Chanukah is a time for making the world brighter. Each night of Chanukah we’ll be featuring stories from teens serving on the Jewish Teen Alliance of Chicago (JTAC) sharing how adding their Jewish experiences add light to our community. JTAC members are representatives of Chicago’s amazing teen programs. For the fifth night, we will hear from Tamar about her experience with BBYO.
Hello! My name is Tamar Agam, and I am representing BBYO on the Jewish Teen Alliance of Chicago (JTAC) this year. I have been a member for about five years now, and in that time, I have held several leadership positions. Through these experiences, I have been able to gain invaluable leadership skills and confidence. I have also been lucky enough to make some amazing friends from not just across the country, but the world. BBYO is an international youth movement and is dedicated to bringing more meaningful Jewish experiences to more Jewish teens. It has reached 60 countries, with 40 regions and 700 chapters worldwide.
BBYO has a rich history, and many traditions special to the organization; something that creates a close community. Split into BBG (female identifying), AZA (male identifying), and BBYO (co-ed) chapters, this organization has several unique opportunities to all teens who identify themselves to be Jewish. Not only is this the largest pluralistic Jewish youth movement, but it also has a large variety of leadership, summer, and regional experiences to inspire all its members. It is entirely teen led, and every chapter is unique.
This year, I have been looking forward to passing down my legacy onto the younger members of my chapter and watching them grow into amazing leaders. To me, BBYO is so much more than just a youth movement; it is a home. I have enjoyed every second I’ve spent dedicated to this organization, and I am incredibly thankful for all the experiences I have been able to gain!
About the Author: Tamar is a senior at Plainfield North High School, where she is involved in several activities including National Honors Society, French club, Marching Band, and the Jewish Student Club (JSC). She has been a member of BBYO for almost five years and loves to learn traditional Jewish stories and lessons.