2018-03-28 / Columns

SJR BBYO experiences tremendous growth, with over 700 members

Regional Presidents

Representing their chapter, Shemesh BBG, were (from left), Rebecca Fallick, Adina Boyd, and Macy Harding. Representing their chapter, Shemesh BBG, were (from left), Rebecca Fallick, Adina Boyd, and Macy Harding. South Jersey Region (SJR) BBYO is always growing, but this year the region set even loftier goals for its members. SJR wanted to grow to over 700 brothers and sisters, which would be nearly an additional 100 members in just one year. The teen leaders set this goal and rallied around it together. The leaders of SJR (Regional Board and Chapter Presidents together) said they wanted to bring in new teens to BBYO, not just to be a number, but to be a part of their family and to experience the fraternity and sorority bonds that last a lifetime from BBYO.

“Introducing new teens to BBYO is one of the best parts of my job,” said Jed Friedman, Regional Moreh (vice president of Membership) and International Moreh Elect. “When kids join BBYO, they are creating a new brotherhood and sisterhood that immediately gives them a group of friends and people who always have their back and support them.”

The leadership of SJR BBYO was excited to help their chapters grow this year, and have been holding monthly trainings with all of the chapter board members. “I love getting to work with my chapter counterparts every month,” said Trudi Fleishman, Regional N’siah (president). “Meeting every month has been a game-changer, and hearing all of our chapters share their wins is really uplifting.”

While our chapters have been hard at work growing their families, SJR BBYO has also been creating new opportunities by founding new BBYO chapters in our community. This past spring, we began a new BBG (girls) chapter, Shemesh BBG, in the Greater Cherry Hill/Voorhees area. In just 10 months’ time they have grown to 18 members and achieved a permanent charter—a very exciting development.

And our Alephs (boys) would not be outdone by their BBGsisters. This fall, three Alephs from different chapters struck out on their own to found Masada AZA. We are very proud of Masada AZA; in six short months they have grown to almost 10 members.

Charlotte Silver-Cohen, N’siah of Shemesh BBG, said, “Founding Shemesh BBG with Danielle (Lev) has been an amazing experience. I am so proud of our hard work and the opportunities we have created for the next generation of BBGs.”

SJR BBYO teens have also been connecting with new partner organizations and creating new chapter experiences for teens in previously underserved communities. This year, we have been so excited to welcome new teens from the Moorestown Jewish Association to BBYO with the founding of the new Moorestown-Mount Laurel BBYO (co-ed) chapter. SJR BBYO has also strengthened our partnership with the Jewish Center of Princeton and has welcomed their Hebrew High into our Princeton BBYO Chapter. We also are exploring the idea of creating a co-ed chapter within South Jersey that is observant and kosher.

“We want every teen to have a comfortable home in BBYO,” said Brett Eisenberg, Regional Godol (president). “We understand that some of our friends may be more observant than others and we want to create a place for everyone!”

Every day, new members are joining SJR and our teens are so excited to welcome them into the BBYO Family. In September, 700 seemed impossible, and now the teens are aiming even higher.

If you have any questions about BBYO, please contact the BBYO office at sjr@bbyo.org or (856) 424-4444, ext. 1163. 

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