BBYO joins campaign to ban ‘bossy’

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

WASHINGTON, DC (Press Release) – BBYO, the world’s leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement, is partnering with BBYO alumna and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In Foundation (LeanIn.Org) and the Girl Scouts of the USA to “Ban Bossy.”  The Ban Bossy campaign aligns with BBYO’s commitment to developing the leadership skills of young men and women in environments rich in mutual respect.  Led by its BBG Chapters (female chapters), BBYO will utilize its platform of more than 40,000  Jewish teens worldwide to share Ban Bossy resources and programs with Jewish young people in grades 6-12 in classrooms and camp settings.

Sandberg, who joined BBYO in 9th grade, described her BBYO experience in a video address to teens as “a really great opportunity to work with people in a different way … and also stay close to the Jewish identity as a Jewish woman that has really mattered to me … throughout my life.”  Her remarks shared the purpose of her best-selling book, Lean In, her non-profit, LeanIn.Org and identified BBYO as a great partner for empowering women to meet their ambitions.

The Ban Bossy Campaign seeks to empower young girls to lead and train parents, teachers and managers to empower and foster those leadership skills for long term success.  The resources that BBYO’s teen leaders will share with their peers and communities focus on strengthening leadership skills for young women, goal setting for co-ed groups, identifying and promoting positive female examples of leadership and providing parents, teachers, counselors and managers hands-on strategies for supporting female leadership.

In addition to Sandberg, BBYO counts as its alumni more than 400,000 individuals who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life.  Since its founding by Anita Perlman in 1944, BBG has been teaching young women leadership skills that develop confidence and character.

“We’re especially proud of Sheryl Sandberg and the path she has paved for young women and, moreover, her efforts to get more women to ‘Lean In’,” said BBYO Board Chair, Estee Portnoy.   “The Ban Bossy campaign will be another way in which BBYO will ask its members, female and male, to realize their potential – to be bold and do great things for the Jewish community and our world.”

B’nai B’rith Girls and BBYO will be leading the way to Ban Bossy and encourage the Jewish community to join in its work of building strong and confident female leaders now. To learn more, visit

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One Response to “BBYO joins campaign to ban ‘bossy’”

  1. Saul says:

    Banning the word “Bossy” doesn’t exactly sound like a good idea.
    It’s a word that falls somewhere in between being a bully and being pushy. By getting rid of the word… it doesn’t get rid of the bad behavior.

    And it’s not used exclusively on girls. I just used it with my son this morning as I asked him not to be bossy with his younger sister. He was trying to get her to be quiet when she was in a communal area of the house. He wasn’t bullying her and he wasn’t being pushy… he was being bossy. Warning him to not be bossy is a way to teach him to be tolerant of others and to not be so focused on selfish desires.

    The word has a very defined place in our lexicon and it can be used in ways to guide our youth to interact with their peers in a more equitable manner.

    I think the only person being “bossy” here is Mrs Sandberg, who apparently hasn’t learned anything from her teachers who labeled her as “bossy” many years ago.


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