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BBYO ‘global Shabbat’ draws more than 16,000 teens from 30 countries

“It is so important for Jewish teens all around the world to convene and show strength in numbers,” said Liron Lipinsky, BBYO vice president of enrichment strategy.

Teens in South Africa participated in BBYO's "Global Shabbat" initiative on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, which drew more than 16,000 to 130 gatherings in 30 countries. Credit: Courtesy of BBYO.
Teens in South Africa participated in BBYO's "Global Shabbat" initiative on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, which drew more than 16,000 to 130 gatherings in 30 countries. Credit: Courtesy of BBYO.

More than 130 gatherings on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 through BBYO’s “Global Shabbat” initiative drew more than 16,000 teens from 30 countries.

“This historic teen-led movement-wide initiative has been anchored in BBYO culture since it first launched in 1928,” per the nonprofit, which was formerly called the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization and which split from B’nai B’rith International more than 20 years ago.

BBYO's Global Shabbat
Israeli teens who are part of Maccabi Tzair, a sister organization to BBYO, participated in BBYO’s “Global Shabbat” initiative on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, which drew more than 16,000 to 130 gatherings in 30 countries. Credit: Courtesy of BBYO.

The recent event had two themes—”forever young” to mark BBYO’s centennial year and “responding to the moment,” in response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attacks and rising Jew-hatred globally.

The gatherings included Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services, meals, speeches, music, havdalah ceremonies marking the end of Shabbat and other programs.

According to BBYO, there was Global Shabbat programming for the first time in Reno, Nev.; Tahoe, Calif.; Boise, Ida.; and El Salvador. A map on the BBYO site also showed events in Australia, China, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Uganda, all over Europe, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

“It is so important for Jewish teens all around the world to convene and show strength in numbers, to feel empowered by a commitment to Judaism and be inspired to make a difference in their communities,” said Liron Lipinsky, BBYO’s vice president of enrichment strategy.

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