and is open to 10-12th graders.

New Member Convention (NMC):  This convention is geared specifically for new members of BBYO.  New BBG members, also know as MITs (Members in Training) and new AZA members, also known as AITs (Alephs in Training), receive comprehensive training about BBYO and how it operates. The sessions will focus on every aspect of AZA and BBG, including BBYO history, philosophy and terminology, rituals and traditions, songs, structures, and who’s who among the youth leadership and the staff. The program is run by the Council Moreh and Morah (membership vice-presidents). NMC is held in September and is open to all 9th graders and steering committee members.

Kallah: A weekend focused on Judaism, social action, and community service and is open to all members who are interested in an opportunity to further connect to Judaism, learn how to be an advocate for Israel, get involved in their community, and have fun with their BBYO friends. Kallah is held in November and open to all 9-12th graders.

Southern Region Convention (SRC): A weekend held with Dixie Council (Charleston, Columbia, Augusta, and Savannah) that includes council elections, business meetings, and the state of the council address, showing chapter spirit through activities and a variety of social, educational, and Judaic activities. SRC is held in January and open to all 9-12th graders.

Atlanta Council Spring Convention (ACSC): A weekend filled with five and six fold programming. This is where the annual BBYO life ceremony is held for seniors. ACSC takes place in March and open to all 9-12th graders.

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Q: Does my teen need a date for any of the council dances and what should he/she wear?

A: Typically Atlanta Council BBYO has two BBYO dances.

These are:

Atlanta Council Dance is BBYO’s formal dance in December where the Council King and Queen are elected. Many teens attend the dance without a date and have a great time with good music and great friends. Over 250 teens come this event and any Jewish 9-12th grader is welcome to attend.

Beau Sweetheart Dance is BBYO’s casual themed dance in February where the chapters elect their Beau or Sweetheart.  Any Jewish 9-12th grader is welcome to attend.

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Q: What are the folds?

A: Folds are programming focal points for the teen leaders in BBYO. AZA has five folds: athletic, community service/social action, education, Judaic, and social. BBG has six folds: community service, creativity, Jewish heritage, sisterhood, recreation, and social action.

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Q: Are there any rules governing conventions?

A: Yes, conventions have similar rules to chapter programs.  Including, but not limited to the following:

  • You must be a registered member of BBYO to attend conventions.
  • All convention participants must attend every scheduled event on time.
  • No participant may leave the activities at any time without permission from the staff (volunteer or professional).  
  • There will be a curfew after all scheduled events.  Everyone must be in his or her respective rooms by curfew.
  • There will be no use, possession, or distribution of alcohol or illegal substances at any time during the convention; this includes drug paraphernalia and incense.
  • NO ONE is allowed to leave convention without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director after he/she has talked to the parent.
  • NO ONE is allowed to have visitors without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director.
  • No visitors are allowed to join the convention at anytime during the convention without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director.
  • NO boys in girls’ rooms, NO girls in boys’ rooms.  If the convention is at a hotel, teens must remain on BBYO assigned floors.
  • Destruction of property, theft, or vandalism will result in suspension from BBYO.  Full payment of property damage will be charged to the individuals found to be responsible.
  • Conventions are often at different venues, so staff will walk the venue and determine where teens can go and which areas are off-limits.
  • Teens are asked to respect staff and each other.

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Q: If my teen breaks a rule, what is the punishment?

A: Any infraction of the rules may result in immediate dismissal from the weekend at the expense of the member and his/her parents. There will be no refund if a participant is sent home. Parents will be notified.

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Q: How is a camp convention staffed?

A: Our policy is one staff member for every 15 teens. BBYO Program Director, BBYO Associate Program Director, and volunteer adult chapter advisors will be staffing. One to two members are assigned to one dorm or cabin. During programming times a staff member will be assigned to monitor and assist with a specific program. Roll call is taken in each dorm or cabin by the staff member and they report to the professional staff if there are any problems.

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Q: How is a hotel convention staffed?

A: Our policy is one staff member for every 15 teens. BBYO Program Director, BBYO Associate Program Director, and volunteer adult chapter advisors will be staffing. Before bed staff and volunteers do room checks and report to professional staff if there are any problems. Boys are on one floor and girls on another. Staff rooms are located on each floor. At night, security guards monitor the floor for the safety and security of our participants. During programming, a staff member will be assigned to monitor and assist with a specific program.

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Q: How are groups and rooms formed at conventions?

A: We feel that it is important for Atlanta teens to mix and mingle at conventions, so we do not take group or rooming requests. At a camp, we place chapters together or rooming is done randomly to allow teens to meet new friends. In hotel rooms, we pair teens from different cities. They will most likely be with at least one other person from each teen’s chapter in a hotel room. Girls and boys will be housed on separate floors of the hotel.

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Q: How does my teen get to Council Conventions if they are out-of-town?

A: Members traveling to out-of-city events, as well as council conventions or retreats, shall travel by bus. We typically have two meeting places, Georgia Perimeter College in Dunwoody and Temple Kol Emeth in East Cobb. For each convention, we will send you transportation information.

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Q: How does my teen get to a local council convention?

A: Typically one of our conventions will be at the MJCCA in Atlanta. Since it is a local event, drop off and pick-up will be at the event facility. Teens that drive MAY drive to and from the convention. Keys will be collected at registration and will be returned at the close of the conference. Teens WILL NOT be able to return to their car for any reason during the conference.

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Q: How do we obtain a convention packing list?

A: Prior to each convention, the local office will send a transportation and packing list.  Typically, we ask participants to pack:

  • Shabbat attire for Friday night (Boys: collared shirts with pants. Girls: casual dress or skirt).
  • Casual clothing for Saturday and Sunday during the day (t-shirt, sweatshirts, jeans, and shorts are appropriate)
  • Saturday night: there will be a dance and the teens often like to dress up but it is not required
  • Toiletries
  • If we are at a camp, appropriate shoes and rain gear is suggested
  • Bedding and pillows are required for all camp conventions.

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Q: Do we need to sign any permission forms prior to a convention?

A: Yes, there will be a participation release form to sign electronically when you register for a convention online.

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Q: What do I do if my teen wants to go to a council convention and BBYO summer programs, but we just can’t afford it?

A: We want all teens to be able to attend our events. The MJCCA and BBYO’s scholarship request form is used to evaluate the scholarship being requested. Before a convention or summer program, the BBYO Director will review the documents and decide on the scholarship award based on a number of different criteria. We will make every effort to provide scholarships for those who need them. Please call or email the BBYO Director for an application; it will be handled confidentially.

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Q: Do chapters have supervisors?

A: Yes. These supervisors are called, advisors, all of whom are required to pass a background check. They are trained by the local BBYO professionals on how to work with their chapter officers and members. They are also required to know the BBYO policies and adhere to them.

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Q: Who are the adults advising my teen’s chapters?

A: Our volunteer advisors are adults from within our community who have an interest in helping shape and mold the life of your teen. They are interviewed, trained, and supervised on an ongoing basis. They need to be at every chapter meeting and event in order for the program to take place. We encourage you to get to know them. The advisors will play an important role in the development of your teen! Call your teen’s advisor with any questions on upcoming events and to ask what you can do to help.

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Q: What do we do in the event my teen’s advisor becomes unavailable for a program?

A: The teens know their chapter cannot meet or have a program if there is not an advisor present. The advisor and our staff will help find a suitable adult chaperone to take the place of the chapter advisor for any event other than a chapter sleepover.

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Q: What happens to my teen’s chapter if they go ahead and have a program without an advisor?

A: Though this is not permitted by BBYO, it is possible that the chapter will take it upon themselves to meet without an advisor. That is why it is important for you and the advisor to be in communication. If the chapter does program without an advisor, they are put on probation. If they decide to meet without an advisor at any other point throughout the programming year, the chapter is put on a mandatory 30-day program suspension. You will be notified if a second offense occurs.

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Q: Where do we find these adult volunteer advisors?

A: The local BBYO staff find BBYO alum, partner with young adult organizations in Atlanta, advertise in newspapers e-newsletters, etc. As the teens plan more programs with their chapter, BBYO is in need of more and more advisors. We need your help finding adults within our community who can serve as responsible Jewish role models for our teens. If you know of anyone who would like to give back to the community, whether a niece, nephew, or family friend, we would appreciate the referral. Feel free to call us with their name and number or have them call us. Thank you for taking an active interest in helping your teen’s chapter.

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Q: Does BBYO have summer leadership programs?

A: Yes! BBYO’s summer leadership programs are truly one-of-a-kind and teach leadership skills that will benefit the teens for the rest of their lives.

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Q: How does my teen register for summer programs?

A: Simply check out the summer program offerings at bbyo.org/experiences. Once your teen has chosen the summer experience to attend simply click :register now' on the program and log on to blinked.org and follow the instructions.

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Q: What are the different types of programs BBYO International offers?

A: Teens can develop leadership skills for their chapter and beyond at Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC); take their leadership skills to the next level with International Leadership Training Conference (ILTC); explore their Jewish identity at Kallah; or make a difference in the world by signing up for Impact! Teens can even travel with the Passport to the World programs.

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Q: Where can I find information about BBYO International Summer Programs?

A: Check out www.bbyo.org for all of BBYO International Summer Program offerings.

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Q: What can I do to honor my teen for academic or athletic excellence or for a proud BBYO moment?

A: You can honor your teen through a number of different ways. You can set up a scholarship fund in their name or you can donate to BBYO through BBYO Friends and Alumni Network (FAN), www.atlantajcc.org/bbyo

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Q: Are there hours of the BBYO Office?

A: Typically the hours fluctuate because professional staff often have late meetings with the teens. The best time to contact staff are between the hours of 10 am - 6 pm.

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Q: What is my role as a parent?

A: 

  • Encourage regular attendance at chapter meetings, functions, and regional conventions.
  • Help provide transportation when and where necessary. We do request your assistance in making sure your teen has transportation.
  • Open your home for a BBYO program. If you do so, please be aware of the following guidelines:
  • All BBYO policies must be adhered to.
  • An advisor/responsible adult is required to attend and be visible at every program.  
  • The unforeseen can happen. If a disturbance or damage occurs, please report all pertinent information to the Regional Office.
  • For an overnight: the Consent to Host a Chapter Overnight Form will be sent via email for you to read and understand your responsibilities as a host of an overnight program. Your teen’s advisor will provide you with the form once you have agreed to host the chapter overnight.  
  • Volunteer to help at programs when advisors ask for assistance. Every parent is needed to assist at different times, and advisors will only ask when help is needed.
  • Share your personal resources. Many times, a parent can be an excellent speaker, discussion leader, etc. or you may know of others who would be appropriate for chapter/council/regional programs.
  • Talk to your teen about BBYO; help them follow through with any responsibilities they may undertake. Speak to your chapter advisor if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Send in necessary forms on time.

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Washington, DC 20006
P: 202.857.6633 / F: 202.857.6568

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