Eight Holocaust Survivors and Several Guest Speakers Welcomed by BBYO
Washington, DC – This summer, BBYO’s International Kallah is celebrating its 50th Anniversary: 50 years of fostering Jewish education and identity, building experiences in a safe and fun environment where teens develop a personal connection to Judaism.
The Kallah community of 225 teens from 10 countries (Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Israel, Latvia, Slovakia, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States) will commemorate the anniversary with a weekend of inspiration and celebration. On Friday, July 24, BBYO will host a Shabbat to Remember welcoming 8 Holocaust survivors. Following this Shabbat will be the Jewbilee, a 25-hour festival with a keynote address by Alina Spaulding, a humanitarian who has dedicated her life to the Jewish people.
During a Shabbat to Remember, the survivors will join the Kallah participants to share their stories and answer questions in an intimate environment, an ideal way to ensure that these teens “Never Forget” and, in turn, share what they learn with peers and future generations. The survivors will then be inducted as honorary members of AZA and BBG, BBYO’s high school leadership fraternity and sorority, and be given the opportunity to become B’nai Mitzvot as part of the Kallah community, facilitated by the teen participants, if they did not have the chance to mark this coming of age moment during their own teen years. This experience will be a model event for Shabbats hosted in BBYO communities around the world.
The 25-hour Jewbilee then takes center stage at Kallah from July 27 - 28. The line-up includes Jewish educators from across North America as well as special guests, culminating with a music festival of performances featuring Zusha, a Brooklyn-based Orthodox musical group. Guests include: Jon Bridge, Director of High School Engagement, Alpha Epsilon Pi; Rabbi Hirsh Chinn, Congregation Minchas Yitzchok; Marissa Feinman Freed, Assistant Director, MIT Hillel Foundation; Zoe Jick, Wexner Graduate Fellow, Harvard Divinity School; Aliza Kline, Executive Director, One Table; Aleeza Lubin, Director of Jewish Engagement, BBYO; Avram Mandell, Executive Director and Founder, Tzedek America; Aimee Weiss, Program Officer, Maimonides Foundation; Sarah Raful Whinston, Director of Talent Development, Birthright Israel Foundation; Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service, Hebrew Union College – Los Angeles; and keynote address by Alina Spaulding.
"Kallah is an annual summer highlight for BBYO members around the world and, for 50 years, a place where young Jews have shaped their personal connection to Judaism while forming authentic and supportive relationships with their peers,” said Matthew Grossman, Chief Executive Officer of BBYO. “This weekend of meaning, celebration and reflection will build Jewish pride while instilling in teens the notion that being a part of the Jewish people is central to being a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Over the past 3 years, Kallah has experienced 31% growth in participation and, since last year, male participation has more than doubled – evidence that this BBYO Summer Experience is in high demand by the Jewish teen audience. The variety of experiences – text study, yoga and meditation, interpersonal conversations with rabbis and other Judaic educators, Hebrew, outdoor adventures, song leading and writing, leadership training, performance, sports and more – offer participants myriad ways to connect to Judaism, instilling in them a sense of Jewish pride that stays with them through life.
Media are invited to attend a Shabbat to Remember and the Jewbilee at Perlman Camp in Lake Como, PA. To make arrangements or for more information, please contact Elyse Goldberg, Marketing and Communications Manager at BBYO.
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For 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.”
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