BBYO, formerly the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, originated in 1923 as a men's high school fraternity inOmaha, Nebraska, though it was actually not affiliated with B'nai B'rith until April 1925. It began as a protest against the local Greek high school fraternity, Alpha Zeta Alpha, which did not allow Jews to become members. The boys who organized it began their own high school fraternity and decided to name it Aleph Zadik Aleph, or AZA, the Hebrew letter equivalent. In April 1925, AZA was adopted by B'nai B'rith at the B'nai B'rith National Convention.
An alternate history found in Dealing in Futures by Max Baer describes a schism between the founders of the AZA and members of the local Zionist youth group. The AZA founders split from the group and formed their own with the Greek-letter college fraternities in mind. When Nathan Mnookin, the first advisor, left, Sam Beber took over and chartered the Aleph Zadik Aleph on May 4, 1924, with the early vision of an international youth movement. The first International Convention of the Aleph Zadik Aleph was held July 4-6 of that year.
In 1944, B'nai B'rith Girls became recognized by B'nai B'rith, and BBYO as it is today was born. Anita Perlman is credited with the development of BBG as Sam Beber is credited with the AZA. BBYO as it is today was born. In 2002, BBYO changed its name to BBYO Inc., becoming a legally independent organization in the process.