“Our Turn”: Thousands of Teens Gather for a Transformative Moment to Declare Their Value as Partners in Society


MEDIA CONTACT Debbie Shemony, 202.857.6691; mailto: [email protected]

DENVER, CO—At a moment in history where teens are revolutionizing their role as societal changemakers and declaring that age is not and should not be the defining factor of leadership, over 3,000 teens from 40 countries are convening in Denver, Colorado, for BBYO International Convention 2019, and declaring, it’s “Our Turn.” This monumental event, taking place over Presidents’ Day weekend, February 14–18, 2019, will offer myriad opportunities for Jewish teens to connect with their peers, grow as leaders, and redefine how they are valued and viewed.

In total, more than 5,500 of the Jewish community’s top teen leaders, educators, thought and business leaders, and philanthropists from around the world will come together in Denver for one of the largest Jewish communal events of the year. Delegates will hear from and meet inspiring speakers, expand their leadership skills, serve the local community, learn together, celebrate the Sabbath, have access to exclusive music performances, and do their part to strengthen the Jewish future.

Among the many slated to address the crowd at IC are:Jared Schutz Polis, Governor of Colorado; Chelsea Handler, Comedian, Actress and Activist; Fred Guttenberg, Activist, Orange Ribbons for Jamie; Ty Haney, Founder and CEO, Outdoor Voices; Max Greenfield, Actor and Producer; MKRachel Azaria, Member of the Israeli Knesset; Adam Rippon, Olympic Medalist and LGBTQ Activist; Katy Koob, Vice President, Brand Partnerships, Refinery 29; andCory Gardner, U.S. Senator (R-CO).

BBYO IC 2019 will also serve as the launch point for a historic anniversary celebration asthe Order of the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) turns 75 this year. Celebrations throughout IC will recognize women who have made an impact in their communities and the world, and there will be multiple content sessions focused on topics such as women’s empowerment, leadership training, gender equality, and women’s rights. Female leaders, mentors, and activists who are slated to speak on these tracks include Sarah Hurwitz, former head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama; Brittany Packnett, activist, educator, and writer; Kirby Bumpus, head of social impact and inclusion, sweetgreen; Stephanie Wittels-Wachs, actress, activist, and author; Jennifer Rubin, opinion writer for The Washington Post, and many others. There will also be an interactive BBG @75 Lounge at IC, sponsored by The Female Quotient, offering a unique opportunity for young girls and women to interact with and be inspired by one other.

With a nearly 300% surge in attendance since 2013, IC continues to demonstrate the increased demand by teens for high-quality Jewish experiences with their peers. This year’s convention theme, “Our Turn,” speaks to today’s vital need and incredible opportunity for young people to be significant forces of change as they lead in their communities and society.

IC 2019 offers a range of programming throughout the weekend that will focus on empowering teens to collaborate to bring new ideas to fruition, including over 50 direct service projects and leadership labs at sites throughout the Denver area. The conference will showcase the diversity of the BBYO community, with 240 delegates from 40 countries attending the iconic event. For the first time, delegates from Costa Rica, the 50th country to join BBYO’s global movement, will attend the conference, enhancing BBYO’s celebration of global Jewish culture in a way that only BBYO is poised to do. This year, teens will also be rallying around the organization and cause, “Knock Knock Give a Sock,” at convention, encouraging all participants to bring an extra pair of socks to donate to those in need.

This weekend is about celebrating thousands of teens who are taking part in something bigger than themselves and declaring that it is ‘their turn’ to make powerful and positive changes in the world,” said Matthew Grossman, Chief Executive Officer of BBYO. “This is an incredible opportunity for participants to learn from and engage with so many wonderful speakers and public figures, and our hope is that they’ll be inspired to elevate their global awareness and take action on what matters most to themin their schools, in their communities, and in the world.”

For those unable to attend IC, BBYO will be livestreaming select sessions on Facebook Live. Livestreaming will be accessible on BBYO’s Facebook page, and videos will later be posted on BBYO’s YouTube channel. Schedules for streaming will be posted on BBYO’s International Convention event page and BBYO’s Facebook page,

WHAT: BBYO International Convention (IC) 2019
           Full overview of events available upon request

WHO: 5,500+ stakeholders expected, including:

  • TEEN PARTICIPANTS: 3,000+ teens expected, with representation from:
    • 713 communities worldwide
    • 487 North American and global chapters
    • 43 North American states/districts/provinces 
    • 40 countries
  • ADULT PARTICIPANTS: 2,500+ adults expected:
    • More than 300 featured speakers, guests, and popular music performers 
    • Alumni, philanthropists, clergy, friends, and business and thought leaders 
    • Program educators 
    • Over 150 partners and sponsors 
    • Professional BBYO International staff 
    • Local volunteers and parents
  • PARTNERS: 150+ brand, program and community partners, including:
    • Brand partners Adobe, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Dave & Buster’s, KIND Snacks, Soul Cycle, TOMS, UNICEF USA—and many more
    • Program partners Birthright Israel, Challah for Hunger, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Nike, The Humane Society—and many more
    • Community partners Denver Art Museum, Mass FX Media, Mile High Stadium, Olympic Training Center, The University of Denver—and many more

WHEN: February 14–18, 2019; Pre-IC Summits begin February 13

WHERE: Multiple locations in Denver, Colorado

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.