Welcome to GMR! Proudly Serving...Jewish Teens in the Chicagoland Area. The Great Midwest Region is part of the international order of BBYO, Inc. It is composed of chapters all across the Chicagoland area.We have a total of 14 chapters and have a presence in the city of Chicago and the following suburbs: Buffalo Grove Deerfield Elgin Evanston Flossmoor Highland Park Homewood Lincolnshire Long Grove Northbrook Skokie Vernon Hills Wilmette In addition to chapter programming, we also offer service, social action, athletics, and leadership events and weekend conventions throughout the year.
In addition to our high school program, we offer exciting social, recreational, athletic and community service programming for 6th-8th graders through BBYO Connect. Our regional Connect calendar has monthly events, and each of our chapters also plans one or more events during the year specifically for middle schoolers. This program is a fantastic way to engage your middle school teens in a Jewish community across the Chicagoland area. To find out more about our BBYO Connect programming, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aleph Zadik Aleph 8th Grade (after January 1st) - 12th Grade
The Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) is the fraternity component of BBYO. For more than 85 years, AZA has provided Jewish and personal enrichment to hundreds of thousands of young men throughout the world. It's Hebrew letters - Aleph, Zadik, Aleph - stand for Ahava, Tzedakah, Ahdoot, which symbolize fraternal love, benevolence and harmony. With emphasis on the importance of the well-rounded individual, AZA's unique programming includes social programming with BBG and other AZA chapters, community service projects, athletic tournaments and Judaic enrichment programs.
B’nai B’rith Girls 8th Grade (after January 1st) - 12th Grade
For more than 65 years, the B'nai B'rith Girls, the sorority component of BBYO, has helped teenage girls build leadership potential and self-improvement, develop a positive Jewish identity and form friendships that last a lifetime. BBG offers young women the opportunity to enjoy social, athletic, community service and Judaic programming. Often, BBG chapters plan events jointly with local AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) chapters.
History of BBYO in Chicago
Originally, there were two BBYO regions that existed in the Chicagoland area: Chicago Region and Illinois Region. Chicago Region consisted of chapters in the Northern Suburbs, such as Evanston, Skokie, and Buffalo Grove. Illinois Region consisted chapters in the surrounding areas of Chicago, including Elgin, Waukegan, Hyde Park, Quad Cities, and Homewood/Flossmoor. In 1992, these two regions decided to transform into councils under one umbrella region. Then, in 2002, the decision was made that councils would be no more and one big region would form – The Great Midwest Region. Today, there are 14 total chapters in GMR.