Igniting a Global Renaissance of Jewish Teen Life, ‘Game-Changing’ Conference to Draw Largest Crowd Ever


MEDIA CONTACT Debbie Shemony, 202.857.6691; [email protected]

BBYO hosts International Convention (IC) 2017 February 16-20, and, in another first, will livestream select sessions in 360 Virtual Reality on YouTube

DALLAS, TX — At a time when many young people are feeling disconnected from institutional life, thousands of Jewish teens will converge in Dallas on Presidents’ Day weekend for a conference featuring figures from the worlds of politics, activism, entertainment and business who have aimed to “change the game.” The convention is expected to draw nearly 4,800 Jewish teen leaders, educators, professionals and philanthropists from 48 North American states, districts and provinces, and 30 countries, making it one of the largest Jewish communal leadership events in North America and the largest gathering of Jewish teen leaders worldwide.

Among the scores of speakers slated to address BBYO International Convention 2017 are Yehiel ‘Hilik’ Bar, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset; The Honorable Julián Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Andrew Frates, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge creator; Deborah Lipstadt, American historian and author of ‘History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier’; Joshua Malina, American film and stage actor appearing on ABC’s Scandal; and Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), 32nd District of Texas.

There will also be welcome video addresses from Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel; Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada;and Mark Cuban, American businessman, television personality, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

 At IC 2017, teens participate in an experience that challenges them spiritually, personally and intellectually. The convention will focus on how various communities, organizations and individuals are coming together to provide teen leaders with insights gained from their own experiences and share leadership resources and skills they will use to “change the game,” the theme of this year’s event.

 For those unable to attend IC 2017, BBYO will be livestreaming select sessions on Facebook Live and, for the first time, in 360 Virtual Reality on YouTube for those who want to experience the excitement of IC “virtually.” Facebook Live streaming will be accessible on BBYO’s Facebook page, and 360 Virtual Reality streaming will be accessible on BBYO’s YouTube channel. Schedules for both will be posted on BBYO’s International Convention event page.

 In addition to benefiting from a remarkable group of speakers and guests, IC 2017 participants will practice peer leadership and experiential democracy, immerse in and serve the local Dallas host community, celebrate Shabbat with teen-led services and have access to exclusive music performances, all while doing their part to further a strong Jewish future. As the world’s largest pluralistic Jewish teen movement, BBYO serves more than 83,000 teens across 700 communities in 42 countries around the world.

As we highlight BBYO’s core principles of community service, civic engagement, philanthropy, leadership and Jewish heritage, our program will focus on the opportunities we have as citizens to shape the world,” said Matthew Grossman, Chief Executive Officer of BBYO. “Each of our guest speakers has made a positive impact in effecting change, and each has inspirational stories to share.”

 In conjunction with the start of the teen experience at IC 2017, community supporters, philanthropists and senior professionals invested in the Jewish future will attend a reception honoring the Dallas Jewish community featuring BBYO members, alumni and partners from around the world. They’ll gain a deeper understanding of how BBYO changes lives through compelling environments where teens build authentic relationships and lifelong connections to the global Jewish community. 

WHAT: BBYO International Convention (IC) 2017
Full overview of events available upon request

WHO: nearly 4,800 stakeholders expected including:

TEEN PARTICIPANTS: 2,500+ teens expected (296% increase from 2012) 
Representation from: 
• 700 communities worldwide 
• 440 North American chapters 
• 48 North American states/districts/provinces 
• 30 countries ADULT PARTICIPANTS: 2,000+ adults expected
• More than 300 featured speakers, guests and popular music performers 
• Alumni, philanthropists, friends, business and thought leaders 
• Program educators 
• Over 100 partners and sponsors 
• Professional BBYO International staff 
• Local volunteers and parents

WHEN: February 16-20, 2017; Pre-IC summits begin February 15

WHERE: Multiple locations in Dallas, Texas

Please Note: Schedule and speakers are subject to change. 

About BBYO

BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 90 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