A panel at the BBYO convention in Baltimore
A panel at the BBYO convention in Baltimore Jason Dixson Photography

More than 3,000 teenagers from 40 countries attended a BBYO convention in what is believed to be the largest Jewish gathering since the beginning of the pandemic.

A release from the organizations said the event at the Baltimore Convention Center running Feb. 17-21 focused on Jewish philanthropy and Jewish education.

Speakers included Mike Posner, a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter; Rabbi Angela Buchdahl of New York’s Central Synagogue, who fielded calls from the hostage-taker in last month’s assault on a Texas synagogue; A. J. Dillon, the Green Bay Packers running back, and Zach Banner, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive tackle; Nikki Fried, Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner who is running for governor; and Jurney Smollett, an Emmy-nominated actress.

Strict COVID protections, including proof of vaccination, testing and masking, were in place throughout.

BBYO, the former B’nai Birith Youth Organization, describes itself as “the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement.”