To the best of our knowledge, AZA began in Wisconsin in 1926 with Sheboygan AZA #15. BBG started in Wisconsin in 1933. In the beginning, BBYO was much more scattered throughout the state, with a large membership in the Fox River Valley. Eventually, Wisconsin Region became more concentrated in Milwaukee.
At the end of each year, Wisconsin usually has around 500 members. This number includes BBYO and BBYO Connect, which is the middle school feeder program for BBYO. Of these members, about half are boys and half are girls.
Wisconsin Region BBYO is unique in its geography. Although it encompasses the entire state, over 90% of the membership live within 20 minutes of our Regional Offices. It is believed that 45-50% of the Jewish teens in Milwaukee are in BBYO.
Wisconsin Region currently has 8 chapters, all located in Milwaukee. Of these, 4 are BBG and 4 are AZA. We are constantly working on expanding our reach, both geographically and in the number of teens involved.
For more information about Wisconsin Region, please contact the Regional offices at (414)326-2808.
Later this week, 2,400 teens from 48 states and 27 countries will come together for the largest teen gathering of the year – BBYO International Convention (IC). From Feb. 11-15 the teens will gather in Baltimore to hear from distinguished change makers, such as Cornell Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP; Casey Neistat, film director and popular YouTube creative; and Meighan Stone, president of the Malala Fund.
From February 11-15, teens, philanthropists, Jewish professionals and communal leaders will participate in two signature teen events – a Summit on Jewish Teens and BBYO’s International Convention 2016. The two events, centered around teen engagement, are expected to bring together approximately 3,000 teens, funders, practitioners and leaders from across the country.
South Jersey Region BBYO gathered December 11-13 for our Winter Retreat, a newer tradition for the region that combines our Judaism-focused convention (called Kallah) with the respective Brotherhood and Sisterhood overnight events.
The entire Jewish community must face the multi-faceted challenge of engaging our youth. Our collective Jewish future depends on it. No single approach, organization, funder or community will succeed if we do not think and act differently than in the past. That’s why we are flying across the country from California to attend the Summit on Jewish Teens in Baltimore next month.
What’s the difference between an ‘organization’ and a ‘movement’? The collaboration between BBYO and Repair the World taking place over MLK Weekend illustrates how two organizations are using a movement model to engage teens and change lives.