Over 3,200 teens from 44 countries are attending the BBYO 2023 International Convention (IC) in Dallas this week, with a theme of “Now is Our Time,” a call to action for young Jewish leaders to focus on “the importance of democracy as a means to create change.”

IC 2023 represents the largest gathering of young Jewish leaders in the world, according to BBYO.

They organization explained that this record-size event will shape the narrative on how teens combat antisemitism, embrace democracy, and fuel their enthusiasm for making a difference in their communities.

IC 2023’s convention theme “Now Is Our Time” represents “not only a celebration of the current strength and spirit of the teen-led BBYO Movement, but also an empowering invitation to young people worldwide to advocate for causes about which they are passionate.”

The event will also include BBYO celebrating the vibrancy of Jewish communities around the world by welcoming many new international chapters and communities to IC.

In total, this year’s convention will welcome nearly 500 global delegates and staff from across Europe, Asia, and Latin America, including 12 teens from Ukraine, as well as another dozen Ukrainian teens who fled their country and sought refuge in countries throughout Europe, Israel, and North America. With unprecedented worldwide demand among teens to attend IC, groups of over 50 delegates each from Argentina and Germany are participating this year, as well as hundreds of teens from 40 additional countries.

Recognizing that "leaders across generations must work together to address today’s challenges," BBYO said it was "proud to welcome some of the brightest and most influential speakers ever to connect with teens" at IC, including Douglas Emhoff, the Second Gentleman of the United States and former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

In a historic moment for BBYO, Emhoff will deliver a keynote address. The Second Gentleman and Bennett will also host two separate roundtable sessions with teen leaders where they will dialogue on topics such as leadership, democracy, civic engagement, and antisemitism.

“BBYO is honored to be one of the most powerful platforms in the Jewish community for teens as they reflect on the need for vision and bold leadership with unparalleled access to world leaders,” the organization said

“In planning for this year’s convention, our conversations with teen leaders kept returning to the importance of democracy and the role it can and should play in addressing key issues,” BBYO CEO Matt Grossman said. “This concept will be the pivotal point through much of the programming, including one-on-one roundtables with world leaders and influencers, learning sessions with scores of diverse educators, over 30 peer-led Shabbat services, and a multitude of activities that are intended to surprise and delight all those in attendance.”