BBYO celebrates 100 years

BBYO, the largest pluralistic Jewish teen movement in the world, is celebrating its centennial.

From a small group of boys in 1924, BBYO has grown to an international organization with tens of thousands of participants. Credit: Courtesy of BBYO.
From a small group of boys in 1924, BBYO has grown to an international organization with tens of thousands of participants. Credit: Courtesy of BBYO.

BBYO, the largest pluralistic Jewish teen movement in the world, celebrated its milestone centennial anniversary on May 3. In honor of the 100th year of its founding, the organization has orchestrated a year-long global celebration, including large-scale events in 10 cities, alumni reunions throughout the world, the launch of a new BBYO Alumni Association and a historic centennial international convention held in February, which also marked the largest gathering in the world for young Jewish leaders.

On May 3, 1924, in Omaha, Neb., the initial spark of a vision for the future of young Jewish leadership ignited a flame that would endure for a century and beyond. On that day, a group of young men forged the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA), laying the cornerstone for a Jewish teen movement destined to shape Jewish lives more profoundly than ever imagined. Two decades later, the emergence of B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) complemented AZA’s mission, completing the vivid beacon of BBYO that has since illuminated the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens worldwide and which still shines for all Jewish youth to this day.

“BBYO’s centennial celebration is more than just a milestone; it’s a testament to the enduring strength of community, resilience, and the limitless potential of youth,” remarked Matt Grossman, CEO of BBYO. “As we honor the legacy of the past and embrace the challenges of the future, we renew the commitment made 100 years ago to a mission more vital today than ever before—to create a world where every Jewish teen is empowered to lead, inspire and make a difference.”

Members of the Aleph Zadik Aleph commemorate BBYO’s centennial celebration. Credit: Courtesy of BBYO.

Since its founding, BBYO’s mission and purpose remain unchanged—to unleash the power of youth. On the cusp of this historic milestone, it continues to be a place where Jewish teens forge countless lifelong memories, build bonds of friendship that transcend time and distance, develop into bright and capable leaders, and make unwavering commitments to causes that define their Jewish heritage.

As Mark Cuban, AZA alumnus and American businessman, investor, philanthropist, television personality and former owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, reflected in conversation with teens, “That’s the beauty of BBYO, if one of us falls, we all fall … and BBYO is right there to pick us up. That’s the way it was when I was a kid, that’s the way it is now.”

Today, the journey of AZA and BBG is far from over. With more than 70,000 Jewish teens reached annually in more than 60 countries, BBYO continues to be a beacon of light, guiding the way for future generations of Jewish leaders. As the movement ushers in the next century of involving more Jewish teens in more meaningful experiences, supporters and friends can join in on the celebrations this month by:

TJ Katz and Courtney Saxe, teen co-presidents of BBYO, shared “for the last century, AZA and BBG have been the home for thousands of Jewish teens. Our time in the organization has transformed how we view our Jewish identity and, in many ways, shifted our future Jewish trajectory. We are so grateful to have traveled the world this past year serving on the international board and seen the ways in which BBYO positively impacts teens all over the globe in the same ways it has impacted us.”

Teens from the Great Midwest Regional celebrate BBYO’s 100th anniversary. Credit: Courtesy of BBYO.

BBYO’s Centennial Campaign, an opportunity for longtime supporters to make philanthropy-defining gifts that will lead BBYO into a new century of impact, is also underway, with a goal of securing commitments of $200 million by June 2025.

“As we celebrate the legacy of our inaugural century, we’re not only reminiscing; we’re committed to shaping an even more robust Jewish future for the next 100 years,” said Jayme David, senior vice president of philanthropic engagement at BBYO. “BBYO’s Centennial Campaign is more than a fundraiser—it’s a bold declaration of our commitment to ignite the passion and leadership potential of countless more Jewish teens, anywhere and everywhere, and to cultivate the next generation of Jewish leaders for decades to come.”

Note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization but rather as “BBYO.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.
About & contact The Publisher
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. Since its founding nearly 100 years ago, BBYO’s purpose has been to unleash the power of youth. BBYO‘s leadership programs, the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority), have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of hundreds of thousands of alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life. Together, AZA and BBG form a global Jewish teen movement in over 60 countries around the world that now approaches its centennial anniversary. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities, a plethora of summer leadership programs, and inspiring worldwide travel experiences, BBYO’s programs enable teens to explore all facets of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israeli education and Jewish values. For more information on BBYO, visit our website and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, X and LinkedIn.
Releases published on the JNS Wire are communicated and paid for by third parties. Jewish News Syndicate, and any of its distribution partners, take zero responsibility for the accuracy of any content published in any press release. All the statements, opinions, figures in text or multimedia including photos or videos included in each release are presented solely by the sponsoring organization, and in no way reflect the views or recommendation of Jewish News Syndicate or any of its partners. If you believe any of the content in a release published on JNS Wire is offensive or abusive, please report a release.
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates