The History of IC

November 23, 2022
Leehee Brauner

Gainesville, Florida, United States

Class of 2025

Read more from this author →

The wait is almost coming to an end. As spots fill up quickly for IC 2023, the hype for IC is only growing. It's been almost a year since the last International convention and teens are itching to reunite with friends and celebrate their love for BBYO. IC is BBYO’s biggest event of the year where thousands of teens across order come together at a different location every year to experience fun programs and explore the host city. There is never a dull moment at IC for five days, teens from across the globe get to share meaningful Jewish experiences and reunite with old friends after a year apart. But IC has not always been this prominent and big. Let's take a look at the History of IC and how much the order has grown since its founding.

The first chapter of Aleph Zadik Aleph was established in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1923, and the first B'nai B'rith Girls chapter was in San Francisco, California, in 1927. On May 3rd, 1924, AZA became an international organization, and chapters began growing across North America. As AZA grew, an international order was elected and international conventions began occurring yearly to oversee the growing movement of teens. By their 10th anniversary, they grew to over 100 chapters,  including ones overseas, such as in Bulgaria and England. B'nai B'rith girls, who were newly established as an international organization, and AZA held the first joint convention in Chicago in 1944 to declare BBYO as the governing body that joined AZA and BBG.

In the beginning, BBGs and AZAs held their international conventions separately every year. The first BBG International Convention was held in 1945. 20 delegates came together to vote for the First International Nsiah and create the foundation of the BBG culture and order, such as the Menorah Pledge, Opening Rituals, and other ceremonies. The first AZA International Convention was held in 1924 when Sam Beber became the official advisor. The B'nai Brith slowly began holding international conventions that included AZA and BBG so they could discuss international matters for the whole of BBYO. At the International B’nai B’rith Convention, AZA and BBG International Board members become official voting members of the B’nai B’rith Youth Commission. All International conventions were held in the Perlman camp until 2005 when it was decided the International Convention would be held in a different region every year. Over the years Ic has changed and evolved into what it is today, but at its core, it has always been a time to explore your Jewish identity and create meaningful connections with your fellow Jewish teens.

Let's Take a look at some IC highlights over the years:

  • In 2013 President Barack Obama addressed the BBYO International Convention in Washington, D.C., USA.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the BBYO International Convention in Dallas, Texas, USA.
  • Israeli President Shimon Peres addresses the BBYO International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the BBYO International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
  • BBYO hosts its largest International Convention to date for the first time in Orlando, Florida, USA with more than 3,000 teen delegates representing 35 countries and 5,000 attendees in all.
  • Musical guests such as Flo Rida, Jason Derulo, Fifth Harmony, and Steve Aok have played at IC.
  • In 2021 so many awesome guests such as Dani Avdija, Rebel Wilson, and Pete Davidson all spoke.

Leehee Brauner is a BBG from Gainesville, Florida and she loves to swim.

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.

Explore More Stories

Get The Shofar blasted to your inbox