BBYO is committed to creating a mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically safe environment for all teens. We strive to build in our teens the ability to face adversity and developmental challenges and thrive.

BBYO welcomes Jewish teens of all backgrounds, denominational affiliation, gender, race, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, including those with a range of intellectual, emotional, and physical abilities.


From chapter-based regional activities to BBYO International Convention to leadership development and travel programs around the world, BBYO strives to create safe spaces where teens —all teens—can be themselves. Inclusion and wellness are paramount to fostering these environments and to building Jewish communities that are open, accessible, and welcoming to everyone.

Over the past few years, BBYO professionals and teen leaders have spearheaded Gender Inclusivity and LGBTQ+ initiatives in support of BBYO members and allies in these communities. These initiatives have focused on building resources and programming for LGBTQ+ members, keeping gender inclusivity at the forefront of the Movement, establishing responsibilities for local leaders, creating movement-wide experiences focused on fun and education about the LGBTQ+ community, and having safe-spaces created for all. In addition, BBYO also seeks to provide an inclusive rooming community and recognizes that teens have a variety of gender identities, not limited to the standard binary. Offering gender inclusive rooming creates a BBYO community where all teens are welcome, comfortable, and safe.

Learn more about BBYO’s commitment to inclusion here.

BBYO’s Director of Inclusion

A certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer, Ari supports teens throughout all BBYO programs with any needed accommodations, modifications, and support and trains staff and volunteer advisors to ensure that teens’ needs are being met. She has established the first international network of teens who serve on the BBYO Inclusion Committee. Together, the 40 teen leaders and Ari focus on promoting inclusion in several programing areas including LGBTQ+, mental health, disability, global, and more. Ari hires and supervises all wellness staff, including a team of social workers and nurses, at immersive experiences.

To learn how BBYO works with teens to ensure a comfortable, inclusive, and enjoyable atmosphere for all, contact Ari Handel at [email protected].



BBYO impacts the lives of tens of thousands of teens every year throughout the international Jewish community. By establishing and normalizing responses to teens at risk, BBYO is helping to ensure and committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all its teens. In order to do so, BBYO has implemented detailed policies that are intended to keep teens within the BBYO Movement mentally, emotionally, and physically safe. Read our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of BBYO teens here.

These protection policies extend beyond the time a teen spends onsite at a BBYO program. When there is concern of a teen being at risk—whether through suspicion of abuse, a mental health concern, suicidal ideation, or something else—BBYO has a responsibility to act. It is imperative that BBYO personnel make the safety of the teens in their care paramount and respond to possible risk in accordance with local laws and the policies set forth in this document.

Additionally, BBYO is continuously working to adapt and develop resources, guidelines, and procedures that foster and maintain safe, healthy, and inclusive environments for the teens in our care. Learn more about the actions we have taken to date, and will continue to expand as a result of our ongoing and vigilant commitment to teen wellness in all its forms.

Participants may use the form below to report an incident of sexual misconduct (which may include but is not necessarily limited to unwanted touching; unwanted sexual advances; physical assault; or any form of behavior that makes you feel threatened in any way) or any other form of harassment, sexual or otherwise. BBYO takes all such reports seriously. A member of our professional staff, who is designated to follow up on such reports, will contact you.

Report an Incident



1-800-273-8255 (For U.S.)
Visit Here (For outside U.S.)

The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

For more information visit the official website here.



Text “Home” to 741741 (For  U.S.)
Text “Home” to 686868 (For Canada)
Text "Home" to 85258 (For U.K)
Visit Here (For other countries)

Text from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.

For more information visit the official website here.



1-866-488-7386 (Trevor Lifeline)
Text START to 678678 (Trevor Text)

Leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth.

For more information visit the official website here.

Additional mental health support and contact information can be found here.


BBYO is constantly working to develop guidelines and resources that help us and our families prioritize and improve the safety and mental health of our community. We invite you to peruse the resources we've included below and use them to create safe and healthy spaces.

If you would like to learn more or become involved in BBYO's efforts to support adolescent health and wellness, please visit our Wellness and Inclusion Advisory Council page.

Name Description Link

Crisis Hotlines & Support Services

BBYO has curated a go-to list of mental health and wellness support contact information, which you can find here.

Commitment to Safety & Security

BBYO has implemented detailed policies intended to keep teens mentally, emotionally, and physically safe. Read our commitment to safety and security here.

BBYO Community Agreements

The expectations and values that all BBYO participants should abide by to create a positive environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and safe for all.

BBYO Code of Conduct

Designed with the health and safety of teens, staff, advisors and guests in mind, BBYO participants are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct guidelines and conduct themselves in a manner that reflects Jewish & BBYO values.

Safety, Wellness & Inclusion Initiatives Timeline

Learn more about the actions BBYO has taken to date, and will continue to focus on, as part of our ongoing and vigilant commitment to teen wellness in all its forms.

Know Your Terms: Sexual Harassment

As part of BBYO’s commitment to creating a mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically safe environment for teens, here are important terms and definitions participants should know.

Teen Mental Health First Aid

BBYO will be engaging teens as Peer Advocates in this new in-person training program designed to equip teens with the knowledge and skills to foster their own wellness, support their peers, and deepen their learning.

Wellness Shabbat Ritual Guide

Check out this compilation of beautiful Shabbat rituals and prayers with a mental health focus—from the time we welcome Shabbat on Friday evening through Havdalah on Saturday night.

BBYO Mental Health Resources

Visit our content hub for resources and content curated by teens, including interactive icebreakers, program guides, how-to guides, and general wellness information.

Additional Mental Health Resources

Check out some of our favorite articles, websites, and organizations that focus on mental health and wellness!

Wellness Corner

Interested in the latest on adolescent health and wellness trends? Visit the Wellness Corner in BBYO's Parent Pulse, our bi-monthly newsletter for member parents.

Teen Inclusion Committee

Learn how the teen Inclusion Committee, part of BBYO's International Leadership Network, works to broaden inclusivity support throughout the Movement.

BBYO Wellness and Inclusion Advisory Council

Learn more about the Advisory Council's work and the community leaders who help empower our Movement to comprehensively support adolescent health and wellness.

Article: From Rural Living to Capitol Hill

Read this insightful first-hand account from BBYO member, Ivy Seligman, on Jewish Disability Advocacy Day, where teens meet with lawmakers to advance legislation on issues impacting Jews with differing abilities.

Article: Dismantling Gender Inequality

Read this article about how supporting and empowering young men as allies helps dismantle gender inequality in the Jewish community.

Building Inclusive Programs

Use this comprehensive resource and checklist to think about how you can create programs in BBYO that are accessible and welcoming to all teens.


We also want to hear your ideas and feedback on how we’re doing. If you have a suggestion on a program we should run, an initiative you’d like to see take place, or general feedback on how we’re doing as it relates to teen health, wellness, safety and inclusion, please complete the form below.

Share your feedback

"BBYO has truly been such a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ teens like myself. I’ve been able to find a place where I belong in the organization and have made so many friends who identify close to the way I do."

- Elliot Schenck, BBYO teen, Nassau Suffolk Region


The BBYO Center for Adolescent Wellness

Youth-serving organizations (YSOs) impact the lives of young people in a profound way. They seek to help teens formulate a sense of identity and shape the people they will become. YSOs create welcoming and inclusive environments wherein young people feel safe to share their dreams, emotions, and feelings, making these places ripe for promoting adolescent wellness. To accomplish these goals, teens need spaces that are mentally, emotionally, and physically safe. The BBYO Center for Adolescent Wellness seeks to identify and provide best practices in adolescent health and wellness so that YSOs can be places where adolescents thrive.

Director of BBYO’s Center for Adolescent Wellness

Drew is a noted child wellness expert with experience educating, promoting, and implementing policies and practices to support children and adolescents’ physical, mental, and emotional health. She is an honors graduate of NYU Silver School of Social Work and Skidmore College (cum laude), and a licensed clinical social worker. She spent the last six years with the Baltimore Child Abuse Center in Maryland, most recently as the Director of Prevention and Education. Drew has been a key resource for Jewish and non-Jewish camps and youth serving organizations (YSOs) throughout North America, crafting policy and providing support and training to staff on various issues of child protection.

To find out about training, policy development or other wellness initiatives, contact Drew Fidler at [email protected].

Child Abuse & Harassment

BBYO requires that all personnel REPORT UP to their supervisor and REPORT OUT to the appropriate authorities any suspicion of child abuse or neglect. If you have any reason to suspect child abuse or neglect please contact your local authorities or reach out to BBYO staff for help reporting. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to BBYO’s Center for Adolescent Wellness.

BBYO offers a third-party confidential support line to report harassment or other issues staff or teens may not feel comfortable sharing directly with BBYO executives or staff. To reach the support line call 1-833-480-0010.