BBYO, Inc., the world’s largest pluralistic Jewish teen movement, has launched the BBYO Community Engagement Fellowship. This new initiative will enable BBYO to facilitate a smooth transition for young Jews between high school and college, ultimately enhancing Jewish life on campus and keeping BBYO alumni connected to one another. Nine Community Engagement Fellows, each attending a different college or university, have been selected from a pool of BBYO Alumni. This fellowship was made possible in part through a generous grant from The Morningstar Foundation of Bethesda, MD.
“The Fellowship program engages BBYO’s most talented young alumni in creating networks of their peers that will both participate in and initiate Jewish activities on campus,” said Matthew Grossman, BBYO’s Executive Director. “The program will leverage the strength of the BBYO alumni community in helping Hillel and others to further strengthen Jewish life on campus.”
The new Fellows are dispersed across North America on campuses with sizable Jewish student populations and large BBYO alumni communities. They will attempt to keep Jewish social circles together by organizing alumni events and initiating projects with partner organizations on campus. The Fellows will also participate in an alumni mentorship program; and staff BBYO’s Summer Experiences in the US, Israel and around the world.
Fellows will receive a stipend for their efforts and will benefit from a variety of professional development opportunities. Their leadership skills and network will be further developed through participation in community-wide events such as AIPAC Policy Conference and the JFNA General Assembly.
The investment in this post-high school age group is a key component of BBYO’s 2011-2016 five-year strategic plan. Successful implementation of this plan relies on seven key tactics, one of which is “Strengthen BBYO entry and transition points.” BBYO Connect, BBYO’s middle school “entry point” engagement program, and the launch of the Fellowship network, as a “transition point,” positions BBYO to focus on the continuum of lifelong Jewish engagement.