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 23 | October 2023

Welcome Note | Around the Order | Across the World | Chapter Highlights | The Next 100 | In Their Words | Ask Away | Israel Parent Program Recording



In our 100 years, BBYO has had to navigate continuing our mission of bringing meaningful experiences to Jewish teens through some difficult times. The unprecedented terrorist attacks on Israel earlier this month have shaken everyone to their core—including our teens—but it is by clinging to our values that we help ourselves and each other through this tragedy.

While Israel’s leaders are still trying to make sense of what was, and of course, what will be, our teens prove yet again the power they hold as a community. On October 7, 2023, BBYO teens mobilized immediately. Members of the International and Grand Boards issued a statement of support of Israel. Teens rushed to reach out and check in with their peers in Maccabi Tzair and around the world. Chapters came together in song and prayer and pivoted their programs to include Israel educators and speakers. Teens rallied to raise emergency funds to care for evacuees from Southern Israel. And most importantly, BBYO provided a safe space for our members to discuss the ever-changing situation in Israel, process their emotions, and navigate the increased antisemitism they may be experiencing in their local communities and schools.

As I write this note, events in Israel continue to unfold. Though we cannot shape our history, we have influence in shaping our future. BBYO is committed to continue encouraging dialogue and inspiring our teens to speak passionately about the issues they care most about. With their friends in BBYO, they know they never stand alone.

Be’yedidut (in friendship),

Liron Lipinsky
Vice President, Enrichment Strategy



Parent Pulse Survey | With the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and the rising antisemitism globally, BBYO is seeking to understand how we can best support you and your teen. Please take 5 minutes to complete this important, three-question survey—your feedback will help us shape our next steps as we navigate our way forward together.

Teens United for Israel Relief | In response to the recent horrific attacks in Israel, our Executive Body has launched a global fundraising campaign to support Maccabi World Union’s efforts on the ground. All proceeds go directly to MWU’s work to care for evacuees from Southern Israel. In addition, Maccabi Tzair chapters there are volunteering and offering sports, recreational, and rehabilitation services to children and teens throughout Israel during this difficult time. Learn how you can join BBYO teens as they rally in support of our brothers, sisters, and siblings from MWU.

Centennial Celebration Summer Launch | Especially during times of adversity, we recognize how meaningful and transformative a BBYO summer can be. This summer, we invite your teen to join our Centennial Celebration Summer with us as a community. Registration for all experiences opens Thursday, November 2 at 12 PM ET. Don’t miss out on early bird pricing, only available during the first two weeks of registration.

Applying to College? | Each year our CEO, Matthew Grossman, sends a letter to over 120 college admissions officers across the United States and Canada highlighting aspects of the BBYO high school experience that carry over into a successful college career. Read this year’s letter here.



BBYO Mexico has experienced impressive growth this year, welcoming more than 100 teens to the region. This growth is a testament to teens' power and their desire to connect, positively impact their community, and create inclusive spaces in the Jewish community. The teens of Mexico have shown unwavering determination to come together and carry out meaningful programs.

In a touching gesture, BBYO Mexico reconnected with alumni Heidi and Isaac, both 85-years-old, who attended and participated in a recent chapter meeting to celebrate BBYO’s Centennial. Their presence serves as a reminder that BBYO Mexico is not just for teenagers but a community that spans all ages, where values of leadership, friendship, and service endure throughout life. The inclusion of individuals from different generations in BBYO activities enriches the experience and strengthens the bonds among its members.

BBYO Mexico is proud to have formed its first teen board this year. This board demonstrates the teens’ leadership capacity and provides a structure for decision-making and project implementation that will directly impact the future of the region. Furthermore, BBYO Mexico has also officially launched a second chapter, marking a significant step in the region’s expansion. This new chapter increases the organization's presence throughout the region and offers more opportunities for young people to engage in activities and causes they are passionate about.

BBYO Mexico looks forward to an inspirational year of welcoming Mexican teens to connect with one another for generations to come. To learn more about what BBYO Mexico is up to, follow the region on social media at @bbyomexico.



Judge Saul Pinchick AZA #6 in the Rocky Mountain Region has raised over $14,000 in support for Israeli Humanitarian Aid for Southern Israeli Communities. Their chapter Godol, Zach Thorner, shared with us, “I'm overwhelmed by a sense of pride and gratitude for our incredible community. The feeling is one of hope, resilience, and unwavering support for Israel, reflecting the values our chapter holds dear—the values of compassion, solidarity, and the unwavering commitment to make a meaningful difference in the world.”.

Due to local security concerns stemming from the situation in Israel, BBYO Ireland had to postpone a Friday night in-person Shabbat program. Instead, they turned it around and came together to create beautiful Shabbat bags for their families, encouraging everyone to celebrate safely in their own homes. Each bag included grape juice, a fresh challah, candles, a printed letter from their board, BBYO Kabbalat Shabbat blessing sheets, a Shabbat Shalom sign, and some Skittles to sweeten things up!

Great Midwest Region hosted an event uniting them with other Chicago-area Jewish youth groups. The teens came together to celebrate Jewish traditions, honor IDF soldiers, and fundraise over $2,000 for the Maccabi World Union.



A Special Birthday for a Special AZA Alumnus | Happy 100th birthday to William (Bill) Schrimmer, the oldest living alumnus of the Aleph Zadik Aleph! Born in Germany and later escaping to England, Bill recently met with BBYO’s Grand Aleph Godol, TJ Katz, to talk about his life and about finding his place in the Aleph Zadik Aleph as a teenager before moving to the United States. In their video interview, Bill shares his perspective and advice for future generations of young Jewish men and teens in the world.

OneTable Partnership | BBYO and OneTable are partnering to provide resources and support for alumni Shabbat dinners to celebrate 100 years of BBYO together! Alumni ages 21-39 who gather with their BBYO friends are eligible to receive funding of up to $15/person towards their costs. Click here to learn more about the program and spread the word about hosting alumni Shabbat dinners in your area.



The Shofar is AZA & BBG’s International Newsletter. Since October 7, our teen journalists have published dozens of reflections, interviews, and moving pieces on Israel. You can see a selection of them below and subscribe to The Shofar to receive them in your inbox weekly.

→ How Does It Feel to Live in Israel Under This Situation? | Be'er Sheva, Israel

→ The Importance of Tomorrow | Buenos Aires, Argentina

 How Are BBYO Members Taking Action to Help Israel?  | Longmeadow, Massachusetts

→ Processing the Unfathomable: Responding to the Magnitude of War in a Social Vacuum | San Antonio, Texas

→ Attack on Israel: Organizations to Support and What We Can Do From Afar | Freehold, New Jersey

→ What It Feels Like to Be Jewish in Germany Right Now | Berlin, Germany



By Drew Fidler, LCSW-C, Senior Director of the BBYO Center for Adolescent Wellness

With the horrific situation underway in Israel right now, much of the content being shared on social media is overwhelming and disturbing. So how do we, as parents and caregivers, protect our teens and help them navigate this landscape? Here are five things to think about: 

1. Be Safe Online 
Encourage teens to continue to use social media safely. They should never publish any personal information, like their current location, address, or phone number online. Make sure they know how to report any harassment or inappropriate content (explicit videos, etc.). If they ever feel threatened, they can and should report it immediately.

2. Know Who You Follow 
There are a lot of people sharing information; it is important to make sure teens are receiving news from credible accounts. On page 2 of this document, you'll find a list of places BBYO recommends as excellent sources of information. You can also visit the ADL's website for their list of people to follow and things to keep in mind.

3. Pick Your Battles  
As the ADL has suggested, engage in conversations when and where you are more likely to have an impact. 

4. Empower Your Teen

Talk to your teen about what is happening and the challenges of interacting with certain types of information on social media. Looking to start the conversation but not sure how? There resources can help:

Make sure to leave space for teens to process their emotions. We are all hurting, but teens need to be able to share their hurt in their own time, their way, and without worrying about judgment. Be a resource, and let them know they aren’t alone.  

5. Unplug  
Taking breaks isn’t just recommended, it’s essential. Encourage teens to put their phone down, disconnect, and recharge their minds and bodies.

Healing and self-care begin in moments: breathe, move, hydrate, connect, affirm, and unplug. For you and your teens, remember you aren’t alone. And, as always, BBYO staff members, advisors, and mental health professionals are always here for your teens. Additional mental and emotional health resources are available on our website.


REWIND: Talking to Teens About Israel

Dr. Deborah Gilboa ("Doctor G"), a board-certified family physician and renowned parenting coach and speaker, joined us to explore ways to talk to your teen about the attacks and war in Israel—what they are thinking, how they are feeling, and what they may be seeing on social media. We discussed how parents and caregivers can help to support their teens' mental health and well-being at this time, while offering them a space to process experiences and the tools to navigate complex and confusing emotions amid an ongoing crisis. 

Event held October 18
View the Recording Here