Parent Pulse


Parent Pulse is a bi-monthly newsletter for BBYO member parents to help keep up to date with goings on across the Order. For a century, parents have trusted us to provide a safe space in which their teens can thrive, and Parent Pulse offers an insider’s glimpse into those spaces every other month. Take a look through our past issues here!

Issue 22 | August 2023

Welcome Note | Around the Order | Across the World | Trending Now | The Next 100 | In Their Words | Ask Away



Dear Parents,

BBYO is turning 100—and we can’t wait to celebrate! Centennial anniversaries are reserved for the world's most everlasting, iconic brands and institutions, and we could not be prouder to be a part of the BBYO team as we mark this major moment.

In the year to come, your teens will experience (and help plan!) Centennial events in their regions and across the Order. All of the moments your teens know and love from the BBYO calendar (or the ones they’ll learn about!)—including Fall Kickoff, conventions, summer programs, Global Shabbat, and more—will be enriched this year as we honor BBYO’s history, alumni, and traditions in honor of the Centennial. There’s never been a better time to be a member of BBYO.

In fact, the fun this year isn’t just for the teens. Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved and connect with other BBYO parents throughout our Centennial.

  • Stay updated on all the BBYO Centennial news you’ll need in our newest Parent Pulse section, “The Next 100
  • Lead and attend local and virtual events for parents, alumni, supporters, and friends
  • If you're also an alum, share your BBYO experiences and stories on social media
  • Celebrate with us at BBYO International Convention 2024, when all adults, alumni, parents, and friends are invited to our biggest global gathering yet in Orlando, Florida

Discover all that’s ahead during this special year at And if you’re interested in joining in BBYO’s efforts to engage and grow our parent community, please explore the BBYO Parent Advisory Council to learn more.

Right now, all of us have front seats to the launch of BBYO’s second century—a Movement that has shaped the lives of thousands of Jewish teens and tens of thousands of alumni worldwide. We’re so grateful to every member of the BBYO community for making this milestone possible, and thrilled to kick off our Centennial year together!

Stacy Friduss & Ryan Ladd 
BBYO Centennial Co-Leads

Around the Order


BBYO Summer: Looking Back and Forward | We just wrapped up our Summer 2023 programs where 1,600 teens joined us to have fun, make lifelong friends, connect with their Jewish identity, grow as leaders and individuals, travel the world, and build a lasting network within the global Jewish community. And while we may have just welcomed the last of our 2023 participants home, we’re already deep into planning for 2024, our Centennial Celebration Summer! This summer will feature special surprises, deeply discounted BBYO Leadership Experiences, and new and exciting travel destinations with BBYO Passport. Want to be the first to know the details? Fill out our quick, commitment-free interest form and you’ll be at the top of the list!

BBYO International Convention (IC) 2024 Launch Night | Join us this February as we bring our Centennial Celebration to the vibrant city of Orlando, Florida—our most epic IC yet! With over 5,000 teen and community leaders joining from across the globe, participants will gather to hear from inspiring speakers, deepen their leadership skills, serve the local community, celebrate Shabbat together, enjoy exclusive music performances, and strengthen the Jewish future. Worldwide registration for IC opens Thursday, September 28. To learn more, visit the IC website and go to the Launch Night Events page to find an event in your area.

Fall Kickoffs | With the school year getting started, the eagerly anticipated Fall Kickoffs are on the horizon! Hundreds of BBYO communities will be hosting amazing events to officially welcome back BBYO for the school year. From yacht parties to pool bashes to rock climbing, these activities are a fun way for teens to celebrate and connect with friends in your local Jewish community. To learn more about events happening in your area, explore our BBYO Near You page.

ILN Applications | BBYO’s International Leadership Network (ILN) is an opportunity for members from every community, regardless of position or grade, to actively contribute to helping build the Movement. Joining the ILN is a great way for teens to become more involved in International Order in an area they are passionate about—press corps, climate change, and music, just to name a few. From signing up for an existing committee to starting their own club, there are dozens of ways for teens to participate. Applications for ILN Committees close September 5; to learn more about ways to get involved, visit the BBYO Lead page.

Across the World


This summer, a delegation of teens from BBYO Morocco participated in the JCC Maccabi Games in Israel for the very first time! Seven teen athletes competed in soccer, basketball, and tennis.

One of the most beautiful moments of the event was the winning celebration for the soccer championship, when a mix team of teens from Ukraine, the United States, Israel, and Morocco celebrated their victory together. Their unity was truly amazing to see—the group had only met in Israel immediately prior to the competition and had just two days of practice together. Despite their language and cultural differences, they bonded quickly, played well as a unit, and won game after game.

The full Moroccan delegation attended the games in Haifa for a week and then joined a three-week trip in Israel with all of the JCC Maccabi teams from across the world. This was an incredible milestone moment for BBYO Morocco and young Jewish athletes everywhere.

Would your teen love the opportunity to spend some time with this community? BBYO Passport Summer Experiences are heading to Morocco this summer! Fill out this quick interest form and you'll be the first to know when full details are announced!

Trending Now


In this edition of Trending Now, we’re talking about the increased interest in sports among young girls, differences in how Gen Z and Gen Alpha consume media, and the never-ending popularity of YouTube among teens.

Young Women and Sports | Gen Z girls’ increased interest in sports is breaking stereotypes. Compared to 2022, a significant increase has been reported in the number of young women who consider themselves sports fans. In 2022, social media was the big factor that attracted Gen Z females to sports, and while young women still engage on social media, there has been a shift in how they watch the sports they follow. This year, over a third say they watched a sport live and in person, and of the sports they’re watching in real life, basketball and football are the top-ranked ones.

Gen Z vs. Gen Alpha | It might seem like Gen Z and Gen Alpha are very similar, but research suggests these young cohorts have distinctions in how they consume media and interact with brands. For Gen Alpha, devices and tech usage starts early—many as young as 3 or 4-years-old have tablets. Having greater access to online platforms and devices has accelerated Gen Alpha’s brand maturity at a higher rate than Gen Z and some of their favorite brands include Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Nike, and Apple. Gaming is a major hobby for both; for Gen Alpha though, gaming is a way to express their creativity while Gen Z gamers use it for escaping and relaxing.

It's Still YouTube | YouTube remains the go-to platform for today’s teens. More than 80% of 13 to 17-year-olds said YouTube is how they consume content, and (no surprise), it’s also their favorite social media app, followed closely by TikTok. Interestingly, Gen Z isn’t just watching videos on YouTube; they’re sticking around for the ads. Almost 50% of teens can recall an ad they’ve seen on YouTube. This puts the popular platform in the chief spot to drive purchase power, and TikTok isn’t far behind, highlighting a shift in power away from more traditional video sources that’s been going on for years.

The Next 100


International August Executives Conference | Each August, representatives from various communities across the Order come together for a gathering of the Executive Body. This year, we kicked off our Centennial anniversary celebration in the place where it all began: Omaha, Nebraska. Leaders hailing from around the globe convened to pay homage to the Movement's history, gain a profound understanding of BBYO's impact over the past century, and construct plans to surpass the achievements of the previous 100 years. Relive the moment by checking out the inaugural address and installation ceremony here.

Reunion Spotlight | BBYO has served as a special community for many generations over the last century. Whether your teen is a new member or you yourself are an alum, there are so many ways to celebrate with BBYO during the Centennial. Around the world, alumni are beginning to organize reunions in honor of BBYO's 100th. There has never been a better moment to reconnect with old friends to mark this milestone moment. Be sure to share your reunion plans with us so we can join in on the fun.

Community Service Project | As we move into our 100th year, we reflect on all that BBYO has been able to give back to the community. Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, is at the foundation of our Movement and we strive to continue spreading support and helping to heal the world. Over the next year, we plan to organize and participate in over 100,000 hours of community service across the Order. With BBYO growing larger than ever before, the impact of our Movement can create great change, and we look forward to seeing what we can do together.

In Their Words


Did you know that BBYO teens created their very own podcast? Table Talk with BBYOInsider is hosted by our Press Corps and gives you the inside scoop on all things BBYO. Check out some recent episodes below!

Road to 100: Summer Recap | Keep up with your 99th Grand Aleph Godol, TJ Katz, and your 79th Anita M. Perlman International N'siah, Courtney Saxe, as they travel around the world this year on BBYO's: Road to 100.

Interview: Chelsey Goldberg | In this episode, we are LIVE from CLTC 1 2023 and have the opportunity to sit down with American Ice Hockey Player, Chelsey Goldberg.

Journeying Through History | This reflection on day two of August Execs will get you up close and personal with our teen leaders as we kick off this exciting year.


ASK AWAY with Ari and Drew

Our wellness team, Ari Handel and Drew Fidler, are here to address your burning parenting situations. Send in your questions to [email protected] and you may see them (anonymously) published and answered here!

My teen is trying out for varsity, and I know how badly they want to make it since I was also on varsity in my high school days. What can I do to help set them up for success and make sure they have a great self-care routine? —Sporty Mom

Dear Sporty,

It is wonderful that your teen is taking a risk! Healthy risk can be scary but is vital to teens building and developing their struggle muscle and building their long-term resilience. As your teen goes through this process, there are few key things to keep in mind:

Putting themselves out there: Some teens are going to talk to their friends, and some are going to come to you. It is important to remember that your role in this process is to be the sideline cheerleader and emotional trashcan. This isn’t about reliving your experience but helping them to get what they want out of the process. Think about things you can do to support them: helping to set alarms, providing healthy snacks, being a safe space. Teens can be hyper-focused on what this means about them and their future (college, social status, etc.), and we want to help ramp down that pressure.

Validating their feelings: It is normal for them to be excited, nervous, and feel the full roller-coaster of emotions. Be the safe space where they can express themselves without judgement. Try not to pathologize behaviors, but instead validate and support that it is normal to feel this way. Going through this process and all of the emotions will help them be better equipped to handle challenges in the future.

Winning gracefully OR managing failure/disappointment: They (and you) have made it and it's time to read the results. If they make it OR not, reinforce that they should be proud of themselves, the work they put in, and putting themselves out there. Celebrate the wins, big and small. If they don’t make it, it is normal for a teen to be upset or angry; be supportive and present, ask if they want to vent, but don’t try to make it all go away or force them to be happy.

My teen is starting high school this year and I’m worried about what the transition will look like. What can I do to help set them up for success this year and help to make sure they have a great self-care routine? —Getting Prepped Papa

Dear Prepper,

In the back-to-school process, you play a vital role in helping your teen create and maintain healthy habits. Self-care looks different for everyone and what a teen needs may vary. Some basic essentials that should be on every list are sleep, rest, proper diet, exercise, and time away from school.

Help your teen to think about a goal or two for themselves for the year, and plan in advance of stressful times. Focus on the things that after, make them feel rested and restored. Do they like music, running, journaling, drawing, or yoga? Also, it's helpful for teens to think about their warning signs and ways they can communicate with you or someone else when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Self-care can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, so help them think creatively about what truly helps them and give them examples of what works for you.

Meet Our Wellness Team


BBYO’s Senior Director of Wellness and 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. Ari also focuses on promoting inclusion in several programing areas including LGBTQ+, mental health, disability, global, and more. Ari is responsible for hiring and supervising BBYO wellness staff, including a team of social workers and nurses, at all immersive experiences. You can reach Ari at [email protected].


Senior Director of BBYO’s Center for Adolescent Wellness

Drew is a child wellness expert with experience educating, promoting, and implementing policies and practices to support adolescents’ physical, mental, and emotional health. She a licensed clinical social worker, and an honors graduate of NYU Silver School of Social Work and Skidmore College. Drew spent seven years with the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, and has been a key resource for camps and youth-serving organizations throughout North America, crafting policy and providing support and training to staff on issues of child protection. You can reach Drew at [email protected].