With the upcoming Presidential election only a few weeks away, Jewish teens across the nation are joining together to make their voices heard, through BBYO’s Voice Your Vote Initiative. The initiative, which promotes civic engagement amongst teens in grades 8-12, provides a platform for our youth to gain knowledge about key issues in our country.
When given the basic information and programmatic requirements of the BBYO initiative, I faced the same questions as many other BBYO professionals. How do we encourage our teens to plan election-based programs without demonstrating any political biases? Will the teens even be interested in programs revolving around the upcoming election? The biggest challenge I expected: finding parents willing to host 30 or so teenagers to watch the debates on school nights.
I was pleasantly surprised, however, when Drew Corson AZA and Jay Levine BBG’s chapter boards immediately accepted the program guidelines. They were excited to create programs that focused on important issues, but still had room for fun and goofing off. Special thanks to the parents who hosted out presidential debate watching parties!
Andrew Tuvlin, who is his chapter’s Shaliach, (Vice President of Jewish Heritage, Community Service, and Social Action) really enjoyed hosting one of the presidential debate watching parties. He says, “It was really amazing being able to connect as a chapter yet still learn so much about our nation and country. This was an event I won’t soon forget and am very glad we have been able to have more.”
Ava Schumacher is currently her chapter’s S’ganit (Vice President of Programming) and agrees that this initiative was beneficial in many ways. She says, “Debate parties are a chance to find out more about what’s happening in our country, and what better way to do it than being surrounded by your friends? After the first debate party, I’ve been engaging in conversations with other BBG’s about how this election is significant to us and our future!”
Both Andrew and Ava noted the importance of inviting eighth-grade prospective members to the programs. In Ava’s opinion, “Jay Levine BBG Debate night parties are all about promoting civil engagement, encouraging the Jewish value of hachnasat orchim (welcoming the guest) and having a ton of fun!! By inviting prospective 8th graders to our events, we have an opportunity to welcome them into our program and teach them all about BBYO.”
Jay Levine BBG and Drew Corson AZA are excited to announce the culmination of the Voice Your Vote Initiative: a HUGE Election Night Party at Main Event! The Party, which will take place on Tuesday, November 8, from 6-8 p.m. is an opportunity for Jewish teens in grades 8-12 to come together and watch these important election results together!
Fee: $20, includes dinner, an hour of bowling, one game of laser tag, and an arcade pass. Register online for the Election Night Party at www.bbyo.org/2016election/louisville. For any questions, contact Kari Semel at 238-2701 or email@example.com.