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Getting to Know Each Other in Washington, DC

Posted on 11/13/2011 @ 07:00 PM

Read more about the Panim el Panim experience through the eyes of a teen participant, Becca Cohen, Chicagoland Jewish High School

Hello from Washington DC! Today our day started out with the hustle and bustle of the O'Hare airport. After filling up on "nutritious" airport snacks, all 33 students climbed aboard the airplane to Maryland. Upon arriving to the Reagan airport, we took shuttles to the conference center in Chevy Chase.

We met the students from Ida Crown Jewish Academy and Heschel from New York. We all sat in a big circle and talked about what it means to have a name. We were told to converse with the person next to us about our own names, and why our parents chose them for us. We also looked a text both in English and in Hebrew about the importance of a name and, more importantly, a reputation.

After a meaningful discussion, we reconvened as a big group and shared what we learned. We were then given time to get settled in our rooms and meet our roommates!

Everyone met back in the conference room to talk about homelessness. We heard from two previously homeless men, John and James, their stories of struggle and perseverance. We were able to ask questions and receive truthful answers.

After John and James left we refueled with a pasta dinner and got on buses to go on monument tours! We were divided into small groups and were able to walk around and visit the beautiful monuments. We were able to see the Lincoln memorial, MLK jr. Memorial, Vietnam memorial and the Washington monument. We came back to the conference center to an array of snacks and headed back to our rooms fully exhausted.

Today was filled with travel, deep conversation and most importantly meeting new people face to face.

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