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 21 | May 2023

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



Spring is in the air at BBYO! I always love this time of year. It’s packed with memorable milestones for teens that represent the breadth and depth of our Movement. Spring kicks off with a period of meaningful Jewish moments—many teens caught a taste of a Passover Chocolate Seder, heard directly from Holocaust survivors and descendants in commemoration of Yom Hashoah, and dug in with hands-on service through J-Serve, the international day of Jewish Youth Service. Spring is also when we host thousands of teens for regional conventions. These immersive weekends highlight the best of BBYO, with bonding moments, celebrity speakers, Shabbat celebrations, and Saturday night socials.

Spring also marks important rituals and traditions for our teens, as they elect and appoint new local leadership to guide their communities through the next school year. It’s always inspiring to see teens put their most thoughtful, creative ideas forward around how to build and strengthen our Movement. At the same time we welcome in new leaders, we send our graduating seniors out in style with Life Ceremonies, where they get to pass on their wisdom to the next generation of BBYO members. It’s an incredible full-circle moment for seniors to reflect on what BBYO has meant to them and give advice to other teens on how to make the most of their time in BBYO.

While spring is the culmination of the BBYO school year, it’s also the beginning of a new BBYO adventure for hundreds of teens joining us on one of our domestic or international summer programs. It’s not too late to sign up for summer with BBYO! With so much going on, there’s no better time for your teen to jump in and find their home with BBYO.  We can’t wait to meet them and support them on their journey!

Naomi Tilman
Area Director

Around the Order


🎉 BBYO is Turning 100 🎉 | With the official launch of BBYO's Centennial, which kicks off a year of commemorating our 100th anniversary, there’s no better time to get involved with your local region! Celebrate with us by participating in or helping to organize a Centennial event or parent gathering in your community this year—and let other parents know about this exciting and historic opportunity for teens to be a part of BBYO. Check out our newly launched Centennial website and explore ways you can join in on the fun with other parents, alumni, teens, and supporters of BBYO.

Spring Convention Season | Warmer weather, sunshine, and the school year winding down can only mean one thing: spring conventions are in full swing. Every BBYO region around the Order will gather for an exciting weekend of events, from electing new regional boards to immersive Jewish experiences to elevated programming. Be sure to check the BBYO Near You page to stay up to date on your teen’s local events and opportunities.

J-Serve: International Day of Jewish Youth Service Recap | Last month, over 7,500 Jewish teens from all corners of the world joined together to give back to their communities. With both hands-on projects and philanthropic fundraising, BBYO teens took on projects to make an impact and create positive change. We loved seeing all of the volunteer work teens did in their communities including park clean ups, donation drives, and more!

Acrss the Globe


In this edition of BBYO Across the World, we’re highlighting two special upcoming cross-cultural experiences: Ambassadors to Germany and Jewrovision and Ambassadors to the Baltics. Follow along with @bbyoinsider’s stories on Instagram and Facebook as our teens share live from their trips!

A note from Shelly Nahary, ZWST Youth and BBYO Partnership Projektleitung (Project Manager) and Anastasija Gurvic, Associate Regional Director, Lithuania.

We are deep into planning for these Ambassadors experiences, and we could not be more excited!

In Germany from May 14–21, our 15 Ambassadors will not only tour around Frankfurt, but also Cologne and Worms. They’ll learn about the past and the flourishing Jewish life before the Holocaust, and will meet and bond with local teens from BBYO’s Cologne and Frankfurt chapters. They’ll also be part of the largest national event for Jewish teens in Germany. The Jewrovision is a song and performance contest between 13 communities representing over 2,000 attendees, and Eden Ben-Zaken (one of the most famous artists in Israel) will be the special act. It will be a great high point as our Ambassadors witness and celebrate the continued rejuvenation of Jewish life in Germany alongside our movement partner, ZWST. Truly a unique experience all around!

In the Baltics from May 15–21, 15 more teens will get to bond deeply with their counterparts in one of BBYO’s strongest global communities. We’ll travel throughout Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, take a deep look into the Vilnius Ghetto and its hiding places for Jews during the Holocaust, and explore the 14th century Trakai Castle on an island in Lake Galvė. Through a leadership exchange highlighting the Russian-speaking Jewish communities of Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius, teens will explore Jewish history, gaining an understanding of how to strengthen Jewish bonds worldwide and what it means to have global responsibility.

Teens on both trips hail from communities across the US, Europe, and FSU, including a cohort from Ukraine. In BBYO’s history, many exchange trips like this one have been held, but we’ve been unable to run one since early 2020. Its return with these two amazing experiences truly speaks to the global community of BBYO and all it has to offer our members.

Trending Now


In this edition of Trending Now, we’re updating you on Gen Z’s favorite hobbies, how teens are labeling (or not labeling) their diets, and the types of fashion trends young consumers are reviving.

Gen Z’s Favorite Hobbies | When brands are looking to connect with Gen Z, it’s key to know what interests and hobbies they’re engaged with the most. While everyone knows they spend a lot of free time scrolling on social media, research shows young people are taking time for offline hobbies alongside their online ones. Sports are still Gen Z’s number one hobby; 66% of Gen Z consider themselves sports fans, and 88% have played sports in some way in the past year. Besides sports, Gen Z rank hobbies like arts and crafts and music high on their list of favorite activities, followed closely by reading, cooking, and exercising.

Diet Labels No More | With Gen Z being such an eco-conscious generation, it is often assumed that they are at the forefront of plant-based diets trends. But when asked which labels describe their current diet, from a list of nine including common dietary restrictions (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.), different plant-based options, or unrestricted (no diet), unrestricted is by far their most popular answer (63%). While we know that the younger generation certainly supports making decisions that are better for the planet, it is interesting to note that they are not willing to define their diet choices with specific labels.

Reviving Fashion Trends | Gen Z appears to be reviving long-dormant fashion trends, resurrecting brands and styles that were popular in the 1990s and 2000s. Fashion staples such as low-rise jeans, maxi skirts, and Ugg boots are a handful of trends seeing a resurgence with young consumers in 2023. Even Crocs, once the most divisive shoe on the market, has gained more fans than haters lately. Experts say this revival derives from a combination of brands targeting Gen Z celebrities and influencers, and cycles in fashion tied to external factors such as the economy.

Coming Up Soon


There’s Still Time to Catch Those Summer Vibes | Summer 2023 is going to be a summer like no other! We still have a few spots remaining at our exceptional summer programs. Any of our experiences will let your teen make new friends, strengthen their identity and confidence, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC) | Current Grades: 9–10
    At CLTC, your teen will have a camp experience like no other! Teens learn all things BBYO and how to become a strong leader in and out of the Movement. Participants also get to enjoy the beautiful lake, gaga pit competitions, challah baking, immersive Shabbat experiences, and so much more!
  • International Leadership Training Conference (ILTC) | Current Grades: 10–11
    ILTC empowers the next generation of leaders with the skills to change the future of BBYO and the world. As part of a tight-knit community, your teen will get to experience immersive programming and tons of classic camp fun this summer!
  • International Kallah | Current Grades: 10–12
    At Kallah, your teen can take their Jewish learning and identity to new heights! Led by educators who know how to build community and alongside fun electives like cooking and music, Kallah is the place for unique and fun Jewish experiences.
  • Israel Experiences | Current Grades: 9–12
    Your teen can explore all the Jewish homeland has to offer and celebrate its 75th year alongside friends they’ll keep for life. With a variety of trip focuses and $3,000 RootOne vouchers available, we have any Israel experience for every teen!
  • Europe & The Americas | Current Grades: 8–12
    If your teen is ready to explore the world, we’re here to show them the way. From service experiences in Ecuador to exploring the storied capitals of Western Europe, teens will form close bonds with friends as they gain a new perspective on our global community.

Don’t let your teen miss out on the best summer yet! Explore these options and more at

Celebrating the Class of 2023 | With the school year coming to a close, we are celebrating the accomplishments of our graduating BBYO members! Check out the Class of 2023 celebration page and encourage your senior to fill out the form with their future plans. Congratulations to all the seniors, we can’t wait to see what they do next!

In Their Words


It is crazy to think that our one-year-long term as BBYO’s International Teen Presidents will shortly be coming to an end on June 1. To say this year has been filled with laughs, tears, hugs, and memories that we’ll keep forever is an understatement.

As BBYO’s 98th Grand Aleph Godol and 78th Anita M. Perlman International N’siah, our jobs revolve around the most important thing in this organization—the teens. Throughout the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of visiting communities near and far around the world to meet with your teens. From our home bases in Houston, Texas, and Washington, DC, to places with vastly unique Jewish communities like Turkey and Serbia, every community we’ve been to has left an astounding impact on both of us.

Sharing experiences like watching Alephs and BBGs being inducted as members in Denver, Colorado, to watching younger members run for chapter board in New York, as well as sitting down for dinner with teen leaders from Vienna, Austria, have each been special for us. We’ve talked to hundreds of teens about their vision for BBYO and the Jewish community and even met with past BBYO alum and International Presidents who have shaped so much of AZA’s & BBG’s history.

As the year winds down and we look forward to the future, we see some incredible things like:

  1. Some awesome summer experiencesfrom leadership camps in Pennsylvania to travel and adventure across the world.
  2. Opportunities for teens to run for chapter board—this is what BBYO is for, teens getting to experiment and take risks!
  3. Launching celebrations for our Centennial Campaign as we celebrate the kickoff of BBYO and AZA’s 100th Anniversary.

It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve your teens in 61 countries, across all six inhabited continents, and to experience the strength of the global Jewish community. We can, without a doubt, proclaim: BBYO is strong and only getting stronger. Together as one, forever united as one crew, there’s no place like AZA & BBG and there are no teens like ours.

Thank you for your support during this year, and we look forward to seeing BBYO thrive,

To the next 100,
Levi Fox & Avi Gorodetski
98th Grand Aleph Godol | 78th Anita M. Perlman International N’siah


Join Us for a Free Upcoming Parent Event for Mental Health Awareness Month

Teen Mental Health Readiness for Summer and Beyond
Thursday, May 18 at 8:00 PM ET via Zoom

In this virtual event, BBYO parents are invited to hear from teen mental health advocate Zach Gottlieb and clinical social worker and consultant Leslie Rose Stern in an open discussion about teen mental health. We’ll engage in conversation on preparing your teen for summer and beyond and explore tools that will help parents support their teen’s emotional well-being and navigating the challenges that arise when they are away from home.


This event is brought to you by BBYO's Parent Advisory Council.