September 02, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 02, 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Debbie Shemony, BBYO
202.857.6691 | [email protected]
“For Every Jewish Teen” Campaign Launches This Fall
WASHINGTON, DC—Over the last decade, BBYO’s impact has dramatically expanded across North America and around the world, now reaching more than 70,000 teens in 725+ communities in nearly 60 countries. With a new recent gift of $1,000,000 from two committed alumni, BBYO is redoubling its efforts to reach, engage, and inspire Jewish teens living in smaller, medium-sized, rural, and unique communities throughout the United States.
Already the largest pluralistic Jewish teen experience in most North American metropolitan and suburban communities, BBYO is seeking to deliver compelling and powerful experiences, enriched by boundless opportunities for peer relationships nationally and globally, to as many Jewish teens as possible. The “For Every Jewish Teen” Campaign will ensure that the opportunity to participate in Jewish teen life, regardless of geography, is afforded to Jewish teens everywhere in the U.S. Supported by alumni Lewis and Sandy Schneider, the campaign will take shape over the next five years through the development of new institutional partnerships, the launch of new BBYO chapters, the creative use of technology, and a focus on outreach to teens living in small, rural, and outlying communities (e.g., boarding schools, military bases, etc.) for BBYO summer programs, camps, and Israel trips.
“BBYO has enabled me to spiritually connect to my heritage and reinforced my Jewish identity to the strongest it’s been my entire life,” shared Toby Stanton, a senior from Augusta, Georgia, and teen president (Godol) of BBYO Eastern Region: Southeast Council. “This new campaign gives members like me an incredible opportunity to work with my peers and plan programming for teens from smaller communities, like ours in Augusta, that will excite them and engage them with other Jewish teens across the country and around the world.”
Hailing from Washington, DC, and growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, Lewis and Sandy Schneider first met in BBYO in 1965. For both, BBYO was an important social outlet that enabled them to build community and expand their Jewish network. “As a teenager, BBYO became my lifeline and thankfully, got me out of the house,” shared Lewis. “While I was never in a chapter leadership role, I participated in BBYO to help me grow up.” To this day, the Schneiders keep in touch with many of their friends from BBYO and remain passionate about providing meaningful Jewish experiences to teens outside of major metropolitan areas with smaller Jewish populations and fewer options for Jewish life or programming. “We are thrilled to support the ‘For Every Jewish Teen’ initiative and help enable BBYO to reach teens from all corners of the U.S. and connect them to something bigger than themselves,” the Schneiders remarked.
“BBYO is so grateful to the Schneiders for expanding our ability to reach teens from communities that are not typically supported by an expansive Jewish infrastructure,” said Matthew Grossman, chief executive officer of BBYO. “Our mission is one of inclusivity and ensuring that teens who live in communities that are typically underserved by Jewish programming will only further strengthen the diversity within our Movement.”
To ensure the successful implementation of the "For Every Jewish Teen” campaign, BBYO’s Regional Director in Minnesota, Max Hendrix, will assume the new role of Manager of New Chapter and Community Expansion. Max grew up in a small Jewish community of less than 100 families, and worked for NFTY, the URJ, Kutz Camp, and Hillel, before joining BBYO and expanding its presence in Minnesota from 10 teens in one chapter to nearly 170 teens in three chapters over the last few years.
In addition to fostering relationships with smaller Jewish communities throughout the U.S., Max will also partner with local Jewish institutions, organizations, and synagogues in these communities for the long-term sustainability of BBYO chapters. For those interested in learning more or partnering with BBYO on this initiative, Max can be reached at [email protected].
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.”
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