Structure of BBG
In order to appreciate the many opportunities that BBG offers, one must understand the structure of the organization and the many levels at which one can be involved.
BBG BEGINS WITH MEMBERS
While countless opportunities for leadership exist within BBG, the organization succeeds due to the active participation of all members. It is every member’s right to utilize BBG to its full capacity, whether it be attending programs, assisting in event planning, inviting other Jewish teens to get involved or by serving as active members of the Jewish community.
BBG IS BUILT ON PLURALISM
BBG has always been a Movement that Jewish young women can join regardless of their levels of Jewish observance. It is the mission of BBG to create a united Jewish community that grows because it celebrates Judaism’s differences. At conventions, programs, and summer experiences, BBGs are encouraged to learn more about the different Jewish customs and rituals from other BBGs from around the world. BBG is very privileged to welcome many kinds of Judaism, but also many different kinds of Jews. BBG is open to Jewish young women regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. This notion was affirmed by the “Stand UP for Each Other” campaign for respect and inclusion, an initiative that presents the values of BBG within the context of inclusivity – creating a safe space for all Jewish teens in BBYO.
LEVELS OF BBG
Because there are thousands of BBGs around the world, it is necessary to break BBG down into smaller groups. The following structure has been developed over time to maximize each member’s opportunity for involvement.
Chapters: The smallest, most personal, and arguably most important group within BBG is the chapter. Each member of BBG belongs to a chapter and each chapter functions much like a large family. Chapters plan programs geared toward the interests of their members and train new members in the ways of BBG. A chapter’s small size allows for the development of strong bonds between the members of the chapter. The chapter is the most important level of BBG because it affects BBGs most directly.
Councils: Several chapters in the same area may be grouped into a council. Some areas have councils and others do not. They are usually used to break up large regions in order to provide additional leadership opportunities and make communities of chapters more manageable.
Regions: Chapters in a larger area are grouped into regions. They vary in size from one large city to several states, provinces, or entire countries. Regions serve to bring chapters together so that they can exchange ideas, socialize, compete, and work together on larger projects. Regions also exist to serve the chapters and to help them in any way possible. Councils and regions represent all BBG communities at the international level.
Note: Certain regions that are composed of councils elect council boards as opposed to a single regional board. This scenario, known as council predominance, may occur for a variety of reasons, such as large geographic distance between councils, very large regional membership, or if the councils vary in strength to the point where each council is better served by independent leadership.
BBG is a teen-led organization. Each chapter, council, region, and international program elects officers with different responsibilities in order to sustain the Order. Chapter officers serve six-month or full-year terms. On the council, region, and international levels, all officers serve for one year. The following are the major offices found in BBG chapters, though the order of offices varies in different areas:
N’siah – President
• Leads her chapter
• Works with each board member to help accomplish their individual goals.
• Represents her chapter to her council/region
• Runs business meetings
• Make sure the board is fulfilling their responsibilities
• Communicates with the chapter advisor
• Presides over chapter elections
• Is responsible for the well being of the chapter
• Keeps constant communication with the council/regional N’siah
S’ganit- Vice-President of Programming
• Responsible for programming in all of the Six Folds
• Presides over committees for events
• Coordinates all chapter chairwomanships
• Runs board meetings
• Sustains constant communication with the council/regional S’ganit
Aym Ha- Chaverot- Vice-President of Membership
• Coordinates chapter recruitment efforts
• Coordinates chapter retention and re-education efforts
• Guides and directs members in the re-registration process
• Educates new members on BBG and BBYO traditions and history through MIT classes
• Responsible for keeping sisterhood strong in the chapter
• Keeps constant communication with the council/regional Aym Ha-Chaverot
Sh’licha- Vice-President of Jewish Heritage, Community Service and Social Action
• Plans Judaic, community service and social action programming
• Works to promote the chapter’s Stand UP cause through philanthropy, service and advocacy
• Plans all Shabbat services
• Educates chapter on Jewish customs and holidays
• Keeps constant communication with the council/regional Sh’licha
• Serves as the chapter’s advocate for the international Speak UP campaign
Mazkirah- Corresponding secretary
• Communicates with the chapter through different mediums.
• Informs chapter members of upcoming events
• Keeps track of incoming and outgoing chapter funds.
• Plans chapter fundraisers
• Manages annual contribution to the International Service Fund (ISF) to support global Jewry
• Communicates with chapter advisor concerning chapter finances
• Keeps in constant communication with the council/regional Gizborit
Katvanit- Recording secretary
• Takes minutes at chapter and board meetings
Orechet- Newspaper editor
• Creates and distributes chapter newsletter
• Makes chapter website
Madricha- Parliamentarian (traditionally the past N’siah)
• Helps new chapter board when needed
It is common for officers to be acknowledged by their elected office and the level of BBG on which they serve. The president of region, for example, is called the Regional N’siah, while the international president is called the International N’siah.
Note: The positions listed above are examples of organized leadership in BBG. However, throughout its history, BBG has empowered members at all levels of involvement to make a difference within their chapters and regions. Many communities have other locally specific roles for BBGs.
While BBG is a teen-led organization, adults play an important role, assisting in decision-making processes and helping to resolve any problems that might arise. Some staff members are paid professionals while others are volunteer advisors.
The adult with whom you will come in contact most often is your chapter advisor. She is a volunteer who gives of her time to help interpret BBYO policy as well as work with the elected leadership to guide the chapter. The advisor attends all chapter events and is available as a resource and mentor to chapter members.
The professional staff members primarily responsible for overseeing a council or region are the Program Directors and Program Associates. BBYO Professionals serve as advisors to the regional/council board, supervise the chapter advisors, and help plan regional/council events. Professionals are also responsible for working with parents, coordinating the fundraising efforts through BBYO’s Friends & Alumni Network (FAN), and forging relationships with community agencies.
Through summer experiences and other international activities, a BBG will likely encounter members of the International Office Staff. These professionals are charged with setting and leading the strategic direction of the organization. Members of the International Office staff have responsibilities ranging from managing the finances of the operations and running our summer leadership programs to hiring and training our regional and council paid professional staff and serving as a liaison with our international teen executive boards. In addition, fundraising and alumni relations efforts are coordinated at this level.