Global Members Sound Off, Colin O’Brady Inspires at IC Pre-Summits Kickoff

More than 700 Alephs and BBGs from over 36 countries are here for the 24 hours before we officially begin IC to attend one of our Pre-Summits. This year, Summit brings us eight different tracks, all providing a unique way for teens to explore their passions, their leadership and their Judaism: AZA BBG February Executives Conference (Execs), Canadian National Summit (CNS), Membership Growth Summit (MGS), our inaugural Sports Leadership Summit (SLS), and Jewish Enrichment Institute (JEI) tracks in BBYO Sings, BBYO Stand UP, Spirituality, and for the first time, Speak UP Israel. Check back here tomorrow for broader coverage on each one!

In our kickoff event, the colors of all our Global Delegations were called, and each lead delegate rose and shared the stats on their growing communities, first in their native languages and again in English so that the entire assembled community could celebrate their successes.

After that, two-time world record holder and elite endurance athlete, Colin O’Brady gave an amazing speech about the importance of perseverance and resilience in the face of the unexpected. His tale of recovery, overcoming obstacles, testing limits, dreaming big, setting goals and never giving up was unbelievably inspiring.

The session closed with a wonderful fireside chat with Eric Fingerhut, President & CEO of Hillel International; Estee Portnoy, a member of the BBYO International Board of Directors; Hernie Melinsky, an Advisor from Argentina; and Maja Vizentaner, an Advisor from The Balkans.

Our Grand Aleph Godol Ron Hasson and International N’siah Rebecca Sereboff summed up this exciting opening moment perfectly:

“Together, we are serving as a light unto the nations and securing a strong, safe Jewish future for teens worldwide. We are leading the way to a future that will allow all Jews to engage as Jews as freely as we are doing here today.”