What Is World Jewry?
World Jewry is the Diaspora of the Jewish people throughout the world, including Israel, and the right and ability to live a full, safe life connecting to traditions, culture and practices of the global Jewish community.
As a Stand UP cause, World Jewry is about creating a lasting impact by strengthening that global Jewish community. Judaism teaches about a collective responsibility for Jewish livelihood and welfare worldwide, and those of us from communities with a strong foothold and connection to Jewish life and practices should heed the call to action and engage with global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues.
World Jewry is one of the main pillars of BBYO’s mission today, and we have made great strides in mobilizing our teens to disseminate our strengths, pride, and practices to communities around the globe.
BBYO has helped make it possible to:
- Connect and empower future leaders
- Inspire Jewish communal renaissance and revival through teens leading community
- Strengthen global Jewish identity and tradition through relationships, shared experiences, and collaboration
Service/Avodah (Avodah in Hebrew)
- Plan an Around the World program where you teach/ learn about Jewish communities from across the globe
- Connect with international BBYO communities and trade advice with overseas chapters
- Encourage your summer program friends from abroad to stay involved and get their peers to attend more conventions and trips
- Sell t-shirts or bracelets in your regions and donate the proceeds to summer program scholarship funds for international participants, or for your members to go abroad
- Host a pot luck dinner with Jewish cuisine from around the world and include facts about each community with each dish
- Play Jewish Geography- identifying strong Jewish communities and capitals on a map
- Participate in Jserve, the International day of Jewish Youth Service http://www.jserve.org/
- Attend one of BBYO’s ambassador programs and get firsthand experience with Jewish life, culture and history abroad
Philanthropy/Tzedakah (Tzedakah in Hebrew)
International Service Fund (I$F)
- The International Service Fund – a component of the Lynn Schusterman International Service Campaign – has long been a significant tradition of AZA and BBG and an element of BBYO’s impact on the greater community for countless decades.
- Traditionally, each chapter was compelled to donate about $5 per member to the fund, and then the sum was gifted to an organization voted upon by the Execs body at International convention
- The Fund’s primary purpose has been modernized in recent years, and is now specifically designed to increase available scholarship funds (largely for overseas participants) and to help those in need through a teen-selected charity.
- From 2006-2009, I$F funds were donated to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
- The Stand UP campaign was created as a continuation and extension of I$F because teens were participating in more service, philanthropy and advocacy, and BBYO wanted to track all of the amazing things that AZA and BBG members were doing throughout the order, as well as give them more say in where their time and money was spent and delegated.
Advocacy/Tzedek (Tzedek in Hebrew)
BBYO has a strong tradition of advocating for global Jewry. We have lobbied for legislation, policies and protocols that will help protect and strengthen isolated and small Jewish communities all around the world. A single piece of legislation or statement of support can make a huge difference on an issue because of the resources of the federal, state, and local government. Of course, at any given time, the legislation on an issue will change. Remember: good citizens make their voices heard to their elected officials.
Read below about organizations we commonly partner with and look to for information and updates on global Jewish life.
Each year, BBYO sends hundreds of teens to the nation’s capital to participate in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, which draws more than 5,000 of the world’s leading US-Israel supporters, and AIPAC’s High School Summits. Committed to creating a generation of leaders who are committed to the Jewish homeland, BBYO has established a strong partnership with AIPAC and encourages political advocacy and Israel activism in all of its participants.
Founded in 1936, the World Jewish Congress represents Jewish communities throughout the world.
Foundations for Securing the Jewish Future
For over 80 years, the Jewish Agency has served as the link between the Jewish people and Israel, working to ensure the future of a connected, committed, global Jewish People with a strong Israel at its center. They were a major player in building the State and have brought over 3 million Jews to Israel.
Today, they work to secure the Jewish future. They pride themselves on being the Jewish world's first responder to crises both in Israel and around the world, and the Jewish Agency is redirecting its primary focus toward strengthening the Jewish identity of young Jews in both the Diaspora and Israel. They believe the solutions to local and overseas challenges facing Jews around the world depend on revitalizing a strong sense of Jewish community, which has faded over the last generation
To Inspire Jews throughout the world to Connect with their people, heritage and Land, and Empower them to build a thriving Jewish future and a strong Israel.
The Jewish Agency pursues this mission by:
- Forging strong connections to Israel through a sequence of Israel experiences for teens and young adults – from Birthright's short visit to Israel, to Masa's live‐and‐learn experience from 5 months to a year.
- Facilitating aliyah for those who choose to make Israel their home.
- Engaging young Jews from Israel and around the world in social activism, infusing them with Jewish purpose and connecting them to one another, while addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in Israel.
- Reconnecting Jews from the former Soviet Union to their Jewish roots from which they were forcibly separated over 70 years of communist rule.
- Rescuing Jews from countries of distress and re‐settling them in Israel.
- Serving as first responder to crises in Israel and around the Jewish world.
- Pursuing their efforts in 500 communities throughout the world since 1929
JDC Entwine is a movement of up and coming North American Jewish advocates, influencers and leaders, who, through awareness, service and leadership, creating lasting impact on the global Jewish community. They aim to inspire the “next generation” to see Jewish collective responsibility as a call to action—to understand global Jewry as something to take responsibility for, and not just participate in.
Entwine offers opportunities for young Jews to get involved with global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues. These efforts are led by a Steering Committee, a volunteer body of young adults who care deeply about JDC, and are working with JDC to ensure that JDC Entwine opportunities are meaningful and resonate with their generation. Their main principles and initiatives are:
Education is important in making any decision; you can’t act responsibly without knowing the facts. Through their peer-to-peer, informal approach, young Jews are learning about overseas Jewish needs for the first time in an environment they feel comfortable in.
Service & Travel
On any day of the week, an Entwine participant is serving somewhere in the world as part of a JDC service experience. Through Entwine, young Jews visit and volunteer in locations where they make an impact and they’re confronting real-world dilemmas and testing personal boundaries in Jewish and non-sectarian settings. JDC Entwine offers a continuum of opportunities. Their experiences are geared towards where young adults are in their lives, with varying levels of time commitment and professional experience required. There are also study trips for in-depth learning and exchange.
Through JDC Entwine’s awareness, service and leadership opportunities, young adults are taking responsibility for global issues and educating their peers. Participants are learning that they can enact real change in Jewish communities and build relationships with Jews living in places they've never even imagined, a goal closely aligned with BBYO’s global mission.
The Jewish People Policy Institute
The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) is an independent professional policy planning think tank incorporated as a private non-profit company in Israel. The mission of the Institute is to ensure the thriving of the Jewish People and the Jewish civilization by engaging in professional strategic thinking and planning on issues of primary concern to world Jewry. Located in Jerusalem, the concept of JPPI regarding the Jewish People is global, and includes aspects of major Jewish communities with Israel as one of them, at the core.
JPPI’s activities are action-oriented, placing special emphasis on identifying critical options and analyzing their potential impact on the future. To this end, the Institute works towards developing professional strategic and long-term policy perspectives exploring key factors that may endanger or enhance the future of the Jewish People. JPPI provides professionals, decision makers and global leaders with:
- Surveys and analyses of key situations and dynamics
- “Alerts” to emerging opportunities and threats
- Assessment of important current events and anticipated developments
- Strategic action options and innovative alternatives
- Policy option analysis
- Agenda setting, policy recommendations and work plan design
JPPI is unique in dealing with the future of the Jewish People as a whole within a methodological framework of study and policy development. Its independence is assured by its company articles, with a board of directors chaired by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, and composed of persons with significant policy experience. The board of directors also serves as the Institute's professional guiding council.
American Jewish Committee (AJC), established in 1906 by a small group of American Jews deeply concerned about pogroms aimed at Russian Jews, determined that the best way to protect Jewish populations in danger would be to work towards a world in which all peoples were accorded respect and dignity.
Over 100 years later, AJC continues its efforts to promote pluralistic and democratic societies where all minorities are protected. AJC is an international think tank and advocacy organization that attempts to identify trends and problems early - and take action. Our key areas of focus are:
- Combating anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry;
- Promoting pluralism and shared democratic values;
- Supporting Israel's quest for peace and security;
- Advocating for energy independence;
- Strengthening Jewish life.
Arevut is the concept that Jews have a special obligation to other Jews. A series of ideas and laws encouraging commitments of mutual aid and devotion among Jews (Sanhedrin 27b; Shevuot 39a).
Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh: all Jews (or all the people of Israel) are responsible for one another