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Emma Zetner

For the First Time ever Winnipeg Teen Elected to BBYO International Board at BBYO International Convention (IC) 2021

by Rhonda Spivak, March 1, 2021

Winnipeg/Manitoba – 31 Red River teens joined thousands of other teens, educators, thought and business leaders, celebrities, political figures and philanthropists from around the world at BBYO International Convention 2021, one of the largest convenings of Jewish teen leaders worldwide. Held over Presidents’ Day weekend, February 11–15, 2021, this year IC was held as a hybrid festival with digital and in-person experiences around the globe. The event offered countless opportunities for Jewish teens to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and commit themselves to projects and initiatives they are passionate about. 

For the Winnipeg community, Monday’s elections of the 2021-2022 AZA and BBG International Boards were a highlight. Emma Zentner, 17, of Gray Academy of Jewish Education, was elected as 77th Anita M. Perlman International N'siah (International Teen President). In this role, Emma Zentner will be a part of a twelve-member international teen board that will help organize BBYO’s vision for the coming year and provide leadership and support to teen leaders in local communities throughout the BBYO system.  

“I feel honoured and humbled to be a part of this Movement that strives to better the lives of the Jewish people of today and tomorrow. I am beyond excited to spend the next year focusing on the individual member experience our incredible organization offers, as well as prioritizing our global reach and ensuring that Jewish teens everywhere can find a home within BBYO.” said Emma Zentner. “I am blessed to have received so much support from my friends, family, staff and mentors who have guided me along the way.”

Among the special guests who addressed IC attendees this year were Deni Avdija, Professional Basketball Player, Washington Wizards; Pete Davidson, Comedian, Actor, and SNL Cast Member; Karla Martinez De Salas, Editor in Chief, Vogue Mexico & Vogue Latin America; The Honorable Gabby Giffords, Activist and Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives; Susan Hennike; President, Champion North America; Avi Issacharoff, Co-Creator, Fauda; Grant Hill; Former NBA Player and Vice Chairman, Atlanta Hawks; and Rebel Wilson, Actress, Comedian, Writer, and Producer. 

In addition to the hundreds of speakers and educators at IC throughout the weekend, delegates had access to a variety of other unique program highlights including:

  • Over 450 local experiences in BBYO chapters around the world; from Montreal to Moscow to Buenos Aires to Baltimore, programming took place in person (where permitted), digitally, or via a hybrid experience
  • Thirty-three Leadership Labs for teens to choose from on topics such as fighting online hate, exploring activism through art, apparel design, and sports technology
  • Twenty eight diverse Shabbat prayer options for teens to participate in across a multitude of time zones, showcasing themes and intentions designed by teens from social justice to mental health to connecting with peers during COVID-19
  • An exclusive studio show and conversation with global Israeli star, singer, and winner of
  • Eurovision 2018, Netta Barzilai
  • IC Kitchen experiences to learn new cooking techniques, including a Guac Off, Beyond the
  • Braid with Challah Prince, and a Global Food Tour
  • A gaming tournament to compete in video games with players worldwide, lasting all weekend long
  • A private concert and live Q&A with DJ superstar, songwriter, and record producer Diplo, live from Costa Rica
  • …. And much more!

“Building strong Jewish teen leaders is a core foundation of what we do in BBYO. Each one of our teens takes such pride and an active role both in their chapters and on a regional level and it shows with their elections to BBYO’s International Board,” said Ian Baruch, Associate Regional Director, BBYO Red River Region. “We are so excited to see Emma Zentner carry out her vision for next year and continue to empower teens to leave their mark on Jewish history not only here in our area, but all over the world.” BBYO Red River Region is a proud partner of the Rady Jewish Community Center.

About BBYO

BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 90 years, BBYO‘s leadership programs the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority) have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of more than 400,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life. Now, BBYO’s network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers and philanthropists serves as the Jewish community’s most valuable platform for delivering to the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah audience fun, meaningful and affordable experiences. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world-wide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel education and Jewish values. 

Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, but rather as “BBYO.”

For more information on BBYO, please visit and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.