Rachel Gerber and Judah Moskovitz, regional co-presidents of BBYO Vancouver, at the first annual Jewish Prom on May 6. (photo from BBYO & JCC Teens)
BBYO, in partnership with the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver (JCC), held its first annual Jewish Prom on May 6. Organized by BBYO’s regional teen board, this inaugural event brought Grade 11 and 12 students together for an evening of celebration and connection. From the decorations to the music, the celebration not only exceeded expectations but also established itself as an annual event within Vancouver’s Jewish teen community.
From its inception to its execution, the planning process embraced BBYO’s core principles of youth empowerment and involvement – the event was planned by the teens, for the teens. The prom was held at Heritage Hall on Main Street, and the venue was transformed. It was a red-carpet theme for the occasion, complete with lights, balloons, confetti and Oscars-themed centrepieces. Teens enjoyed a snack bar, dessert bar, beverages and popcorn. There was a photobooth on site, along with carnival games, and a live DJ kept the energy up. The décor and set-up provided the perfect backdrop for the evening’s festivities.
With more than 125 students in attendance, the atmosphere was electric from the start. The DJ played a mix of popular hits and classic dance tunes. Students from various schools came together, forging new friendships and rekindling old ones as they danced, socialized and had fun.
The BBYO Teen Regional Board worked hard to ensure that the event was both safe and enjoyable for everyone. The planning process brought together teen committees, professional staff, philanthropists and other community leaders who provided guidance and raised money in support of this initiative. Staff, volunteers and professional security were on site during the event, which was alcohol- and drug-free.
“We are thrilled with the success of our first-ever BBYO prom,” said Rachel Gerber and Judah Moskovitz, BBYO’s regional board co-presidents. “Our goal was to provide an opportunity for Jewish teens completing high school to come together and reconnect, for a fun evening, and we definitely achieved that. We want to thank everyone who attended and helped make the event such a success.”
BBYO Vancouver’s Prom is anticipated to become a highlight of the annual social calendar, bringing together Jewish teens throughout the Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky Corridor and Vancouver Island. BBYO Vancouver is looking forward to next year’s prom, which promises to build on this year’s event. The regional board is already brainstorming ideas for new decorations, themes and activities.
In addition to prom, BBYO holds weekly teen meetings at the JCC, regular social events in Vancouver, as well as in Langley and on the North Shore. Within just a year, the regional board has engaged more than 300 Jewish teens from various Metro Vancouver high schools, an accomplishment that began with a cohort of fewer than 20 teens, primarily from King David High School.
As the regional board continues to grow, with seven emerging leaders and increasing interest in leadership roles from more teens, BBYO’s local impact expands further – notably, Moskovitz’s election to BBYO’s AZA international board as grand aleph shaliach. Working alongside a teen counterpart from Spain, Moskovitz will assume responsibility for all Judaic content and teen programming for BBYO internationally.
BBYO is a leading global, pluralistic, Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. BBYO welcomes Jewish teens of all backgrounds, denominational affiliation, gender, race, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, including those with a range of intellectual, emotional and physical abilities.
With a network of hundreds of chapters across North America and in 62 countries around the world, BBYO reaches nearly 70,000 teens annually. For more information about BBYO Vancouver and its teen-led board, contact Efrat Gal-Or, regional director, at [email protected].
– Courtesy BBYO & JCC Teens