WASHINGTON, DC & AROUND THE WORLD—For the first time, BBYO is hosting the world’s largest celebration of teen culture and leadership, BBYO International Convention 2021, as a hybrid festival with digital and in-person experiences around the globe over Presidents’ Day weekend, February 11–15, 2021. This epic event will offer countless opportunities for Jewish teens to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and commit themselves to projects and initiatives they are passionate about.
BBYO International Convention (IC) unites the Jewish community’s top teen leaders, educators, professionals, and philanthropists for one of the largest Jewish communal events of the year. As they do each year, IC 2021 delegates will have access to inspiring speakers and influencers, exclusive music performances, leadership skills sessions, community service opportunities, Shabbat celebrations, and opportunities to meet and connect with Jewish teens throughout the world—but this year, the activity will take place across every time zone around the world at the same time.
Among the special guests scheduled to address attendees at IC are:Deni Avdija, Professional Basketball Player, Washington Wizards; Pete Davidson, Comedian, Actor, and SNL Cast Member; Karla Martinez De Salas, Editor in Chief, Vogue Mexico & Vogue Latin America; The Honorable Gabby Giffords, Activist and Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives; Susan Hennike; President, Champion North America; Avi Issacharoff, Co-Creator, Fauda; Grant Hill; Former NBA Player and Vice Chairman, Atlanta Hawks; and Rebel Wilson, Actress, Comedian, Writer, and Producer.
The digital nature of this year’s convention presented a unique opportunity to make BBYO’s signature experience accessible to any Jewish teen interested in attending, anywhere in the world. IC will offer round-the-clock programming with a range of experiences that are both specific to local communities and simultaneously shared global events. Through a groundbreaking and interactive digital format, participants will have unique opportunities to do things like tour Jewish communities throughout the world, participate in global gaming tournaments, connect with popular brands, visit an online marketplace, hang out in elevated Jewish enrichment and social spaces, and reunite with friends. Additional highlights at this year’s event will include an inspiring Opening Ceremony, keynote addresses from a variety of powerful voices and changemakers who teens admire, an uplifting and pluralistic worldwide Shabbat gathering, and a colossal celebration of the BBYO Movement with top musical talent, celebrities, and more.
Stakeholder sessions with BBYO teens and executive leadership will be embedded throughout the IC experience and include a special program for BBYO parents on Sunday, February 14th on how to help their teens consider and connect to Jewish life on campus, hosted by BBYO’s newly formed Parent Advisory Council.
Some other unique IC program highlights this year include:
- Over 450 local experiences in BBYO chapters around the world; from Montreal to Moscow to Buenos Aires to Baltimore, programming will take place in person (where permitted), digitally, or via a hybrid experience
- Thirty-three Leadership Labs for teens to choose from introducing topics such as fighting online hate, exploring activism through art, apparel design, and sports technology
- Twenty eight diverse Shabbat prayer options for teens to participate in across a multitude of time zones, showcasing themes and intentions designed by teens from social justice to mental health to connecting with peers during COVID-19
- An exclusive studio show and conversation with global Israeli star, singer, and winner of Eurovision 2018, Netta Barzilai
- IC Kitchen experiences to learn new cooking techniques, including a Guac Off, Beyond the Braid with Challah Prince, and a Global Food Tour
- A gaming tournament to compete in video games with players worldwide, lasting all weekend long
- AZA and BBG lounges featuring experiences like The Great BBG Bakeoff, an AZA Shark Tank-style competition, an NBA watch party, and wellness initiatives in collaboration with the Zen Zone
- A private concert and live Q&A with DJ superstar, songwriter, and record producer Diplo, live from Mexico
- …. and much more!
“This year’s convention theme, ‘United We Rise,’ truly encapsulates the resiliency and creativity BBYO teens have demonstrated throughout history and especially throughout this history-making year,” said Matthew Grossman, Chief Executive Officer of BBYO. “While our organization enjoys a rich and tradition-laden longevity, the adaptive and innovative spirit of our members has allowed us to create an event that will be as robust and transformative as ever, in a totally new space. IC is a festival of teenage culture, but more than ever it is also a celebration of ingenuity born of unity, and this event represents the pinnacle of the great things our Movement can achieve together.”
BBYO will be livestreaming a community-wide Havdalah on Saturday night, February 13 at 6:30 PM ET, where thousands of teens, families, staff, and community members will join together in one of the world’s largest Havdalah celebrations. In addition, members of BBYO’s teen press corps will be broadcasting live news desk coverage from IC on Thursday, February 11 at 6:00 PM ET, and Sunday, February 14 at 3:00 PM ET. Livestreaming will be accessible on BBYO’s Facebook page, and videos will later be posted on BBYO’s YouTube channel.
QUICK FACTS: BBYO International Convention (IC) 2021
February 11–15, 2021
- Teen Participants: 2,000+ teens expected with representation from:
- 725 communities worldwide
- 84 delegations across 17 time zones
- 47 participating countries (including United States and Canada)
- Adult Participants: 1,000+ adults expected, including:
- More than 130 featured speakers, guests, and popular music performers
- 175 volunteer chapter advisors
- Alumni, philanthropists, clergy, friends, and business and thought leaders
- Dozens of program educators and Jewish enrichment consultants
- Professional BBYO international staff
- Partners: 75+ brand and program partners, including:
- Brand partners: Champion, Hudl, Lost Tribe Esports, the National Basketball Association (NBA), TED-Ed, Twitter, Vogue, and more
- Program partners: AIPAC, Hillel, Keshet, Maccabi USA, PJ Library, Repair the World, The LA Galaxy, USA Today, World Central Kitchen, and more
Please Note: Schedule and speakers are subject to change.
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 95 years, BBYO‘s leadership programs the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority) have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of more than 400,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts, and Jewish communal life. Now, BBYO’s network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers, and philanthropists serves as the Jewish community’s most valuable platform for delivering to the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah audience fun, meaningful, and affordable experiences. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world-wide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel education, and Jewish values.
Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, but rather as “BBYO.”
For more information on BBYO, please visit bbyo.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.