To: Our Readers
From Our Leaders
Well, we've done it. Once again Michigan
BBYO has attracted over 1000 Jewish teens
to be involved in the Biggest & Best Youth
Organization that the Jewish community has
to offer. "Biggest" and "Best" are not my
words, but those of the youth themselves.
You see, BBYO is not just about numbers but
about each individual Jewish teen.
Our staff of dedicated professionals and
volunteers try to make sure that everyone
knows that he/she is important. There is a
place for everyone in AZA, BBG, and Teen
Connection, and it is up to us to make sure that each member finds
his/her "comfort zone." That is why we have so many chapters from
which to choose, and that is why the small group experience is still
the most valid approach to AZA and BBG and worth fighting for.
We have just experienced an enormous intake of new members into
BBYO. Since April 1 we have registered 230 new members - 8th and
9th graders into AZA and BBG, and 6th and 7th graders into Teen
Connection, and now it is our challenge - as staff, advisors, and youth
leaders - to integrate each new member into the organization and
make them feel comfortable.
You may ask, "Toward what end?" I will let the youth respond:
Amy Margolin of Koach BBG: "BBG is one of those things you
could talk constantly about for days and still not have enough words
to do it justice. It's leadership. It's about showing yourself what you
are made of and how capable you may be."
Devin Jarcaig of Yachad BBG: "BBG means bringing Jewish girls
together and providing them with a fun and positive experience that
creates a special bond that can't be broken."
Stuart Wagner of Shapiro AZA: "AZA has helped me re-establish
my Jewish identity by connecting me with other Jewish teens with
whom I have been able to share meaningful Jewish experiences.
Emily Kimmel of Graham BBG: "BBG is the place I always feel
welcome, where I am free to express myself. To me, BBG is the family
that every girl should experience some time in her life."
That being said, I want to thank all our alumni, parents, and community
friends for their continuing support of this important youth program.
It has been a very good year for Michigan
Region BBYO...perhaps the best in the past
several. The hard work of previous years has
allowed us to reap the rewards.
We have had a winning combination of
strong youth leadership, a dedicated
"seasoned" staff and an active supportive
Board. The results have been rewarding for all
concerned. My personal highlight was
Regional Convention. It was the largest in five
years (384 participants) and was attended by a
great many seniors — something missing from
years past. The highlight of the Convention had to be the Talent Show as
it proved to be the hottest ticket in town that night — there were 800
seats set at Shaarey Zedek and the show played to a standing-room-only
crowd. Also noteworthy was the huge turnout of parents for the Song
Contest and Awards Ceremony in addition to the Talent Show.
In fact, all of the year's programs were well planned and well
attended. Not surprisingly, overall membership is up!
Finally, our new international organization, BBYO, Inc. has taken
control and the transition has begun to bear fruit. Not only has BBYO,
Inc. covered a good deal of the staff cost, but they have also begun to
offer real vision and foresight as to what the future of BBYO holds.
With the financial support from BBYO, Inc., The Jewish Federation
of Metropolitan Detroit, and B'nai B'rith Great Lakes Region, our
Board has been able to put more effort into helping the staff with other
issues. We offered aid staffing Regional Convention, Teen Connection
outings, and helping to find advisors. That is not to say that our Annual
Campaign suffered because of our other activities...we had another
outstanding fundraising year, especially in light of the economy. The
Membership Open House at the West Bloomfield JCC was a huge
success with 198 prospects attending and over 80 parents as well.
Those are both records. So, the challenge ahead is how to properly
service the membership surge and plan for the future growth.
What a nice problem to have!
Arnold J. Weiner, MSW
Chairperson, BBYO Board of Directors
Senior Executive Regional Director
1))7 , T G
AZA/BBG Joint Council Meeting &
AZA/BBG Council Installation -
CLTC I - Beber Camp,
Detroit Teen Connection at Cedar Point,
JUNE 23-JULY 6
Kesher L'Yisrael - Perlman Camp,
AZA/BBG Exec Retreat - Milan
Conference Centre, Belle River, Ontario
JUNE 30-JULY 13
CLTC V - Perlman Camp,
CLTC III - Beber Camp,
CLTC II - Beber Camp,
International Kallah - Perlman Camp,
CLTC VII - University of Judaism,
Los Angeles, California
JULY 7-JULY 21
BBYO/Spark - Baltimore/Washington Area
CLTC VI - Perlman Camp,
JULY 29-AUGUST 13
ILTC - Perlman Camp,
JULY 29-AUGUST 13
BBYO/Teva - Perlman Camp,
New Hampshire & Vermont
International Convention - Perlman
Camp, Starlight, Pennsylvania
VIP Leadership Camp - Milan Conference
Centre, Belle River, Ontario
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