November 2013 Panim el Panim - Day 1
Posted on 11/17/2013 @ 10:30 PM
We are so happy to be starting off the November 2013 Panim el Panim seminar! We have 8 great groups here: Akiva Hebrew Day School (Detroit-area, MI), Chicagoland Jewish High School, Denver Jewish High School, HAFTR High School (Long Island, NY), Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Chicago), Jacksonville (FL) Jewish Center, Kushner High School (New Jersey), and Westchester (NY) Hebrew High school. All together we have 125 great teens!
Key highlights from today included:
- Engaging and challenging opening remarks - Ice breakers
- National Coalition for the Homeless (see 2 blogs, below!)
- Our first policy session, focusing on Conflict Minerals and how the US (both individuals and as a country) can influence this foreign challenge
- The beginning of our Street Torah work - An Israeli perspective on how the US impact is felt by Israelis (3rd blog post below)
- Getting started on preparing ourselves for our lobbying visits.
It was a long day and everyone is quite tired. Off to bed - - more policy, direct service, and much more tomorrow!!
Blog 1: National Coalition for the Homeless
On the first day of Panim a diverse group of kids from multiple Jewish schools across the country came together and formed a miniature community. We spoke with many representatives, including the National Coalition for the Homeless. The students found this particular session to be most inspiring and engaging. On a daily basis we witness but don't truly think about the fact that there are people a lot less fortunate than us. We feel that this opened the eyes of our new community to advocate for housing and make a difference.
Tali G (Chicagoland JHS) & Samuel F (Denver JHS)
Blog 2: National Coalition for the Homeless
At first glance, they seemed like ordinary, working people. However, we soon discovered the true nature of their dispositions. Just a few years ago, Dana and Candy had each fallen victim to one of the most prevalent issues in American society: homelessness. We learned some shocking statistics, including that over 1.5 million people are currently homeless in America today. Sufferers can easily fall into this maelstrom in the blink of an eye - - as the world they know falls apart around them. We often, perhaps ignorantly, associate the homeless with insanity and reproachful qualities, however behind their dusty exterior, they are people exactly like us.
Shayna L & Darcy S (Westchester HHS)
Blog 3: Etay Mizrav
Tonight my peers and I listened to Etay Mizrav talk about Israel. His perspective on the US' involvement with Israeli was extremely interesting - - and I was shocked to find out that he appreciated US involvement with the IDF. Etay also told us about how his team of Israelis and a team of US Marines had a pretend combat and that the Israelis "won." I loved that he was so proud of that and I respect his devotion to Israel and the IDF. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to talk to Etay and he was my favorite segment of the night.
Sarah M (Jacksonville Jewish Center)