Philadelphia BBYO

January 2012/Tevet 5772 Issue

Serving – Morrisville, Woodside, Newtown, Holland, Horsham, Willow Grove, Jenkintown, Melrose Park, Northeast, Langhome, Villanova, Radnor, Haverford, Garden City

We're always looking to expand! If you would like BBYO to serve your community, please email us at or contact the regional office at 215-635-7300 ext 192.

In This Issue:

The Jewish Identity

BBYO Connect Opportunities

Teen Presidents Return from Abroad

Summer Recruitment Off to a Record Breaking Start

Upcoming Events

Oratory Winners to be Published in JTA

Southern Alum Reunion at IC

Torah Portions on Facebook

Lasko College Prep

Young Adults Needed





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The Jewish Identity

As many of you know I am part of the third cohort of PDI, which is a program that offers program staff an opportunity to pursue an MBA and MJED. Earlier this month I was away on one of our in class school retreats which focused on the history of the American Jews.  A passage was read from “In the Image” by Dara Horn which resonated greatly to the Identity work that I feel we in BBYO are focusing on.  The passage spoke about an interesting moment in history when Jewish immigrants coming into America for various reasons were giving up “traditional” ways of Judaism as they were entering the “new world”. The passage opens a large question for Jewish people today – What is the American Jewish identity? I would go on to add, is it changing with our youth?

The school seminar transitioned into BBYO’s annual staff conference during which I lead a program with staff from across the country discussing those two very questions. The results of which was an eye opening experience for all, motivating ourselves to re-exam what defines our “J-ID” and how our youth have began the process for themselves already, while the adults were left behind scrambling for solid ground.

Read more.

Michael A

BBYO Connect for Middle School Students

BBYO Connect in Philadelphia hosted its first event last month on the first night of Chanukah. Middle school youth from across the greater Philadelphia area, gathered for an evening that was soon filled with fun, new friends, music and laughter.  The “tweens” had a little bit of everything that evening.  The program included an active scavenger hunt, live music and song session, not to mention a little of Jewish education and the lighting of the first Chanukah candle together as a single community.

BBYO Connect aims to help engage middle school youth in the greater Philadelphia community in active social and Judaic activities.  There is NO membership fee or requirements. Our goal is to expose youth earlier on to fun, social and educational elements of Judaism that will encourage them to stay active in the community into their teenage years and beyond.
If you are interested in hosting an event in your JCC, synagogue or in your neighborhood, contact us and we will be happy to create, run and promote an event with you.

Please see below upcoming Events.

Contact Steve Pashko for more information at



BBYO Connect is a division of BBYO aiming to create a community of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders through social and meaningful experiences that will serve as a gateway to continued involvement in Jewish life.

Eighth Graders are Now Eligible for AZA and BBG Membership!

Do you have an 8th grader in your life who wants to become involved with AZA and BBG? Beginning January 1, all current 8th graders are eligible for full AZA or BBG membership, including opportunities to attend conventions and chapter meetings. Don’t miss out on the fun and meaningful opportunities that await, buy a membership today!

International Teen Presidents Return from BBYO's Canadian Regions and Global Affiliates









(BBYO's International Teen Presidents outside Buckingham Palace in London)

Grand Aleph Godol Oz Fishman and International N'siah Samantha Levinson just returned from visiting over 10 communities as BBYO’s International Teen Presidents! Starting with Canada, Sam and Oz spent the first half of December touring BBYO regions in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Then they crossed the Atlantic, visiting BBYO partner affiliates and BBYO/JDC service communities across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Bulgaria, and Israel. Their work as BBYO ambassadors helps unite Jewish teens across the world, building the BBYO movement and delivering on the teen-led agenda and priorities for 2011-2012.  (You can watch a video detailing these priorities here.)

Learn more about Oz's discussion with Bulgarian teens on community service as a Jewish value, Samantha's excitement at Canada sending more than 40 teens to IC, and more reflections on their trip on Keeping PACE, the International Teen Presidents travel blog, chronicling their gap year with BBYO.

BBYO's 2012 Summer Experience Registration Is Breaking Records!

Do you want to spend your summer making a difference, traveling the world and building lifelong friendships?   Registration for BBYO domestic Summer Experiences and BBYO Passport travel are up more than 400 percent over last year! Don't miss the opportunity to attend the program of your choice, as this unprecedented spike in early registration has left many experiences close to selling out.

The final early-bird discount of $75 ends Feb. 28th, so take advantage of the savings and make sure you are guaranteed a spot in what is sure to be a meaningful and memorable summer! Click above on the interactive brochure or visit BBYO.ORG/SUMMER for more information and scholarship details on BBYO's broadest and most affordable menu of offerings ever.

Upcoming Events!

January 22nd 2011: BBYO Connect Bowling Party - Brunswick Zone XL 3:00pm – 5:30pm

Join us for an evening of Bowling and help us end Hunger! Cost is $10.00 - Includes: Two hours of bowling, shoe rental, and dessert.
Or $9.00 with a donation of at least one canned food item.
All donations and funds raised will go
to the JCC Klein Food Pantry.
RSVP your spot by email

February 11 2012: Philly BBYO Beau-Sweetheart Dance - Spring Mill Manor - 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Annual regional dance is coming soon! All teens are welcome to attend. Cost is $50.00 for single ticket or $90.00 for a couples ticket. The evening will include a full served dinner and dessert, special show, DJ dance, and awesome give aways for everyone!

Registration is open on More info email

March 23-25, 2012: 3rd Annual East Coast Kallah - Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, Md
Join 500+ Alephs and B'nai B'rith Girls from 8 Regions for a mega-Shabbat packed with ruach and tradition, an incredible program line-up, renowned guest educators, and an unprecedented fundraising effort for Jewish teens overseas.

Registration will open soon on More info email

March 30-31 2012: Philly BBYO AIT/MIT Convention – Kaiserman JCC
A convention for new members that joined during the year, learn about all that BBYO is and can become for you. Learn about the different leadership positions, experience traditions that foster brotherhood and sisterhood.

Registration will open soon on More info email

Oratory Contest Winners to be Published in JTA - February 1 Deadline!



AZA and BBG is now accepting submissions for this year’s Oratory and Storytelling Contests! "Am I a Jewish American or American Jew? Jewish Canadian or Canadian Jew? Wherever you live, does your Judaism come before your nationality?"  and “What makes Judaism unique and why is it important to me?” are the AZA and BBG themes for this year’s competition. If you’re creative, writing a fictional, funny story related to your BBYO experience and Jewish identity could win you the Storytelling Contest. More serious reflections on your personal experiences, the state of BBYO and the future of the Jewish people make up the Oratory Contest, with the JTA (the global news service of the Jewish People) providing special recognition to this winner by publishing their full submission to their audience of 200,000 monthly readers.

Visit the Storytelling and Oratory page on to watch videos and learn more about the details of this year's competitions. The deadline for entering is February 1, 2012! Winners will be announced at BBYO’s International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia from February 16 - 20.

Do You Know an Alum from the South?





BBYO's Friends and Alumni Network (FAN) is hosting the first-ever Southern Regions/Districts Alumni Reunion at International Convention 2012. Register or learn more at

The Southern Regions/Districts Alumni Reunion is on Saturday, February 18 at The Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta, GA.  International Convention (IC) is the largest annual gathering of BBYO participants from across the world.  This year BBYO is expecting a record breaking 850 teens to join together at IC in Atlanta.  Join us at the IC Reunion to reconnect with fellow AZA and BBG alumni and friends while enjoying a dessert reception.  Space is limited so sign up today!

BBYO Teens Discuss Weekly Torah Portions on Facebook

Join the more than 650 people on Facebook every week that receive video D'var Torah updates from BBYO teen leaders! Through this new Facebook group led by Benji Fages (Lake Ontario Region); Emily Nassir (Big Apple Region); Ben Nach (Mountain Region); and Amy Restan (United Kingdom), engage in conversations about the weekly Torah portion with fellow BBYO teens from around the world!

Click here to join the group.

The Lasko College Prep Program

Last year over 7 BBYO AZA and BBG participated in this impactful program. The Lasko College Prep Program is a FREE college readiness program for rising Jewish high school seniors.  It includes a PAID 7-week summer internship at local Jewish organizations. SAT/ACT tutoring and social activities, College admissions counseling & financial aid advising. Not to mention continued support offered throughout senior year.

We highly encourage everyone to Call JEVS Career Strategies at 215-854-1834
Inquire about income eligibility

Young Adults Needed!

Do you have what it takes to be a mentor to young men or women? AZA and BBG Chapters are in need of an adult advisor who can help them with programming and fundraising ideas, convention preparation, and attend chapter meetings and regional events!
If you contain life skills and truly want to give back to your community, please contact Michael in the regional office by calling 215-635-7300 ext 192 or via email