Denver leaders recognized at BBYO convention


Fifty-two teens from BBYO Rocky Mountain Region joined more than 4,000 teen leaders, educators, professionals and philanthropists from 48 states and 27 countries, Feb. 11-15, in Baltimore at the BBYO international convention of 2016.

They heard from distinguished officials and Jewish personalities, while breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest Shabbat dinner ever.

With an attendance growth of 182% since 2012, the convention was a dynamic meeting place and real world classroom, providing teen leaders an opportunity to join together for insights, shared leadership resources and new skills with which they may change the world. 

Nicci Mowszowski, 17, from Cherry Creek High School, was elected as Sh'licha (VP of Jewish Heritage, Community Service and Social Action).

She will be a part of a 10-member teen board that will help chart the organization's vision for the coming year and provide leadership and support to teen leaders in local communities throughout the BBYO system.

The Rocky Mountain Region announced that Audra Feierstein, a volunteer advisor of Leah Faye BBG #2310 for the past 13 years, received the David Bittker Unsung Hero BBG Advisor of the Year Award.

Only one BBG and one AZA advisor are chosen to win this award on an annual basis.

For the second consecutive year, the Jim Joseph Foundation, Maimonides Fund, the Marcus Foundation, the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds and the Schusterman Family Foundation hosted the Summit on Jewish Teens during the first 24 hours of the convention.

With nearly 350 of the Jewish community's most influential leaders and philanthropists in attendance, the summit was an opportunity for participants to discuss bolstering teen engagement in Jewish life now and in the future.

This year's featured speaker was New York Times Commentator David Brooks.

Cornell Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP; Justin Baldoni, American actor and director; Casey Neistat, film director and popular YouTube creative; Meighan Stone, president of The Malala Fund; Dr. Einat Wilf, Israel's roving ambassador; and award winning singer and songwriter Jason Derulo were a part of the convention.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Justin Trudeau, newly elected prime minister of Canada, appeared on videos.

Opening ceremonies included remarks and guest appearances by Alan Gill and Jonathan Kolker, CEO and past president, respectively, of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; Jeffrey Kalinksy, VP and designer fashion director at Nordstrom and BBYO alum; Ira Lipman, CEO and founder of Guardsmark; and Rabbi Carlos Tapiero, deputy director general of the Maccabi World Union. Other leaders at the convention included Gideon Lichtman, retired US Air Force pilot and a founding member of the Israeli Air Force; Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO, KIND Snacks; and Geena Rocero.