Program Excellence

The quality and standards of our events

Programming is the backbone of AZA and BBG. It brings us together and is essential to growing our Movement around the world. Programs should inspire ideas a connection, action, a new way of thinking, and desire for continued BBYO experiences. Let's showcase for the world the best of what we have to offer.

Get Started

Program planning is a skill you build by attending, coordinating, and leading event after event. There are infinite opportunities to get involved in planning programs from the chapter to the International level. Great programming requires participation from all members, and there are roles in committees and as chairs for the planning, execution, and evaluation. What's most important about our programs is that they are fun, meaningful, and affordable to all of our members. Ready to become a programming champ?


Before we plan individual programs, we have to plan our semester. By now, you know great calendaring drives recruitment. Your chapter and region have about 20 weeks in each semester to wow your members, prospects, and community. (For more on this, check out the membership priority hub.)

Get started by mapping out all of your program ideas into a 20-week calendar based on the MRIHA Funnel. Give your members and friends plenty of time to plan ahead for your conventions, special events, elections, and more. They won't want to miss out and you'll want them to be there. Remember, our biggest competition is all the other fun social activities we all love to do outside of school—football games, honor societies, movies, travel, etc.

Take this calendar template and start working with your board to ensure every Jewish teen knows when they can plug in.

Fall Semester Calendar PlannerSpring Semester Calendar PlannerThe MRIHA Funnel

What Goes Into a Program?

Let's look at the three major phases of program planning.


This is your time to dream and be creative. Before any program, you and your planning team will fill out the official AZA and BBG Program Planning Form to ensure you are thinking about all of the event components. Does the program speak to your audience? Do you have an organized supply list? Have you considered the space set-up? These are all examples of things you will think through as you fill this form out. Happy planning!

Program Planning Form

Programming Folds

The AZA and BBG programming folds exist to ensure the experiences we offer are diverse in nature and promote the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual growth of our members. Not every great program needs to include 5/6 folds, but finding ways to blend multiple into your programming will add depth and meaning.

The Five Folds of the Aleph Zadik Aleph

  • Athletics

  • Community Service/Social Action

  • Education

  • Judaics

  • Social

The Six Folds of the B'nai B'rith Girls

  • Creativity

  • Community Service

  • Jewish Heritage

  • Recreation

  • Sisterhood

  • Social Action


Movement Priorities

Our Movement Priorities are important to consider when planning any program. They can help narrow down the ideas of what you're interested in doing. Most importantly, there are amazing resources and plug and play programs from which you can take advantage.


Cardinal and Menorah Pledge Principles

Our AZA and BBG core values should be part of all our programming. Be familiar with these principles so they are always in the back of your mind when planning.



This is when you take your plans and put them into action. How you carry yourself from the beginning to the end of the program is essential to your success. People won't remember exactly what you say, but they'll remember how you made them feel. Learn how to be an excellent facilitator.

Facilitation Tips

Operations and Logistics

There are some key things to keep in mind to ensure your event runs smoothly.

  • Location - Get to your event early to set up. Environment is important to experience. You should be intentional about how setting the room (and choosing the right location) helps you achieve your programming goals.

  • Advisor Presence - All programs need a staff member, advisor or parent present. Be sure to coordinate with one of the three to ensure they can be there the entire time.

  • Budget - Keep track of your program budget and expenses within your Program Planning Form. Remember, you already have resources at your disposal that can save you money. Our programs should be affordable to all members, and even more so for prospects. Create early bird discounts and other incentives to get people to register early.

  • Adherence to BBYO policies - All programs must follow the BBYO Code of Conduct (signed by all Alephs and BBGs when they join).

  • Marketing - Programs should be open for registration or sign up on myBBYO at least 10 days in advance, but everyone in your community should already have the dates saved from when you sent out your calendar at the beginning of the term. This registration link should be blasted on all social media accounts and print on all marketing materials. Create branded flyers and be loud on social media. You want to make it feel like everyone in your community is coming to your event.

  • Program Outline - Turn in your Program Planning Form and get it approved at least 2 weeks in advance by your Regional S’ganim and Staff. They are also great resources if you need help!


This is a step in the programming process that can't be overlooked. If we want to continue to improve our experiences from event to event, we have to ask ourselves what went well and what can be improved. Ask participants for feedback within 48 hours of the program and review with your planning committee and board within a week. Challenge yourself to identify a few areas for strengthening your next program based on common themes from the survey.

Program Evaluation Form

WOW Programming

We refer to our highest quality experiences as 'WOW' events because they should make any teen, advisor, staff, parent, donor, or community member say "wow." You can make any program or event a WOW experience. Check out examples of WOW programming below that you can customize to fit your community.


Aleph Zadik Aleph Athletics (AZAA) and B'nai B'rith Girls Games (BBGG) are AZA and BBG's official athletic leagues. Many communities have seasonal tournaments between chapters. These competitions are great ways to keep members in all grades engaged. Nothing builds camaraderie like sports. How to play:

  • Start a Local League – Any Aleph or BBG can organize an ongoing competition between members or chapters in any sport. Have a big end of season celebration at the championship game.

  • Run a Tournament at Convention – Whether you have a league or not, build a sports tournament into a convention to enhance chapter spirit and attract members and prospects who may be interested in competing.

  • Sports Leadership Summit (SLS) – Come to International Convention a day early for IC Summit to learn from leaders in the sports industry, scrimmage with Alephs and BBGs from around the world, and have a ton of fun. Learn more here.

Plan Ahead

There are important dates to keep in mind when prioritizing Program Excellence. These dates include hands-on training opportunities, Movement mobilization moments, registration dates, and relevant events that tie to our programming priority. Check back often for new calls, brainstorming sessions, and experiences.

Fall Semester 2019

Community Calendaring


New year, new members. Plan an awesome semester for your community.

Fall Kickoff Season


New year, new members. Host an awesome kickoff event for your community.

IC Chapter Showcase Open


Submit your best programs for awards and an opportunity to run them at IC.

IC and Summit Registration Opens

September 26

Our Movement's biggest moment is a member-only experience. Use it as a selling point for potential members.

Fall Fest Season


Show the prospects the best of what BBYO has to offer.

Summer Registration Opens

November 7

Find an experience to sharpen your skills or introduce the new class to a BBYO summer.

Global Shabbat

December 13-14

Give prospects a more intimate BBYO experience and then make the ask for them to officially join.

Spring Semester 2020

Community Calendaring


New year, new members. Plan an awesome semester for your community.

Spring Kickoff Season


New year, new members. Plan an awesome semester for your community.

IC and Summit

February 12-17

Our Movement's biggest moment is a member-only experience. Use it as a selling point for potential members.


March 29

Who doesn't need service hours? J-Serve is a great way to introduce prospect members to BBYO.

BBG Founders' Day

April 22

Celebrate BBG's 75th anniversary with your chapter. This is a great day to do an inductions ceremony.

Letters Day

April 29

Wear your best AZA and BBG swag around town to show your pride for our Movement.

AZA Founders' Day

May 3

Celebrate AZA's 95th anniversary with your chapter. This is a great day to do an inductions ceremony.

Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC)

Spend two weeks with AZA and BBG top leaders from around the world and dive deeper into growing our Movement. →

Chapter Initiatives

Implement plug and play experiences ranging from topics around racial justice to supporting refugees to school supply and sports equipment drives in your area →

Fall Fest

Fall Fest is an incredible opportunity to invite prospective members to come get a taste of BBYO. Plan an event →


Want to keep learning? Explore more programming tools below!

AZA & BBG Programming Folds

In 1928, Boris D. Bogen introduced the Five Folds to AZA. The Folds encourage members to offer well-rounded programs that incorporate many of AZA and BBG's values. High-quality programming is a part of what makes BBYO special. 

The Six Folds of the B’nai B’rith Girls are Jewish Heritage, Community Service, Social Action, Recreation, Creativity, and Sisterhood.

The Five Folds of the Aleph Zadik Aleph are Athletic, Community Service/ Social Action, Education, Judaic, and Social.

Learn more about how to utilize these folds in your programming.


Building Great Programs

Great programs don't plan themselves. This resource walks you through all the steps on your way to a wow programs.


Chairpeople and Committees

Chairs and committees are excellent ways to spread leadership roles in your community. Learn about the different kinds of opportunities you can create for members.


Chapter Initiatives Menu

Learn about and teach your communities on all of the ways to bring high quality programs to your chapter by running a Chapter Initiative.


Chapter Showcase Programs

At International Convention, chapters present their best programs in the Chapter Showcase. Be inspired by the best of the past few years and find a program to bring home.


Checklist for Marketing Your Programs

Reference this checklist anytime you are building marketing materials for a program.


Essential Questions of Programming

High quality programming is a part of what makes BBYO special, but it can be difficult to write better programs without knowing what to look for. Using this guide, to elevate the experience for your members.


Movement Initiatives Cheat Sheet

Understand why we run Movement Initiatives and how it ties to our year round MRIHA strategy.


Reflection Toolkit

Learn the different ways to facilitate reflections during your programs and meetings.


Chapter Calendar Template

Use this template to promote your chapter's semester calendar to everyone in your community.


Link

A sign-in should be present at every event to ensure we are keeping track of who we are engaging with. We want to easily be able to follow-up with anyone who comes through the door!


SMART Goal Setting

We set goals all the time in AZA and BBG—about membership, programming, fundraising, and more. If you're setting goals, be sure they're SMART ones.


The Five W's of Programming

Use the Five W's of Programming anytime you begin planning. Talk through these questions—who, what, when, where, why (and a bonus, how)—with your programming team before filling out your Program Planning Form.


WOW Event Planning Guide

Large-scale community-wide engagement events offer an ideal entry point into BBYO, and the MRIHA funnel, by providing a unique and highly engaging social experience open to all Jewish teens. Learn the ins and outs of how to turn a WOW event from a dream to a reality.


You've Worked Hard. Let's Celebrate. 🎉

For consistently running stellar programs—we want to celebrate you. By providing fun, meaningful, and affordable experiences to our members, you may be eligible for a number of highly esteemed AZA and BBG International Awards including the Henry Monsky Chapter Excellence, Miriam Albert Chapter Excellence, and Maurice Bisgyer Chapter Excellence Awards. If you know an Aleph or BBG who deserves to be recognized for their work strengthening our priorities, consider nominating them for the Menorah Pledge and Cardinal Principles Awards.

Learn more about your eligibility by exploring these awards below:

Explore Awards
Program Excellence
Get Started
Plan Ahead
Live It