Anybody's child a member of BBYO?

<p>This is an organization for Jewish teens. I've posted recently about my S. having some social issues so I thought that could be an interesting option for him to try.</p>

<p>Looking for feedback.</p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>Know tons of kids involved with BBYO; varies by community.....most kids love it!! </p>

<p>I made great friends (way back when) in BBG....and dated a few AZA kids that I met......</p>

<p>My 14 yr old s recently became involved and loves it, lots of social activities, I felt he was too young this year for whole weekend experiences, (he was youngest, most were 16-18) but he's looking forward to them as he enters high school. he took on a position of calling kids re: events and in general is eager for leadership opportunities.</p>

<p>BBYO was my life as well as my husband's; it is where we meet and began dating when we were 16!! My son had no interested, but my daughter did; unfortunately it didn't work out for her.</p>

<p>My son LOVES AZA-it keeps him happily busy with programs and social events, and it seems like a nice group of boys. He goes to every possible weekend convention, and also attended a summer leadership program. My other two weren't interested in BBYO, so it really depends on the kid, I guess.</p>

<p>Just curious, what does BBYO stand for? I'm guessing something something youth organization.</p>

<p>B'nai Brith Youth Organization</p>

<p>^^^Thank you.</p>

<p>Thanks very much everybody! I am hoping my S. likes it.. it took a while to get in touch with the local contacts and it sounds like there is not much going on in the summer :-(
Hoping things pick up in September and he can enjoy it..</p>

<p>Just curious: for those of you whose children didn't really like it or wanted to join, what were their objections?</p>

<p>Was waste of time for my D. But she is very outgoing and has tons of very close friends and has always been very busy with all she does and continues to be so. She greatly appreciates her sorority (which was originally started as jewish, but now has others), hillel at college. She was very unimpressed with conventions...etc. It might be different from one location to another. Hard to tell, it could be worthwhile to try, if your S. does not like it, he does not have to participate.</p>

<p>BBYO is an official arm of the Conservative movement of Judaism. For some students,
other movements provide a more "right fit" - in case they are not comfortable with some of the requirements of Conservative movement (the style of services, for example). </p>

<p>NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth) operates out of the Reform movement; google up URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) for more. Like BBYO, they have local and regional chapters, conferences, conclaves and so forth. The NFTY website (under URJ) or a phone call to a local Reform temple could lead you to their advisor (parent advisor or youth group president) to learn more.</p>

<p>If someone can offer the Reconstructionist movement's youth division, that'd be nice.</p>

<p>If a student is more poltical than spiritual (broad terms, and many students twig to both..) there are various Zionist Youth organizations in some cities, for example D'ror HaBonim.</p>

<p>Some Jewish students who like music can find a band or youth choir by phoning synagogues to ask if there is such a thing there. Often they're so eager to engage young people they'll let someone in even if their parents don't belong (yet...). A phone call to a young-ish Cantor can also help a musical student find some connection in through music and others who play or sing in chorales. </p>

<p>Is there a JCC (Jewish Community Center) in your area? That's another place to explore, especially for teen sports.</p>

<p>Anyway, if you have to wait until September for your BBYO chapter to meet, that's a setback but perhaps there's also a chance to explore over the summer for others that might meet during summers.</p>

<p>Paying3tuitions, great suggestions! I wasn't aware that BBYO had a religious affiliation. Looking at their website, it's just teens getting together having fun, making friends etc.</p>

<p>We are not religious so this aspect may not be too appealing but I will definitely research the other organizations you mentioned.</p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>

<p>Emily0722, yet another option is USY (United Synagogue Youth), which is also affiliated with the conservative movement. Some areas have both BBYO and USY, some only one or the other. The level of religious involvement varies from chapter to chapter. I would certainly check out what's available in your area to see if any particular group would be a better social match for your son. </p>

<p>I'll echo p3t's comment that often a student can join a youth group chapter without the family being members.</p>

<p>All 3 of my sons were very involved in BBYO (on the chapter, regional and national levels) and it changed all of their lives for the better and gave them confidence and skills that they parlayed into success in college and progessional life....not to mention all of the life long friends they have made.</p>

<p>paying3tuitions and Emily: BBYO is NOT affliliated with the Conservative movement! That would be USY. BBYO isn't even affiliated with B'nai B'rith any more, since 2002.</p>

<p>BBYO is pluralistic...it may vary from area to area, but around here it is definitely secular. I never encouraged my kids to join because it seemed more social than anything (though social action is big) and there were issues if you keep kosher.</p>

<p>MomMusic you are correct! I am so sorry, yes I did mix up USY with BBYO, because in my youth (dinosaur era), the kids in Baltimore who belonged to BBYO came from Conservative shuls.</p>

<p>Honestly, I have a son's wedding coming up and am embroidering names into a chuppah. I am preoccupied and excited.</p>

<p>I think I should stick where I am safe -- ouch, pin prick!</p>

<p>Indeed: BBYO is social and great fun.</p>

<p>USY is the official youth division of the Conservative movement of Judaism, which like NFTY plays a great role in socializing kids who are centered in their respective shuls. And also much fun. </p>

<p>All these youth groups do Tz'Dakah (righteousness, charitable acts..) projects in their communities from time to time, too.</p>

<p>Did I say that okay? I'm also trying to spell all these new names right (what a joy, truly, I wish you all the same someday..). Embroidering while posting is as unlikely as texting while driving!
It's all good, but maybe not at the same time :)</p>

<p>^^Mazal tov! :)</p>

<p>my daughter has been a USY member for years, served on her chapter board, attended regional and national conventions, and will be doing the Nativ program next year. </p>

<p>She has loved USY, and its been a very important part of her life.</p>

<p>at least around here the impression we get is that BBYO is more purely social, while USY mixes in more of the religious and intellectual. </p>

<p>I was in NFTY as a youngster, but am not that familiar with NFTY today.</p>

<p>Actually, BBYO is NOT affiliated with the Conservative movement or any other movement of Judaism. It is a pluralisticly Jewish organization and caters to all levels of Jewish involvement. </p>

<p>I was a member of BBYO in high school and it absolutely changed my life. I was a very shy and quiet teenager but when it came to BBYO, I came out of my shell. BBYO is very unique in that it is run by the teens, not the volunteer advisors. It allows the teens to really find themselves during the most formative years of their lives and offers every range of programming from Judaic and social action to athletics and leadership training.</p>

<p>thanks for that clarification gatormet, yes bbyo is not only social. and so glad you found bbyo so transformative.</p>