Keynoting the BBYO conference
Today I had the opportunity to deliver the opening keynote at the BBYO conference. BBYO is the largest Jewish Youth group organization in the country. My dear friend, Estee Portnoy (who happens to be Michael Jordan's manager), invited me to come speak to the teens. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity since reaching kids with my message is a core value of my non-profit work.
Estee and I met while leading a trip of sports leaders to Israel. I am not Jewish, but have had the great opportunity to visit Israel twice over the past year as part of the Schusterman Foundation's REALITY trips. I have been immensely blown away by Israel. The country, history, and culture captured my heart. I made some of my best friends of my adult life on those two trips.
Estee told me about BBYO as she was the former board chair, and also met her husband decades ago while attending BBYO as a teen herself. I have spent a lot of time speaking to students of all ages across the country in many different formats and this group was truly special. These teens engaged in a way that was very impressive and the organization brought together a very impressive list of speakers and panelists to share with the teens. Never before have I seen such a cohesive bond between students that age. All told there were over 3,000 teens from more than 30 countries. It was a true honor to address BBYO members in Orlando this year.