Shelly Danz and Julie Abes
Mothers and Daughters Bond through BBYO
The incredible friendship between Shelly Danz and Julie Abes began 35 years ago when they met through BBYO at the JCC. Julie joined BBYO in 1982 and liked it from day one. A year later, Shelly joined and the two “clicked right away,” Shelly recalls. The girls grew close over the years through their BBYO activism and collaborative leadership positions, as well as through outside interests.
We clicked right away and grew close through our BBYO activism.Shelly Danz
Despite losing touch in their early twenties, Shelly and Julie reconnected through some twists of fate. “Our boyfriends lived in the same apartment complex, and we happened to get engaged within a day of each other in that building,” Julie explains. “We crossed paths again looking for our first houses and soon after that joined a Mahjong group together. We had our daughters within nine months of each other and then our sons a year apart. Our husbands became good friends as well, and I can’t imagine going a week without seeing or speaking to Shelly.”
In recent years, Shelly’s and Julie’s daughters, Megan and Amanda, bonded through their own BBYO involvement. The women are in awe of their daughters’ parallel experiences and friendship, and kvell watching history repeat itself. The girls have followed in their mothers’ footsteps by serving in the same leadership capacities that their moms did in the ‘80s. “We never pushed their BBYO participation,” Shelly says. “It happened organically and their friendship got stronger. Now they are sorority sisters in college and we know they will be friends for life.”
“I love knowing Amanda has such a similar relationship to Megan as I do with Shelly,” Julie notes.
Listening to Megan share her own BBYO stories tops Shelly’s list of “favorite parenting moments,” she admits. “I was able to relive the experience, and because she did this with Amanda it was even more special, because Julie and I could be part of it together.”