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 16 | May 2022

Welcome Note | Around the Order | Wellness Corner | Trending Now | Coming Up Soon | In Their Words



Dear Parents,

I’m amazed that after only four months into my role at BBYO Passport, I feel as if I have been a member of the BBYO family all my life.  Especially now, as summer approaches, our entire team feels the excitement brewing. We can’t help but beam with pride that, with the support of RootOne, we are sending over 800 teens to Israel this summer and another 400 teens to destinations around the world. Our participants will undoubtedly grow in their Judaism, gain independence and leadership skills, and broaden their worlds with newfound friends and life-changing experiences.

Over the next month and prior to the departure of our first summer program, staff will gather to learn and prepare to provide meaningful experiences for our teens this summer. It is magical to watch staff unite as a community, knowing that they will take what they innately bring and what they learn, and form their own unique summer mishpachot (families).

When we think about impactful summer experiences for our teens, our mind often goes straight to the big moments—floating in the Dead Sea, taking a photo that looks like you’re holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or looking up from the depths of the Grand Canyon. These are certainly beautiful Instagram moments—but not where the magic happens. The magic happens between the cracks, and when least expected. The quiet conversation a teen has with their Madrich (counselor) on a bus ride, splitting up into groups to unpack a day’s experience, and sharing feelings and stories with one another. A precious moment alone on a sand dune, on top of a mountain you just hiked, or surrounded by the beautiful sounds of the rainforest, are the ones teens will remember and cherish forever.

With all of the world’s challenges, I feel so fortunate that we are able to provide teens with this safe space to grow, experience new things, and most importantly, have fun! Wishing all a safe and wonderful summer.

Marni Heller
Associate Vice President, BBYO Passport



Spring Conventions | This spring, every BBYO region is hosting a multi-night overnight convention. Thousands of teens will gather to have fun, connect with friends, experience memorable programming and meaningful Shabbat and Havdalah experiences, and show off new regional swag! While programs vary slightly by region, all convention experiences are designed for and run by teens. To learn more about conventions in your area, check out BBYO in your community. And if your teen really loves convention, consider an extended convention at a BBYO Summer Experience!

J-Serve Update | After two years of virtual and hybrid J-Serve experiences, this April, over 10,000 teens across the globe came together in person for a month of service and commitment to better their world. Hundreds of individual projects from community clean-ups and beautification campaigns to food drives and elder care projects took place. Additionally, teens organized a variety of creative events to fundraise and support the JDC’s Ukraine efforts, raising both money and awareness for this important cause. Yasher Koach to BBYO teens and staff on their successful endeavors!

AZA & BBG Founders’ Day | This year, we celebrated 98 years of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and 78 years of the B’nai B’rith Girls! Love for Sam Beber and Anita Perlman radiated throughout the Order on BBG Founders’ Day (April 22nd) and AZA Founders’ Day (May 3rd), as chapters around the world held creative and celebratory programs. Learn more about Founders' Day here.



This edition of Wellness Corner comes from Ari Handel, Director of Inclusion at BBYO.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Navigating the end of the school year

May is a busy time of year with Mental Health Awareness Month and the approaching end of the school year. There’s a lot to keep in mind while preparing for final exams, schedule transitions, and days getting longer. As travel, camp, and summer plans take shape, this time can sometimes feel overwhelming, so we have a few tips to help your teen manage through the transitions.

  1. Maintain a schedule | While the school year may be winding down, it’s important to keep a consistent schedule throughout the summer. Maintaining a routine helps reduce uncertainty and helps with the transition when summer programs kick off.
  2. Get moving | Even though school sports are ending, it’s important to stay active. Physical movement has many benefits and is a great form of self-care.
  3. Listen to your teen | Your teen may have different emotions associated with the changes they experience as the school year winds down. Support them by offering opportunities for them to share their thoughts and feelings. 
  4. Identify a preferred self-care routine | Teens may need to make some modifications to their self-care routines over the summer. You can help your teen to plan how they can engage in self-care as their schedules change.

While the transition from school year to summer can be challenging, there are many ways for you to support your teens through the changes. We look forward to seeing your teens this summer as they connect with new friends, enjoy the outdoors, travel the globe, and experience new things at BBYO Summer Programs!



In this edition of Trending Now, we’re sharing updates on the type of entertainment Gen Z likes to watch, the new world of virtual brand influencers, and what young people are doing to financially plan for the future.

Gen Z’s Entertainment Preferences | Recent research shows that 13-18 year olds are much more likely than millennials to use social media as entertainment, watch video content on social platforms, and use smartphones to watch videos. It’s no surprise that brands are catering and advertising to young people on these social platforms. In terms of entertainment preferences, the top five entertainment genres watched today by Gen Z are comedy, music/music videos, cartoons, and drama, and rounding out the number five spot is a tie between horror/thriller and gaming/esports.

Virtual Brand Influencers | As the metaverse continues to expand and gaming and virtual experiences grow in popularity, young consumers are increasingly interested in following computer-generated influencers on social media. By creating their own “virtual influencers,” brands like Samsung, Alibaba, and Prada, are using the opportunity to create value for fans and control the story. Brands that aren’t ready yet to go all out on creating personalized virtual influencers are considering partnering or sponsoring existing ones. A recent study predicts that personalized avatars will become commonplace in everyone’s lives over the next three years.

Planning For the Future | Two years into the pandemic, young consumers are starting to recover from its monetary impact and spending is trending up. At the same time, Gen Z and millennials have been finding new priorities and making new life plans, and “saving money” and “increasing income” are now at the top of Gen Z’s and millennials’ financial goals for 2022. Many of these young consumers also report being focused on saving for something very specific, like buying a car, planning a trip with friends, and saving money for college.



Summer Experiences | Now is the time to solidify your teen’s summer plans! BBYO’s summer leadership and camp experiences, including CLTC, ILTC, Kallah, and Camp BBYO, are the perfect complement to your teen’s summer. They’ll form new bonds with friends, kickstart their leadership development skills, and strengthen their Jewish identity. Here’s a quick look into each of these programs.

  • CLTC  Five sessions to choose from | At CLTC, teens discover what it means to be a leader and attain lifelong leadership skills. They gain a greater sense of self-confidence and form a community with diverse friendships, while enjoying new hobbies, sports competitions, celebrating Shabbat, and more!
  • ILTC – June 23–July 11 | ILTC empowers teens to raise their voice and realize their potential through peer leadership. They’ll learn how to shape a worldwide movement and gain invaluable skills in effective team building, collaboration, communication strategies, and relationship building.
  • Kallah – July 13–August 2 | Teens take Jewish learning beyond the classroom to the field, stage, and under the stars at Kallah. They'll explore their Jewish identity alongside a diverse community of friends and educators while enjoying electives like music, cooking, sports, and more.
  • Camp BBYO – July 21–July 31 | Is your teen ready for the great outdoors with their BBYO friends? Camp BBYO is ready for them! This program features 10 days of the best of BBYO, including swimming, music, sports, art, and the ultimate Shabbat experience.


We are Emma Zentner and Jared Wilen, BBYO’s International N’siah and Godol (presidents). We’ve had an amazing year leading the International Board, supporting initiatives across the organization, and traveling to communities across 60 countries to meet the teens in our Order.

As we approach the end of our term, we feel honored to have served the Movement. BBYO’s mission to create more Jewish experiences for more Jewish teens remains as prevalent today as ever and this year has been one of incredible strides. The two of us have been particularly passionate about growing smaller communities, starting chapters in remote or isolated areas, increasing Aleph engagement, and focusing on teen mental health.

We’ve seen new chapters launch from Morocco to Madrid to Boulder, Colorado. We’ve watched proudly as regions hosted their first in-person conventions in two years and brought back traditions that make this organization so special. From summer programs to J-Serve, to Global Shabbat and everything in between, we are proud to say that AZA, BBG, and BBYO are thriving.

As the end of the school year approaches, we’re eager to see the outcomes from our new peer-to-peer mental health initiative, excited for communities to hit their end-of-year membership goals, and thrilled to watch as the next teen boards are elected to serve their communities through another stellar year. On top of that, we know our summer programs are going to provide an incredible experience for thousands of teens, whether it be at our home in Perlman Camp, in Israel, or anywhere in between. This. Summer. Is. It.

Throughout the past five years, but especially during these last twelve months, we’ve been fortunate to call this Movement a home. It’s hard to believe our time is coming to an end but we are confident that the next generation of leaders will continue to grow BBYO like no other. Thank you for putting your trust in us, and don’t worry, we’re not going too far just yet! If there’s anything we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Loyally Submitted,

Jared Wilen & Emma Zentner
97th Grand Aleph Godol | 77th Anita M Perlman International N’siah