Parents play an important role in the BBYO society

BBYO teens leading Friday evening services at Beth Tzedec Synagogue during the fall 2023 convention in Calgary.

By Heather Lister and AJNews staff

(AJNews) – Every year, over the February long weekend, more than 5,000 top teen leaders, educators, professionals and philanthropists from around the world gather for one of the largest Jewish communal events of the year – BBYO’s International Convention (IC).

Delegates hear from and meet inspiring speakers, deepen leadership skills, serve the local community, celebrate Shabbat and learn together. They have access to exclusive music performances and do their part to strengthen the Jewish Future.

This year, the largest local delegation ever – over 50 teens from Northwest Canada Region of BBYO, which includes Alberta and Saskatchewan – will be attending IC in Orlando Florida. Chaperones include Malvina Rapko, Danielle Braitman and Jay Cairns. The large number of delegates is a testament to the dedicated efforts of these individuals and others, to keeping teens and their families engaged within the Jewish community. The theme of this year’s IC is “100 years – Forever Young.” The convention is the largest gathering of Jewish teen leaders worldwide and it is sure to be an epic celebration of teen culture and leadership.

In addition to showcasing spirit and community pride, International Convention (IC) delegates join in the democratic process of furthering BBYO’s agenda and elect AZA and BBG’s next International Board. Opportunities to be a part of IC’s host region, engage with the old friends and build lifelong global friendships are constants of every IC and are always major highlights of the experience.

For over 100 years BBYO has been providing and engaging Jewish teens with the tools to learn about their identities, develop their leadership skills and most importantly embrace lifelong friendships with their peers. Across 60 countries there are over 700 teen-led chapters with kids entering the programs in eighth grade and participating through their high school years. The focus is on community service, leadership, Jewish heritage and having fun.

The role of the Northwest Canada BBYO Parent Society is to support and enrich the teen led BBYO movement. This is accomplished through the three pillars of community engagement, fundraising, and managing the compliance with provincial regulations governing non-profit organizations.

Community building and engagement focuses on establishing partnerships with Federations, JCCs, synagogues, B’nai Brith lodges and serving as advocates to maintain these key relationships in the local cities. These stakeholder alliances are key to the future growth and stability for BBYO.

Community outreach and promoting Alumni participation is crucial to connecting the legacy members to new families. Fundraising focuses on educating parents and community members on the philanthropic needs of BBYO to ensure staffing, programming and endowment fund requirements are met. Lastly the BBYO Parent Society is tasked with managing regulatory requirements for Casino funds and other regulated processes.

Currently the NWC BBYO Parent Society has fourteen members and growing in Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton. Meeting online once a quarter, the focus in 2024 will be fundraising events to celebrate the BBYO 100 year anniversary. If you are interested in learning more about BBYO and the BBYO Parent Society, please visit or mail the Parent Society at


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