On November 11th, WIZO New York Young Leadership held its annual basketball tournament at Basketball City. Young WIZO members and friends grouped into teams of three to play one another in a playful, yet competitive tournament. It was a fun filled family day and everyone enjoyed a delicious BBQ afterwards. This year's tournament was a huge success with 27 teams raising almost $30,000 and bringing the grand total of the past four years to over $175,000!
Girls Youth Team
Back In 2008, Lauren Abuaf Behfarin and Lauren Tetenbaum Dorman founded WIZO New York Young Leadership, a fundraising group aimed at people younger than the average age of a WIZO donor or volunteer, with the goals of attracting new communities to WIZO and cultivating the next generation of WIZO leaders and members.
Today, that group, which includes members ranging from 18-35 years old and coming from as wide a range of backgrounds and professional industries as New York could offer, make up one of WIZO’s most unique, innovative federation groups. “Young Leadership is creating true excitement in its age group,” says Gail Perl, Co-President of WIZO USA. “They are the future and their involvement is essential to the growth of WIZO USA.”
What sets Young Leadership apart? From its inception, the group made a determined effort to break free of the standard charity events common in New York City. Young Leadership concertedly created events that spoke explicitly to young people and their sensibilities. These now include cycling workout sessions, technology industry networking events, wine tastings and an annual basketball tournament, which stands out among WIZO events worldwide, both for its choice of sports and its inclusion of men as well. The tournament, now in its fourth year, attracts over 150 players and spectators. All of these events are not only unique and lucrative, but educational as well.
The Young Leadership group directs the funds it raises to specific projects under the WIZO USA umbrella, as chosen by its board. Last year’s basketball tournament, when partnered with a matching donor, was able to fund a $100,000 playground renovation at the Meyerhoff Daycare Center in Rehovot.
Winning Team (left to right) Mitchel, Sakhai, and Safdeye