On the Road-May 2018

On the Road

On The Road-February 2018

International Convention 2018 is Only Days Away

In less than a week more than 3,000 Alephs and BBGs will arrive in Orlando, FL for our 94th International Convention (IC). We’re so thrilled to experience the most iconic gathering of Jewish teens worldwide, joined by the Jewish community’s top teen leaders, educators, professionals, and philanthropists from around the world. IC promises to be a transformative experience. 2018 speakers include Aly Raisman, world champion gymnast and best-selling author; Caryl Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA; Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer and co-founder of The Heather Heyer Foundation; MK Omer Bar-Lev, member of the Israeli Knesset; and so many more. Attendees are promised innovative and interesting technology and learning sessions from cutting-edge brand partners like Adobe, Intel and TED. Check out a full list of speakers and more.

Can’t join us for the celebration in Orlando? Watch the Opening Ceremonies livestream on Facebook Live, starting Thursday, February 15th, at 8PM ET.

Meeting Alephs & BBGs in 10 Countries in 30 Days

This winter, we were excited and eager to explore 10 of the European communities that contribute significantly to our Order. Throughout our travels we explored what it means to be Jewish with our peers in the European diaspora and gained a greater understanding of how they play an active role as BBYO members. Over four weeks we celebrated the first night of Hanukkah with BBYO Hungary and a meaningful Shabbat with fellow Alephs and BBGs in Riga, Latvia; we visited one of the largest synagogues in Europe with BBYO members from Sofia, Bulgaria; and we learned about the Jewish renaissance in Warsaw and Krakow, Poland.

We had conversations with teens in every community we visited about the aspects of Judaism that they value most. Our shared understanding, values, and traditions, were our strongest commonalities. While we come from different backgrounds and cultures, throughout our travels we’ve come to understand that these differences don’t divide us, but rather offer us the opportunity to unite behind our common principles. Together, as a Movement, we are working towards building a more globally connected and stronger Jewish community.

You can read more about our travels around the world and follow along every day on Twitter, @BBGNsiah and @GrandAlephGodol.

Inspired by Jewish Life in Ukraine

This November (this is Rebecca here), I embarked on Ambassadors to Ukraine (A2U), a unique opportunity for 14 BBYO members from North America, Europe, and Israel to join our brothers and sisters in AJT, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s growing teen movement in the former Soviet Union and a BBYO partner through our global JDC partnership to engage Jewish teens worldwide, at their fourth annual AJT conference. After spending a week in Ukraine with hundreds of Jewish teens from around the world, I walked away with a renewed passion for stewarding Judaism around the world and a deepened sense of Jewish pride. I discovered a renaissance of Jewish life among many of my peers in Ukraine, who are some of the proudest Jews I’ve ever met. They actively live the Jewish life that many of their parents never got to do as teens. From Russia, to Ukraine, to Georgia, my peers are the drivers, the ground shakers and the catalysts of change who will ensure the longevity of Judaism in their communities.

Read more about my time in Ukraine here as well as other reflections from teens who attended A2U in eJewishPhilanthropy and Texas Jewish Post.

Thousands of Teens Unite for “Global Shabbat”

Each year, BBYO comes together with our community to celebrate our faith’s most rooted traditions on Shabbat. On December 8 and 9, thousands of teens across 20 countries and 500 communities united under the same theme of “love thy neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) for Global Shabbat 2017. Teens around the world showed the power of connecting with communities around us, both Jewish and others. Chapters and regions joined with Muslim youth groups, Christian communities, and more, to strengthen our connections with all people. Eastern Canada Region invited Syrian refugees for a Shabbat experience, defying boundaries and building bridges. Events like these took place all across North America and in Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova, Denmark, Russia, and more.

See a full list of Global Shabbat events and photos from around the world here.