With Innovative Programming and Unprecedented Participation, over 10,000 Jewish Teens Across Six Continents Gather to Celebrate “Global Shabbat”


MEDIA CONTACT Debbie Shemony, 301.529.4429 | [email protected]


December 9 & 10, Worldwide — From across North America, Latin America, Europe, Israel, and everywhere in between, more than 10,000 Jewish teens in hundreds of local BBYO chapters across the world took part in BBYO’s Global Shabbat 2022, including, for the first time ever, teens in Uganda and Singapore. This weekend marked the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic that BBYO was able to offer a fully in-person Global Shabbat experience. 

This unique initiative, an annual highlight in which Jewish teen leaders host simultaneous Friday night, Saturday morning, and Havdalah services and/or accompanying programs, demonstrates the power of teens to come together as one Movement in a truly global celebration of the joy of Shabbat. 112 programs throughout the weekend featured elevation and innovation via song leaders, speakers, inclusive Friday night community dinners, conversations with Holocaust survivors, challah making, the creation of Shabbat boxes for teens, donations of toys to children in need and clothes for the homeless, Shabbat meals for members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), meals for the sick in hospitals, and much more.

This year's Global Shabbat theme, “Everyone. Everywhere,” כל אדם בכל מקום, was led by BBYO’s International Sh’lichim (teen vice presidents of Jewish programming), Leah Barash and Josh Rajunov. Together, they collected 102 uniquely crafted traditions from communities around the world and shared it with thousands of BBYO teens to promote a feeling of togetherness throughout the weekend. They also compiled a BBYO cookbook to connect Jewish teens across the globe to one another through local traditions, community recipes, and a shared love of food.

“This year we set out with the goal of both uniting our movement around Shabbat and ensuring that our communities felt connected to one another. The global Jewish community needs this connectivity more than ever,” said Leah Barash, BBYO’s International Sh’licha. “With an unfortunate continuous rise in antisemitism it would be easy for teens around the world to feel scared, discouraged, and nervous to show their Jewish Identity. Global Shabbat is a weekend where teens are empowered to celebrate their Jewish identity feeling the strength and power of teen leadership around the world,” added Josh Rajunov, BBYO’s International Shaliach.

Some of the diverse and memorable Global Shabbat program highlights and speakers throughout the weekend included:

  • 70 teens in Mexico gathered to make special Shabbat meals for Jewish people in the hospital.
  • For the first time ever, Uganda took part in Global Shabbat, welcoming 350 teens with a powerful conversation on Judaism which included topics such as tefillin wrapping, Shabbat preparations, the values of Jewish marriage, the experience of being Jewish in the diaspora, Jewish songs, dances, and the roles of teens in their community growth.
  • Jewish Acapella group sensation, Kol Zimra, and professional Israeli dance instructors joined Manhattan and Big Apple Region’s joint regional convention, where over 170 teens experienced enhanced Shabbat services including an Oneg on Friday night.
  • 250 teens from BBYO Houston and Lonestar Region partnered with local Jewish communities for an unforgettable Global Shabbat program to host Hinenu Havdalah.
  • Rocky Mountain Region hosted Global Shabbat programming throughout the weekend which included a special mother/daughter challah-making experience, teen-led services at Temple Emanuel in Denver where they welcomed a local Holocaust survivor, and chapter-led Havdalah services engaging over 105 teens.
  • Other BBYO communities welcomed speakers such as Dan Grunfeld, Hannah Spiegelman, Rabbi Colonel Larry Bazer, Beit Tshuvah, Challah Back Girls, Idan Chabasov, Hayvi Bouzo, Sivan Battat, Ksenia Prints, and Izzy Ezagui.

“This year’s celebrations continue to reflect the power of our global teen movement to explore critical social issues, to feel empowered by a commitment to Judaism, and to be inspired to make a difference in their communities,” said Liron Lipinsky, Vice President of Enrichment Strategy at BBYO. “Now an established and celebrated anchor of BBYO’s annual program calendar, Global Shabbat offers a beautiful platform from which teens, families and guests can unite for a moment of rich Jewish tradition while embracing their role as a part of something bigger than themselves.”

About BBYO
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. 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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