Posted on 02/15/2015 @ 03:28 PM
On Friday IC held a speakers series where individuals went to a Limmud session hosted by over 100 jewish speakers. And each Limmud session left teens feeling empowered and inspired.
One of the sessions Changing the World with Your Phone was hosted by entrepreneur Max Stossel, creator of Ocho. Ocho is an 8 second video platform for people to share their opinions and try to spread global issues awareness and raise funds for important causes. Stossel talked about how the social media age affected teenagers and how they were the ones who understand it and could use it most effectively. During the session Stossel encouraged teens to use the hashtag #becauseimfree in response to a video talking about how slavery was still prevalent around the world and asked people to respond with saying what they're able to do because they're free.
Yoga: Engaging the Mind, Body and Spirit through Movement was lead by educator and BBYO staff member Shalom Mayberg. Shalom created a yoga session for teens who wanted to be able to stretch out and feel more in tune with their bodies. Mayberg's session had teens trying yoga poses from beginner to the intermediate levels. During the session Mayberg asked the teens to say "oomm" very loudly when they breathed. This triggered mass laughter when the group originally tried to do it however in the end it provoked no laughter and only serious yoga practice.
From Selma to Ferguson: Southern Rabbis and Bold Leadership was hosted by Rabbi Daniel Septimus. He is Rabbi to the Hillel at the University of Texas at Austin and he gave an interactive lecture about the Jewish people's role in the civil rights movement. Rabbi Septimus began with a small speech and video presentation about rabbis in the South who have stood up to separate but equal practices. This was followed by a break out group session where the teens were given scenarios of Jews in tough moral situations and discussed them and the ideas of inequality. After the groups reconvened, they read their scenarios and gave a explanation to their solution to the situations with the the rest of their peers. After they were all read Septimus told the teens "easier said than done." While it was very easy to create a solution that was good for the subject of the situation, many of these events were difficult to do in the civil rights era. Septimus had also showed excerpts of letters from rabbis and clergymen illustrating how segregation was a price no man should have to pay for being human.
Overall, the Limmud sessions were insightful, diverse and informative. The IC participants gained new perspectives and skills, and are ready to take them back to their respective communities.
-Haruka Gerald, Lonestar Region, IC Press Corp 2015