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 nearly 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 20 | March 2023

Welcome Note | Around the Order | Across the World | Trending Now | Coming Up Soon | In Their Words | Upcoming Events



Hello, Parents!

You’d think after doing something 12 times it would get old, right? At this point, I’ve seen a dozen iterations of BBYO International Convention (IC), and every time I leave more inspired and energized than the year before. BBYO IC is an annual convening of the BBYO Movement to unite, dream, and celebrate how far we’ve come and all that lies ahead—and we just wrapped up IC 2023 in Dallas, Texas, two weeks ago.

This year, our teen leadership chose the theme “Now Is Our Time” for IC, speaking to the importance of this moment—both for the world and for BBYO as we look toward our 100th Anniversary Celebration (we’ve been around since 1924!). A team of 300 teens representing more than 20 countries served on our IC Steering Team that helped bring the convention to life, alongside nearly a hundred teens across our IC Press Corps and IC Band.

One of my personal highlights was our second annual BBYO Block Party—truly a night to be remembered. On Saturday evening, a team led by staff in light-up cowboy hats and teens in inflatable costumes turned our hotel into a magical BBYO wonderland. Stilt walkers, caricature artists, balloon animals, a ballroom-sized Israel National Trail, glow-in-the-dark sports, line-dancing, open mic nights, and gaga tournaments aren’t often found in the same space, but at IC, anything is possible.

Every year, a core part of the experience is the election of our International Board—the 12 teens who will lead the Movement for the next year. We’re ushering in a historic era of leadership for AZA and BBG, with our AZA Grand and BBG International Boards representing five countries—the United States, Canada, and for the first time, Argentina, Germany, and Spain. While I don’t know how we’ll coordinate calls across time zones, I do know the Movement is in great hands.

It’s in IC’s magical collage of moments—when the Second Gentleman of the United States walks onto our mainstage or two long-distance BFFs finally spot each other and run full speed ahead for a reunion hug—that I am reminded of how powerful our global network is and how special our members are.

Thank you for championing BBYO and letting us dream and build with your teens.

Here’s to all that’s to come!
Morgan Wittenberg
BBYO Director of Teen Leadership



Advisor Appreciation Month | Did you know that every March is Advisor Appreciation Month in BBYO? As volunteers, they commit so much of their time to impacting the next generation of leaders and instilling a solid foundation into the chapters they advise. Advisors lead with support, mentorship, and persistence as they positively inspire every teen they advise. From all of us at BBYO, we thank every single advisor; we would not be the Movement we are today without you. Does your teen’s chapter have a fantastic advisor? Show them some gratitude in celebration of Advisor Appreciation Month. Curious about volunteer opportunities? Visit our advisor page to learn more.

LGLA TED Talks | The Leven Global Leadership Academy (LGLA) is a leadership cohort of BBYO teens who learn valuable professional skills from experts across a variety of fields. Each year the program culminates when the members present TED Talks at BBYO International Convention (IC). At this year’s IC in Dallas, teens once again had an opportunity to share their knowledge and takeaways from the learnings of the LGLA. This year, some TED Talk topics presented included climate change, multicultural conversations, and the power of words and listening. We’re excited to share recording of these insightful and inspirational messages from a remarkable group of young leader. Check them out on this YouTube playlist.

Forever Young: BBYO’s Centennial | During Opening Ceremonies of BBYO International Convention 2023, we proudly shared the logo and landing page for our upcoming Centennial anniversary. As we approach BBYO’s 100th birthday in 2024, our Movement will come together throughout the year for events and gatherings for teens, parents, alumni, and friends—culminating in our largest-ever IC in Orlando, Florida. Learn more about our upcoming celebration and let us know if you’d like to get involved on the Centennial page.



This edition of BBYO Across the World comes to us from Joelle Abaew. Joelle is ZWST Germany’s Regional N`siah (Teen President); she reflects on her experience at BBYO International Convention this February.

As I think back to my first day at IC 2023, it was such an exciting experience for me and the rest of the delegation from Germany. We kicked things off by passing a motion at the February Executives Body Conference introducing a Holocaust Remembrance Project. After that, I was selected to represent the global BBYO community during a panel talk with the Second Gentleman of the United States, Douglas Emhoff, where I was able to share my experiences with antisemitism in Germany and gain an understanding of antisemitism in the U.S.

But the real fun started when the walk through the hotel to IC Opening Ceremonies turned into the loudest “spirit march” I’d ever been on in my life. We had over 60 German teens wearing German-colored cowboy hats and flags cheering, “Germany, Germany!” as we marched down the hall. Later, when we ran across the stage and heard the announcement, “And now, let’s welcome this year’s biggest international delegation—Germany!” I remember feeling so grateful and proud.

After a beautiful Shabbat and a great BBYO Block Party on Saturday night, the most exciting day (for me) arrived. A few months prior, I decided to take a leap and run for a position on the International Board. During elections on Sunday, after each candidate shared their vision and made their speech, the votes were counted. With my heart beating faster than ever, I was officially elected as BBYO’s 32nd International Aym Ha’Chaverot (Vice President of Membership and Recruitment). As the first German and European BBG elected to the International Board, I feel proud and inspired to bring in a new perspective, support the global expansion of our Movement, and enact positive change throughout the Order.

Germany’s experience at IC 2023 was marked by loads of, “You’re from Germany? That is so cool!” And although this unforgettable event is over, I’m excited for the year ahead and know the best is yet to come.



In this edition of Trending Now, we’re updating you on new artificial intelligence applications on Meta’s platforms, Gen Z’s top gaming platforms, and how teens can discipline themselves on social media by “blocking out the noise.”

Meta’s Artificial Intelligence | Meta is introducing new AI-powered tools for WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. The company recently announced the release of a new language model designed to help researchers advance their work in the field of AI. Across several platforms, Meta is working on new AI experiences with text, chat, video, Instagram filters, and ad formats. AI integrations are beginning to emerge as a trend this year, as more companies pave the way for the tech to become a regular part of the future—especially targeting Gen Z who are already familiar with applications like ChatGPT.

Gen Z’s Top Gaming Brands | Gaming continues to be popular among both Gen Z and Millennials, with the majority of 13 to 39-year-olds playing some sort of video game on a regular basis. As gaming culture expands beyond just video games, brands in all sectors are keeping an eye on the industry, especially considering how gamification is becoming such an important marketing tool. The top gaming brands among Gen Z and Millennials today are PlayStation, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft, Xbox, Meta Quest, Fortnite, Oculus, and Roblox

Block Out the Noise | One of the most underrated skills young people need to be successful is learning how to tune out distractions. According to researchers, Gen Z and Millennials are constantly hearing everyone’s opinions on how to live their lives—and not only from friends and family, but from strangers on social media every day. As a result, Gen Z has been severely impacted by social media and it’s had a particularly negative effect on young women's mental health. The suggestion is that teens learn to discipline themselves upfront with social media by essentially “blocking out the noise,” a skill many lack today.



J-Serve 2023 | J-Serve is just around the corner on April 16. Since 2005, J-Serve has provided teens with a unique opportunity to band together through service as a united global network committed to fulfilling the Jewish values of gemilut chasidim, acts of loving kindness, tzedakah, just and charitable giving, and tikkun olam, the responsibility to repair the world. Keep an eye out for different service events and opportunities for you and your teen by following our J-serve initiative page.

Catch those Summer Vibes with BBYO | Still looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your teen this summer? There’s no summer like a BBYO Summer! Give them the full camp experience with CLTC, ILTC, or Kallah, OR let them travel the world and see the sights of Israel, Europe, and the Americas with a BBYO Passport trip. Even better, your teen can experience both with one of our Israel CLTC Adventure or CLTC Costa Rica packages.

Are you looking for a fun and rewarding way to spend your summer? There are adult opportunities to help staff our summer programs! Take a look at open positions for Summer 2023.



You’re invited to go behind the scenes with BBYO teens at International Convention 2023 to find out in their own words the answer to the question why is BBYO special to you?



Body Confidence with Denise Hamburger 
Wednesday, April 19 at 8:00 PM ET via Zoom 

In this virtual event, BBYO parents are invited to hear from BBG alumna and wellness expert Denise Hamburger, J.D., founder, and executive director of BE REAL USA. We’ll engage in conversation on body confident parenting and explore language and tools to help teens navigate the challenging environment around food, their bodies, the fitness industry, and social media.

This event is brought to you by BBYO's Parent Advisory Council and Women's Leadership Advisory Council



Do you know of other parents within your network that may be interested in BBYO for their teen(s)? Fill out this brief form with their information and our team will connect with them!