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 24 | December 2023

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



December is a unique month in the BBYO-verse. Chapters close out their terms with sleepovers. Regions host winter conventions. And our Movement hosts Global Shabbat—a powerful annual moment that rallies teens around the world to bring in Shabbat on the same weekend.

The Centennial theme for this year’s Global Shabbat weekend (December 8–9) was Forever Young. Though our teen leaders initially planned Global Shabbat as part of BBYO’s Centennial celebration, we transitioned the theme to include Responding to the Moment, in light of the tragic events that took place in Israel on October 7th and the rise in antisemitism globally since that day. Many of this year’s programs engaged teens in conversations about Israel and antisemitism, and offered opportunities to perform community service.

And what a moment it was. It’s estimated that we engaged over 16,000 teens and community members—nearly doubling our engagement from last year. A total of 138 programs happened simultaneously over the weekend. For the first time ever, BBYO hosted Global Shabbat in Reno, Boise, Tahoe, and El Salvador. There were 14 towns across Uganda that gathered their Jewish communities for interactive workshops on Jewish culture, tradition, and values. Our North Texas Oklahoma region brought the Jewish community of Greater Dallas together for an Israel supply drive. Nassau Suffolk Region partnered with a local synagogue for an exceptional evening of teen-led services, dinner, gelt games, and a sundae bar. Our partner organization in Israel, Maccabi Tzair, hosted 21 programs engaging over 4,000 teens and community members. Their programs included hosting Shabbat for Israelis who were forced to relocate following the October 7th terrorist attack and making challah and treats for IDF soldiers.

As a Movement, we rallied to not only celebrate Shabbat, but also demonstrate that our Jewish pride cannot and will not be diminished. We are so grateful for your support in bringing these programs to life throughout the Order.

Jess Zimmerman
Manager of Content Operations, Jewish Enrichment



Give Your Staff Some Snaps | You are now able to give thanks and appreciation to the incredible BBYO staff who make your teen’s experiences unforgettable. Visit this page to send a quick shout-out—just type in their name, leave a heartfelt message, and don't forget to sign your name! This is a quick and easy way to let BBYO staff know you value their dedication and hard work.

Special Centennial Pricing | So that as many teens as possible can experience the magic of a BBYO summer, we’re offering special Centennial pricing on our signature Camp Leadership Experiences! This will only be available for Summer 2024, so see all the details on our website and hold your teen’s risk-free (100% refundable through 2/27/24) spot today!

Convention Spotlight | Conventions bring BBYO members together for a fun and meaningful weekend of programming, activities, Shabbat moments, and hanging out with friends. They are also a chance to address major business for the year and elect officers to the regional board. This season has been filled with remarkable conventions around the order. Big Apple and Manhattan Region came together for a Winter Convention that dove deep into mental health and wellness through interactive workshops and inspiring talks. Greater Jersey Hudson River Region’s Annual Spirit Con let chapters go head-to-head in friendly competitions of local pride. And Pacific Western Region came together at a local camp for a “Wild Wild West Coast” themed event with fun and active outdoor adventures. To find events like this in your community, visit the BBYO Near You page!



ZWST & K’far AZA | Over Hanukkah, our siblings in Germany hosted an incredible Global Shabbat Convention and Hanukkah programming for 39 teens from K’far AZA in Israel. Teens immersed themselves in the magic of the Black Forest on a hike, unleashed their creativity through painting vibrant murals, and shared unforgettable moments of joy together.

Asia Pacific Regional Convention | In mid-November, BBYO made history as we hosted our first-ever Asia Pacific Regional Convention in Singapore. Bringing together 45 teens from Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Beijing, the weekend marked a significant milestone for Jewish teens across the Asia Pacific Region. The Asia Pacific Regional Convention is another prime example of BBYO’s commitment to ensure Jews everywhere come together and find a common bond of friendship and connectivity. The event was proudly supported by the JDC, the leading global Jewish humanitarian organization that graciously provided a financial gift to ensure the event's success.

Ireland Engagement | Members in Dublin recently celebrated a local Mitzvah Day by actively participating in community service. The day featured an effort to gather canned food donations for a local shelter, demonstrating the spirit of giving and solidarity. Additionally, their teens organized a crochet workshop, fostering community engagement and creativity.



Road to 100 | In their roles as Grand Aleph Godol and Anita M. Perlman International N’siah, TJ Katz and Courtney Saxe travel around the world to visit different BBYO communities, connect with fellow teen leaders, offer support, and celebrate the achievements of chapters and regions worldwide. Their “Road to 100” journey last month took them to Singapore for the first-ever Asia Pacific Regional Convention and then Washington, D.C., for the March for Israel. Next up, they are off to Ireland, Spain, and Hungary. In the coming weeks, they’ll meet with BBYO members in Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany. Explore where TJ and Courtney are headed this year on our Centennial site and follow along with their travels on their Instagram pages (@azagodol and @bbgnsiah).  

The Deli Project | BBYO is going back to one of the most iconic institutions of Jewish and American life—the Jewish deli. A new initiative launched this fall, The Deli Project brings together BBYO teens and alumni for conversations in Jewish delis across the country about their teen years, Jewish identity, thoughts on leadership, and, of course, favorite deli foods. In addition to celebrating the 100th birthday of AZA, these unique, cross-generational events highlight the power of connections through time and give teens the opportunity to learn from, and build relationships with, BBYO alumni. The first Deli Project event took place in Phoenix in October, with 11 other events planned in the coming months—learn more on our Centennial site.  

Alumni Reunions | In celebration of BBYO’s Centennial, alumni around the Movement are organizing reunions. In Central Region West, nearly 100 BBYO alumni from the 1980s and 1990s came together this fall for a night of dancing and reminiscing. In South Jersey Region, 75 alumni reunited at a local brewery with new and old friends and heard about the BBYO Movement in South Jersey today. And in Houston over Thanksgiving weekend, more than 300 former members attended an alumni reunion for the classes of 1975 to 1980. You can explore all of the alumni reunions taking place this year on our website—and if you’re an alum, learn how BBYO can help you organize an event in your community. Plus, stay tuned for special alumni Signature Events this spring in Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.!



Did you know that BBYO’s Teen Press Corps regularly writes articles for The Shofar, AZA & BBG’s International Newsletter. Check out a selection of our recent favorites below, and subscribe to The Shofar to receive them in your inbox weekly.

Why Perlman? | Alexandra D. | Plano, Texas, USA

Breaking ILN Clubs News | Mihaela G. | Sofia, Bulgaria

Creating a Better BBYO for the Future | David S. | Charleston, South Carolina, USA

CLTC: From Zero Expectations to Infinite Gratitude | Lucy L. | Austin, Texas, USA



Our wellness and inclusion team is here to address your parenting questions. Send your questions to [email protected] and you may see them (anonymously) published and answered here.

What can I do to help my teen deal with the rise of antisemitism, especially in high schools and colleges across the country?
Encourage your teen to find spaces where they can get support and feel connected, confident, and comfortable. Help them continue to find places where they can celebrate their Jewish identity and strengthen their Jewish community. Togetherness and community are vital to combatting feelings of loneliness, isolation, and fear. Additionally, make sure that they know they can always come to you if anything makes them feel unsafe and/or know how and where to report any issues. BBYO has also assembled additional teen and parent resources on the Stand Up Against Antisemitism page of our website.

Since the attacks in Israel on October 7th, my teen is struggling with balancing feelings of sadness while trying to be happy and have fun with friends. How can I help?
Validating their feelings is crucial. It is normal to have feelings of sadness and despair mixed with a desire to enjoy planned activities. It can feel wrong to experience joy when there is pain and fear in the world. However, it is important to find ways to disconnect and breathe/have fun. Now, more than ever, it’s vital for teens to increase connections with friends, family, and loved ones.

Encourage your teen to spend time with friends. Ask if they want to problem solve how they can handle certain feelings if they come up while going about their day or in moments of fun. One strategy you can teach them is to acknowledge the feeling, take a deep breath, and mentally put it aside for later. This teaches them to manage feelings without letting them overwhelm the brain and body; then, they can come back to it later or discuss with you.