Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

BBYO teens attend first Florida tri-regional convention


Nearly 300 teens participated in the first Florida Tri-Regional BBYO Convention.

On Sept. 12-14, over 60 Orlando teens attended BBYO's All-Florida Convention in Palm Beach Gardens. Themed "Leave Your Mark," the convention brought together nearly 300 teens plus advisors, staff, guest educators and alumni for a historic weekend of local Jewish teen engagement.

"I couldn't have imagined a more amazing experience, learning from some of the community's most influential leaders and change agents. Now, back in Orlando, I am more inspired than ever to lead my chapter and give back to my community," said Sarah Michel, senior at Winter Park High School and one of the teen leaders of the weekend.

The teen regional leadership of BBYO North Florida Region is comprised of (l-r), Zach Wieselthier, Ilana Loory, Samara Halperin, Jonah Goldberg, Haley Gaeser, Hannah Wieselthier, Austin Kansol, Ari Kenney and Sara Hoffen. (Not pictured: Taylor Bollt.)

The Florida Convention began on Friday afternoon with Opening Conference Ceremonies. Three different conferences were offered throughout the weekend where teens could choose the programs that they were interested in. One conference was the Jewish Enrichment Institute (JEI) that offered programs around how to lead services, Israel advocacy, Jewish identity discussions, among others. There was a song leading track built into JEI led by song leaders Josh Cohen and Debra Winter. Another conference offered was themed "Grow the Movement" where teens learned about different ways to lead community-wide campaigns and to strengthen their local Jewish communities. The final conference offered throughout the weekend was "Executives and Leadership" for teens currently holding leadership positions within their chapters.

On Saturday evening, the convention body joined more Jewish teens throughout the Palm Beach Gardens community for a Dance Marathon at the Mandel Palm Beach Gardens Jewish Community Center. The teens raised over $1,000 for Children's Miracle Network while dancing and standing for four hours.

The convention body closed out an incredible weekend of fun and learning with Regional Business Meetings on Sunday. Teen leaders proposed motions and changes that would help chart their BBYO region's vision for the upcoming year.

For more information about BBYO and upcoming events, contact Lory Conte, regional director at LConte@BBYO.org or 407-621-4032.


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