Beginning Thursday, February 26, through Sunday, March 1, more than 1,500 Chabad teens and 100 Rabbis who operate teen programs around the world will gather in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for the annual CTeen International Convention.
Founded in 2008, and funded and supported by Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad, the Cteen International network is the official teen organization of the Chabad movement, the fastest-growing Jewish teen organization group in the world, with more than 150 chapters in 120 cities internationally, engaging 10,000 teens weekly.
The convention will honor Jewish teens that have made a significant difference in their local communities through humanitarian and social service projects. Teen delegates from Brazil, Hong Kong, France, England, Australia, Israel, Canada, Germany, Singapore and across the United States are expected to attend.
"We are looking forward to welcoming the 1500 teens and the special delegation of 110 teens from France and to the important conversation they will be leading on Jewish pride in the face of anti Jewish sentiment," said CTeen vice chairman Rabbi Mendel Kotlarsky, who is the executive director of strategic programming at Chabad headquarters in Crown Heights.
The convention will focus on member participation in one of three areas:
1. The CTeen Leadership Board, which is composed of teen representatives across 50 chapters who are elected by fellow CTeen members. The teen leaders recruit new members and help plan and market events, such as the International CTeen Convention.
2. Humanitarianism: Through its Project Impact, CTeen partners with nonprofit organizations to provide teens with opportunities to give back to their communities. Some CTeen Impact partners are Chai Lifeline, the Aleph Institute, the Friendship Circle, CCOC, Ten Yad, and Chabad Drug Rehab.
3. Networking and Community: CTeen connects Jewish teens with each other through regular social events and programming. Regional, national and international retreats give participants a chance to meet and network with Jewish teens from other local chapters.
On Saturday evening, February 28, two large screens in Times Square will be running CTeen-related footage, and on Sunday, March 1, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the UN will address the teens via video message.