Hundreds of ‘Gamechangers’ Unite to Celebrate an Unforgettable Shabbat with Jewish Teens

BBYO IC 2015; photo by Jason Dixson Photography.
BBYO IC 2015; photo by Jason Dixson Photography.

From the United States to the Balkans to Argentina and everywhere in between, more than 500 local BBYO chapters in hundreds of communities across 20 countries will take part this weekend in BBYO’s Global Shabbat 2016, an annual highlight in which Jewish teen leaders host simultaneous Friday night, Saturday morning and Havdalah services and/or accompanying programs, uniting as a movement in a truly international celebration of the joy of Shabbat.

This year’s theme is “Be a Gamechanger,” and will include both famous individuals and everyday all-stars who are positively impacting the lives of others through their actions and commitment to causes like civic engagement, social justice, human rights, poverty, inclusion and community betterment, among others.

Throughout the Global Shabbat experience, participating Holocaust survivors will have the opportunity to be inducted into BBYO as honorary members of the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) and B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG), BBYO’s high school leadership fraternity and sorority, symbolically giving them the opportunity to relive their childhood stolen by the Nazis. Other featured ‘gamechangers’ and special guests will also be inducted into BBYO as honorary members, in recognition of the contributions they have made to their local community and to the world.

‘Be a Gamechanger’ was a theme first introduced in July 2015 at BBYO’s International Kallah summer program, where nine Holocaust survivors joined an international community of hundreds of Jewish teens in learning, singing and dancing. Throughout the weekend, the teens had the opportunity to hear the survivors’ stories and commit to share them with future generations. By the end of the weekend, the survivors were also inducted as honorary members of AZA and BBG. Global Shabbat celebrations around the world in December will serve as a continuation of this meaningful experience.