2023 convention theme, “Now is Our Time,” heralds a call to action to young leaders to focus on the importance of democracy as a means to create change
DALLAS, TEXAS | This week, more than 3,200 teens from 44 countries will attend BBYO International Convention (IC) in Dallas, Texas, February 15–20, 2023, representing the largest gathering of young Jewish leaders in the world. This trailblazing event will shape the narrative on how teens combat antisemitism, embrace democracy, and fuel their enthusiasm for making a difference in their communities. IC 2023’s convention theme, “Now Is Our Time,” represents not only a celebration of the current strength and spirit of the teen-led BBYO Movement, but also an empowering invitation to young people worldwide to advocate for causes about which they are passionate.
BBYO will celebrate the vibrancy of Jewish communities around the world by welcoming new chapters and communities to IC this year, including teens from Boise, Idaho; El Paso, Texas; Hamilton, Ontario; Maui, Hawaii; Princeton, New Jersey; Reno; Nevada; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Canberra, Australia; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Bucharest, Romania; and Stockholm, Sweden. In total, this year’s convention will welcome nearly 500 global delegates and staff from across Europe, Asia, and Latin America, including 12 teens from Ukraine, as well as another dozen Ukrainian teens who fled their country and sought refuge in countries throughout Europe, Israel, and North America. With unprecedented worldwide demand among teens to attend IC, groups of over 50 delegates each from Argentina and Germany are participating this year, as well as hundreds of teens from 40 additional countries.
With an urgent recognition that leaders across generations must work together to address today’s challenges, BBYO is proud to welcome some of the brightest and most influential speakers ever to connect with teens at IC, including Douglas Emhoff, The Second Gentleman of the United States; Naftali Bennett, Israel’s 13th Prime Minister; Kudzi Chikumbu, TikTok Global Head of Creator Marketing; Gabby Douglas, Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist; David Hogg, March for our Lives Co-Founder; Deborah Lipstadt, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism; Samantha Logan, Actress, CW’s “All American”; Chris Olsen, Actor and Digital Creator; Ryan Turrell, NBA G League Motor City Cruise Player; and Maddie Ziegler, Professional Dancer, Singer, Model and Actress.
In a historic moment for BBYO, Douglas Emhoff, the Second Gentleman of the United States will deliver a keynote address. The Second Gentleman and Naftali Bennett, Israel’s 13th Prime Minister, will also host two separate roundtable sessions with teen leaders where they will dialogue on topics such as leadership, democracy, civic engagement, and antisemitism. BBYO is honored to be one of the most powerful platforms in the Jewish community for teens as they reflect on the need for vision and bold leadership with unparalleled access to world leaders.
“In planning for this year’s convention, our conversations with teen leaders kept returning to the importance of democracy and the role it can and should play in addressing key issues,” shared Matt Grossman, CEO of BBYO. “This concept will be the pivotal point through much of the programming, including one-on-one roundtables with world leaders and influencers, learning sessions with scores of diverse educators, over 30 peer-led Shabbat services, and a multitude of activities that are intended to surprise and delight all those in attendance.”
In total, more than 5,000 of the Jewish community’s top teen leaders, educators, business icons, thought leaders, and influencers from around the world will come together for one of the largest Jewish communal events of the year. Throughout an action-packed five-days, teen delegates will not only hear from and meet inspiring speakers, they will enhance 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. IC will also serve as a gathering place for the Jewish community’s leading philanthropists and professionals to collaborate on critical issues facing young people and youth-serving organizations. A stakeholder reception before IC Opening Ceremonies will thank hundreds of members of the Dallas Jewish community for their role in supporting the event.
This year, teens have chosen to rally around a local organization, Dallas Hope Charities, to collect donations for those in need. Dallas Hope Charities provides food, shelter, and services that instill dignity, stability, and “Hope For All,'' and is focused on helping LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. Participants have been asked to bring pens, pencils, highlighters, socks, and band-aids to help build their Worthy Bags.
Some unique IC program highlights this year include:
- Access to one-of-a-kind learning and service experiences including at Microsoft Tech Center, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Custom Ink, Dallas Animal Services, The Selfie Bar, and the Texas Motor Speedway (nearly 50 Leadership Labs and service projects in all).
- Exclusive musical performances by 24kGoldn, Nicky Youre, Cash Cash, and Loud Luxury.
- A Saturday night social experience, BBYO Block Party, featuring arcade games, henna art, glow sports, inflatable laser tag, a pickleball tournament, and a gaga pit, among a multitude of other games and experiences.
- An expanded AZAA and BBGG Sports and Wellness Expo with basketball, volleyball, soccer, and dodgeball tournaments, as well as a health and wellness track.
- A new interactive Summer Village, sponsored by RootOne, featuring a social media vending machine, VR sports games, a photo booth and life-size color me mural.
- An elevated Jewish Learning Lab, a wider series of teen-led programs and TED Talks, and new networking events throughout the convention.
For those unable to attend IC, BBYO will be live streaming select sessions on Facebook and YouTube Live via BBYO’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Schedules for streaming throughout the weekend are posted on BBYO’s International Convention event page.
WHAT: BBYO International Convention (IC) 2023
WHEN/WHERE: February 15–20, 2023 across multiple locations in Dallas, Texas
WHO: Approximately 5,000+ stakeholders expected (including Global Ambassadors Week), including:
- Teen Participants: 3,200 teens expected with representation from:
- 489 North American and global chapters
- 46 North American states, districts, and provinces
- 44 countries, including the United States and Canada
- Adult Participants: 1,000+ adults expected, including:
- More than 300 featured speakers, guests, and popular music performers
- Philanthropists, clergy, alumni, business and thought leaders
- Dozens of program educators and Jewish enrichment consultants
- Brand, community, and program partners and sponsors
- Professional BBYO staff
- Hundreds of local volunteers, advisors, and parents
- Partners: 150 brand, program, and community partners, including:
- Anti-Defamation League; Custom Ink; Dallas Cowboys; Dallas Holocaust and Human rights Museum; Dallas Mavericks; Hillel International; Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation; Jewish Agency for Israel; Maccabi USA; Microsoft Tech Center; Ripley’s Believe It or Not! RootOne; Stand With Us; TalkIsrael; TED Student Talks; Texas Christian University; The Dallas Aquarium; World Jewish Congress; Young Judaea Year Course
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 nearly 100 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. BBYO’s network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers, and philanthropists now 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 worldwide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israeli education, and Jewish values. For more information on BBYO, please visit bbyo.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization but rather as “BBYO.”