With more than 25,000 members and 80 years of experience, BBYO is known as the largest and most effective provider of identity-building and leadership development programs for Jewish teens. Headquartered in Washington, DC, BBYO encompasses over 40 regions across North America, as well as Europe, Israel, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and comprises more than 130 employees and over 800 volunteer advisors. Among BBYO's 250,000 living alumni are many of the most prominent figures in Jewish communal life, as well as people of note in the business, political, academic and cultural worlds.
Key to the organization's success has been a highly effective leadership model operating on the local, national and international levels through a fraternity/sorority-based chapter structure (AZA for boys and BBG for girls). Formerly affiliated with B'nai B'rith, in 2002, BBYO was restructured as an independent international organization. While still focusing primarily on its leadership development programs, this move to independence affords BBYO the opportunity to forge a new direction and adopt a much more expansive and transformational approach to engaging Jewish teens.
Inspired by our past and motivated by the needs of the future, BBYO is committed to reaching and teaching Jewish teens in unprecedented numbers. This commitment comes at a critical point, as the Jewish community is struggling to connect young people to their heritage and history. Fewer and fewer Jewish teens are engaging in Jewish life following their b'nai mitzvot, and one study shows that by the time Jewish teens reach their senior year of high school, less than 30% are involved in any formal or informal Jewish experiences. As a teen-led, trans-denominational organization, BBYO is uniquely positioned to reverse this trend and to ensure the Jewish future by using new approaches and emerging technologies to connect with the Jewish teen market in ways that were once unimaginable.
Representing the Jewish community's largest pool of teens and most likely catalyst for reaching the next tens of thousands, BBYO is in the process of launching a rich array of innovative opportunities designed to appeal to the widest possible teen audience through its new online community, www.b-linked.org: services to assist with college admission and help teens fulfill their community service requirements, as well as vastly expanded travel and social networking opportunities.
Through these new approaches, BBYO will increase significantly the number of teens participating in meaningful Jewish experiences and ultimately inspire them to live Jewish lives.
For more information on Charleston BBYO, please contact Rona Goldstein at email@example.com or 803-354-8933