Advisor Connect

December 2020

Nominate an unsung hero for Advisor of the Year

As Wilkes-Barre BBYO’s Chapter Advisor and the former director of the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center, Sara Pisarz (z”l) made a positive impact on the Jewish community with which she was deeply involved. I’m honored to have been able to work closely with Sara through BBYO. As N’siah, Sara was always there to lift my spirits, praise me when I ran a great program, and inspired me to put my whole heart into everything I put my mind to. Not only was Sara like this with me, however; she was like this with everyone with whom she interacted. From the toddlers at the JCC to her “BBYO teens,” Sara sparked passion, garnered support, and prompted each and every one of us to be better. As if that wasn’t enough, Sara also created a food pantry called Sara’s Table that provides food for those in need which, specifically, has helped hundreds of families in these unprecedented times.

I could not think of anyone more deserving of the title of Advisor of the Year (also known as the David Bittker Unsung Hero Award) than Wilkes-Barre’s very own Sara Pisarz. Sara passed away in January, and her daughter flew to International Convention to accept the award on her behalf. After all Sara had done for others, I’m so glad there was something that we could do for her. Telling Sara she had been nominated for such a title remains one of the top moments of my life. As you read this, I hope YOU have been picturing your “Sara,” whomever that may be. Now: I challenge you to celebrate the incredible mentors and role models in your life and let them know how much they mean to you. You can nominate a fellow advisor for the David Bittker Unsung Hero Award here, through Sunday, December 20.
-Carla Weiss, Teen, Wilkes-Barre BBYO #5350, Liberty Region


You’re invited to International Convention. Your chapter is invited to apply for💸💸💸 to elevate their IC experience.

For you: We couldn’t be more excited to invite every single advisor from around the globe to experience the magic of International Convention. As part of participating in IC, advisors will have access to celebrity appearances, exclusive performances, meaningful programmatic moments, and join their chapters as they build their best programs of the year. IC will also feature special advisors-only pop-ups. Advisor registration opens here during the first week of January.

For your chapter: This year, every single chapter in the Order will run an incredible chapter program on Saturday, February 13 or Sunday, February 14 of IC. Programming can be in-person (if safe to do so), virtual, or hybrid. Anyone can attend these programs, regardless of whether they're registered for IC. Generous funds are available to help chapters who are looking to elevate their programming during IC, and every chapter is eligible to apply for funding. Applications are open here and are due no later than January 18. Applications will be evaluated and chapter funding awarded on a rolling basis.


Tell us what you want in the March Advisor Conference

Fill out this 1-minute survey by Thursday, December 31 to tell us what you’d like to see in a virtual March Advisor conference.


We need to engage Alephs differently than BBGs. Here’s what we’re learning.

Successfully engaging teenage boys requires unique approaches. As BBYO looks to improve programming and retention across AZA chapters, the Aleph Engagement Task Force is working to develop initiatives that will help AZA thrive. Comprising teens, staff, and advisors, the Task Force is building an Order-wide program to especially engage both current and prospective Alephs.

While every chapter is different, many AZA chapters struggle with communication. The ways in which Alephs prefer communicating have changed quickly, and the shorthand nature of some of these mediums (Snapchat, SMS, etc.) can make it difficult to substantively engage with teens. "Zoom fatigue" has also made it difficult to get Alephs to come to virtual programs. We've seen a lot of success in encouraging personal communication; when another guy, especially an older member, encourages a new or inactive teen to come to a program, the teen feels “wanted”, and gets assurance that they'll have a good time. We invite you to tell us how you’re engaging Alephs in the Advisor Facebook Group.
-Adam Rubenfire, Advisor, Palmach AZA #2561, Great Midwest Region


Advisor Appreciation Corner

Throwing confetti for so many #AdvisorWins this year! 🎉We’re highlighting just a few in this edition, but we know there are thousands more #AdvisorWins out there. Want to shoutout a fellow advisor for being AWESOME? Share one here!

  • Rachel Auerbach, advisor of Beth Shean BBG #1153, Pacific Western Region
    “Rachel is consistently helping her girls grow as a chapter and as humans. They have had a hard term with lots of setbacks that could have discouraged any chapter and advisor, but she treated those moments as learning moments for her girls and showed unconditional support. Her guidance and grace helped those BBG's grow together as sisters...BBG's are so lucky to have her as an incredible role model.”
    -Jillian, Staff
  • Estela Anadoliiska, advisor of Gideon BBYO, Bulgaria
    “She is the best supporter ever and helps us all go through this quarantine period right now.”
    -Dalia, Teen
  • Craig Berman, advisor of New Frontier AZA #1512, Nassau Suffolk Region
    “Craig has taught me the importance of learning from your mistakes and analyzing previous situations to improve the future. Craig has constantly been there for me and my chapter during my 6 terms on chapter board and without him, my chapter would not be nearly as successful as it is now.”
    -Lawrence, Teen

Bonus: Wanna see what advisor appreciation looked like in the 1980s?


Does your chapter need a little TLC? These teen leaders are here to help.

This Monday, December 21st, at 8:30pm ET, the teen-led Chapter Support Committee is hosting our FIRST monthly Chapter Support Call for any chapters experiencing challenges. Any teen from any chapter across the Movement can join to share advice, exchange programming and recruitment strategies, and celebrate successes.

In addition, our team of teen experts will offer 1:1 chapter support for anyone who needs. Teen-led chapter support can be so beneficial for new, smaller, and struggling chapters because we know what it's like to be a teen in leadership roles and the challenges we face. If your chapter needs a little motivation or new ideas, please encourage them to come on this call! Chapters are the backbone of BBYO. We want them to have the strongest chapter experience so that others will fall in love with BBYO and create the best chapter experience for future generations.
-Harry Firestone, Teen, Sigmund Selig Pearl AZA #760, Eastern Region: North Carolina Council | [email protected]
-Lilly Polakoff, Teen, Ashkelon BBYO #5407, Northern Region East: Baltimore Council | [email protected]
Chapter Support Committee Chairs

Staff a Summer Program
BBYO is looking for personable, dynamic individuals to join our incredible summer team. Open positions include: Passport Trip Staff; Camp Nurses, Office Managers, Songleaders, and Wellness Specialists; Jewish Educators; and more! To apply, visit

Hang out with us
Don’t miss the next session in our Advisor Leadership Series: Coaching Bootcamp with Heather Wolfson on Monday, January 11 at 8pm ET. Register here


Happy (Belated) Hannukah!