Every summer since 2011, Camp JORI has partnered with BBYO’s program Passport Israel to send JORI’s teens to Israel for an immersive six-week program featuring archeology, hiking, sightseeing, ritual, community, tikkun olam, religion and experiential education. The JORI-BBYO partnership is also strong at home in the United States because BBYO and Camp JORI share the same pluralistic views and strive to welcome kids from all streams of Judaism.
On Oct. 14, BBYO New England and Camp JORI joined at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket to kick off the fall BBYO season. In attendance were 134 teens from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Teens were able to take swings in the Pawsox batting cages, play games on the field, hang out in the clubhouse and visit with friends from the summer. Campers from JORI enjoyed catching up and making new friends with teens from BBYO.
The New England Region of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization includes 10 chapters from Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Samantha Walsh, regional director, said, “The teen leaders of BBYO always amaze me because of their creativity and insight into what makes a great event. The teens really are the driving force of what types of events we create and staff ensures these ideas become a reality, not only by doing for but by doing with the leaders. I’ve seen this region grow in size since I first became regional director and it’s inspiring to see more than 130 teens decide to attend an event with other Jewish teens on a Saturday night.”
Julia Keizler, a senior at Classical High School in Providence, has seen it grow.
“When I first joined BBYO, I attended the Regional Kickoff Dance of 2014. That dance had no more than 60 kids at it, and I left thinking how much more fun it would have been if there were more people in attendance. Now, four years later, we have doubled attendance and filled our events with passionate teens that are helping provide meaningful, Jewish experiences all across New England. I could not be more proud of the growth that this region had seen in such amount of time and I’m so excited to help us continue to grow and prosper.”
For more information on BBYO contact Samantha Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Camp JORI or to secure a spot for 2018, contact Aaron Guttin at email@example.com
AARON GUTTIN is the assistant director of Camp JORI.