As the programming year comes to an end, BBYO New England Region (NER) is proud to say the year has been one of many high points. BBYO NER teens, parents, community supporters in the Friends and Alumni Network (FAN), advisors and staff are celebrating monumental growth, outstanding programs and prestigious awards.

Over the course of the 2016-2017 programming year, BBYO NER experienced significant growth, increasing in membership by 15 percent. The region also held several noteworthy programs, including our largest Kickoff: Neon Night Club with DJ and games like ping pong, foosball, and arcade games!

Winter Kallah 2017: Free to Be You and Me, a weekend-long convention with BBYO Connecticut Valley Region, featured special guest speakers Joshua Nelson and the Kosher Gospel Singers, Dawn Ennis, award-winning journalist and transgender advocate, and Pamela Schuller, inclusion advocate and stand-up comic. We also hosted Aaron Cooper, 92nd international president, who spoke to teens about leadership and diversity. Saturday evening teens participated in Stomp It Out!, a night to end the stigma of mental health sponsored by several organizations including USY and organizations that work with mental health issues to host an interactive mental health fair and dance with DJ Earworm.

J-Serve 2017 was planned by various chapters around the region (Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts). Teens from Rhode Island, Metrowest, and Boston participated in two different local projects helping 14 teens celebrate their birthdays by creating birthday boxes for Birthday Wishes. Acton teens helped clean up Acton Arboretum. North Shore teens planned J-Serve with Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston.

One final highlight was Spring Convention 2017 where 50 percent of BBYO NER members came to elect the 2017-2018 Regional Board, participate in senior traditions and various sports activities, and get creative during Shabbat services.

BBYO NER congratulates the region’s graduating seniors! Congratulations also go to the outgoing regional board members: Andrew Bikash, Will Cummins, Julia Keizler, Reuben Kittrell, Jenna Rachman, Lauren Robinson, Maddy Selsberg, Melissa Starr, and Isaac Wolfson.

We want to highlight and congratulate our incoming regional board members for the 2017-2018 programming year: Josh Cagan, Holliston, MA, Julia Keizler, Providence, RI, Emily Kelmar, Acton, MA, Nicole Leers, Acton, MA, Mason Quintero, Marblehead, MA, Samara Quintero, Marblehead, MA, Lauren Robinson, Franklin, MA, Aaron Shapiro, Framingham, MA, Josh Taylor, Holliston, MA, and Isaac Wolfson, Natick, MA.

We also would like to congratulate and share that Will Cummins, Holliston, MA, is a Metrowest Peer Leadership Fellow with Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston.

The success of this year’s BBYO NER program is not without the help of dedicated members of the BBYO NER advisors. Special thanks to Jessica Axel, David Bernstein, Blake Coren, Kevin Fine, Barbara Frank, Sam Gbur, Jordan Harpel, Emily Polinsky, Rachel Shor, Stacey Simons, Claire Sinai, and Jaclyn Tobias, who have contributed their time supporting and mentoring our teens.

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