Written by: Noa Mandelzweig-Davis, 8th Grade, Dor Chadash BBG #2404.

BBYO is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever get, and one of the things that makes it so awesome is that we get the chance to learn all about our Jewish culture. On the surface, some people might think that BBYO is just about friendship or even leadership, but it is so much more than that. We also learn so many new things about our culture and its history, traditions and rituals.

Before joining BBYO last fall, I didn’t know much about Jewish holidays, but after attending a few programs, I have a much better understanding of recent holidays and how we celebrate them! On holidays, we often have programs about what they mean, which is a great experience! For example, my chapter, Dor Chadash BBG #2404, had a Purim event where we played many fun games and got to learn a lot about Purim and its history. We even received a package with many great activities in it. This really helped me learn about what the holiday meant!

Just as we have many interesting traditions and rituals related to holidays, BBYO has so many of its own traditions, such as conventions and programs, and all chapters and regions have their own special traditions too. For example, business meetings are a way for chapters to catch up all the members and provide new information that the members need to know. And usually after every program we sing a song, to symbolize the sisterhood or brotherhood in our chapter. All of these different practices make up our BBYO traditions.

We also have the BBG Member’s Manual, known as the red book, and the AZA Member’s Manual, known as the blue book. We give them out to every new member to let them know how we do things in BBYO and they keep it with them all throughout their time in BBYO! These books symbolize our rituals, history and how we run the movement. With these books, you also receive an induction pin. The first pin you get is for becoming a new member of BBYO, and as you go forward with your chapters, you will receive more pins. One common goal of members is to fill the cover of their book with pins!

BBYO lets you learn about your chapter, as well as traditions and holidays, and is a great way to learn more about your Jewish identity.

Pictured: Members of Dor Chadash BBG #2404 at a recent chapter program.