Happy 100th Birthday, BBYO!

May 3, 2024
International Presidents

The International Order

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As we write this letter in celebration of your 100th birthday, our hearts are full with gratitude. It's hard to put into words the impact you've had on so many lives over the past 100 years, but as your outgoing and incoming Presidents, we’re going to try.

It’s fascinating to think about the origins of people’s relationships with you, BBYO. Some teens are influenced by their parents to spend time with you, and others meet you for the first time through friends. But, after someone gets to know you, they realize there really is no one like you. You’ve kept your promise to empower every Jewish teen to find their voice, their purpose, and their place in the world. You've created a safe space where friendships are formed, memories are made, and dreams are realized.

Somehow, you always show up in times of crisis. Whether it’s housing displaced teens during WWII, declaring Jews be at the forefront of the civil rights struggle, providing support to Ukraine in times of war, or standing right beside our siblings in Israel following October 7, you show up when we need you. 

And yet, in times of struggle for the Jewish people, you remain calm, cool, and collected. How do you do it? When morale should be at its lowest, you’re always there with a smile on your face, ready to tangibly impact the life of the next Jewish teen who comes into contact with you. 

It’s often said that friendship is an opportunity to create a chosen family. BBYO, for over 70,000 Jewish teens across the world right now and more than 400,000 Jewish adult alumni, YOU are our chosen family. You pick us up when the rest of the world puts us down. You constantly remind us we are part of a united Movement–something bigger than ourselves and greater than the sum of its parts.

As your outgoing International Presidents, for the last year of our lives, we have put in countless hours for you. Why? Because we believe in you. We unequivocally believe in everything you‘ve done for the Jewish community for the last century. And more than anything, we believe in everything you will do for the next 100 years. Every program we attended, convention we stayed up late at, and ceremony we cried in was all for our unwavering love for who you are. You are the catalyst for cultivating Jewish vibrancy in every corner of the globe.

As your incoming International Presidents, we're honored to carry your legacy through to the next century. Thanks to the strong foundation you've built, Jewish teens worldwide have a place to freely express their identity. We've seen how you impact teens' futures, and we're eager to do the same. Together, let's shape the future of Jewish leadership with passion and dedication, crafting endless opportunities for teens. We're excited to pave the way for the next 100 years.

When we reflect on the tagline for your celebration, “Forever Young,” we realize it couldn’t be more fitting. You make 100 look so good. Just like you did on day one, you’re still building the next generation of Jewish leaders. On this monumental and joyous day, reflect on everything you’ve accomplished but know that this is only the start. Your legacy isn’t just measured in years but in the many lives you've touched and the many still to come in the future.

From the bottom of our hearts, Happy 100th Birthday.


TJ, Courtney, Dan, and Joelle

Courtney & TJ are the International Presidents for the 2023-2024 year and Joelle & Dan are the International Presidents for the 2024-2025 year.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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