At a time when many young people are feeling disconnected from institutional life, thousands of Jewish teens have converged in Dallas this weekend for the 2017 International Convention (IC) featuring figures from the worlds of politics, activism, entertainment and business who have aimed to “change the game.” The convention drew nearly 4,800 Jewish teen leaders, educators, professionals and philanthropists from 48 North American states, districts and provinces, and 30 countries, making it one of the largest Jewish communal leadership events in North America and the largest gathering of Jewish teen leaders worldwide.
Among the scores of speakers addressing BBYO International Convention 2017 are Yehiel ‘Hilik’ Bar, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset; The Honorable Julián Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Andrew Frates, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge creator; Deborah Lipstadt, American historian and author of ‘History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier’; Joshua Malina, American film and stage actor appearing on ABC’s Scandal; and Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), 32nd District of Texas.
At IC 2017, teens participate in an experience that challenges them spiritually, personally and intellectually. The focuses on how various communities, organizations and individuals are coming together to provide teen leaders with insights gained from their own experiences and share leadership resources and skills they will use to “change the game,” the theme of this year’s event.
In addition to benefiting from a remarkable group of speakers and guests, IC 2017 participants practice peer leadership and experiential democracy, immerse in and serve the local Dallas host community, celebrate Shabbat with teen-led services and have access to exclusive music performances, all while doing their part to further a strong Jewish future. As the world’s largest pluralistic Jewish teen movement, BBYO serves more than 83,000 teens across 700 communities in 42 countries around the world.