Two local high school students led their B’nai B’rith Youth Organization fundraising program this spring and donated proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign and the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center.
Braden Fineberg, 16, a sophomore at Townview Magnet School, headed the fundraiser with chapter president Jacob Herstein, 16, a sophomore at Yavneh Academy.
“A few years ago, upperclassmen in out local chapter observed an issue with derogatory language,” Fineberg said. “They began a campaign called ‘I Don’t Say That’ in an effort to remove the language in our group.”
Fineberg and Herstein created the AZA Card, a 15 percent discount card that could be used at local merchants during a three-week period in May. AZA is the boys division of BBYO.
“After gaining the support of my chapter, we began going into stores to gain their support,” he said. “At the beginning, stores were reluctant to participate, but as more joined the card, it became easier.”
By the time the card went on sale, 76 stores were participating. Each card cost $30 and all proceeds went to charity.
“The Human Rights Campaign was the logical group to give some of our proceeds to from the AZA Card,” Fineberg said. “We see that the fight for human rights is the civil rights movement of our generation, and we wanted to make an impact.”
They raised more than $4,000.
HRC DFW Steering committee chair Robb Puckett said in a statement his group was honored to be chosen as recipient.
“These boys see a problem, and they want to be the change,” Puckett said. “It speaks greatly to the character of the children, their parents and their community that they looked at how they speak and change their behavior, forging an ‘I don’t say that’ campaign.”
BBYO is a 100-year-old primarily Jewish youth organization whose membership has grown over the last decade since synagogues disaffiliated with the Boy Scouts of America after a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed BSA to discriminate.