After months of speculation, two teen-focused Jewish organizations, the Panim Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values and B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, merged on Sept. 1.
Panim has become a division of BBYO that will aim to offer compelling content and experiences to Jewish institutions and teens focused on service, advocacy and philanthropy. The idea is to create a movement of young activists ready to take on the challenges facing society and the Jewish community.
The two organizations began exploratory discussions several months ago when Panim founder Rabbi Sid Schwarz decided to step down as president and CEO. Leaders of the two organizations sought to bring together the groups, whose missions and core competencies complement one another.
Philanthropists pledged $3.5 million over the next two years to make the merger happen, including $1 million raised by Panim’s outgoing board to provide scholarships for teens and their families who cannot afford to participate in programs.