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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.

This is tThis is the Place to Keep Up With Panim el Panim and Teen Issue Summits!!

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From Boston: A Look Into the Keshet Program From David Setton

Posted on 11/13/2011 @ 01:08 PM

I have been an advocate for the LGBT community for awhile, so I was very excited when I saw that Keshet would be coming to discuss the spectrum of sexuality with our group. I couldn't have been more happy when they focused on transgender issues. It is something that often gets neglected in the national spotlight.

We discussed a lot of the vocabulary that commonly gets thrown around within the LGBT community and did an exercise that looked into different gender roles that society assigns and what happens when we step outside of those norms. The speakers did a fantastic job answering the questions that came up from the audience.

All in all, the program was highly enlightening. The opportunity to talk to some of the people who are dealing with prejudices was a really valuable experience that I think we all took a lot from. David Setton, Scottsdale, AZ

This is the Place to Keep Up With Panim el Panim and Teen Issue Summits!!

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From Boston: A Note from Alyssa Hartstein

Posted on 11/13/2011 @ 01:00 PM

The first speaker we had was Keshet, an organization that stands up for LGBT rights in the Jewish community. Keshet brought in a lady who is queer, meaning that she was born genetically female, yet gender-wise identified as both male and female. I had never met a queer individual, so this was really an experience that I will remember. It opened my eyes and I'm sure many other participants', as well.

Alyssa Hartstein Scotch Plains, NJ

This is the Place to Keep Up With Panim el Panim and Teen Issue Summits!!

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Why I Chose to Participate

Posted on 07/18/2011 @ 12:53 PM

Teens are Inspired by Their Peers

My decision to attend the Summit was really a no-brainer. I felt like it was a program almost designed for me. With a passion for the preservation of human rights and a pervasive disbelief at the existence of genocide, I was gripped with the excitement that this experience could really begin an incredible journey of gaining knowledge and maybe even finding a career path based in topics in which I am deeply interested.

Once there, I was rewarded with the rare sentiment that my expectations were exactly met: accompanied by a self-selected group of truly exceptional peers, I witnessed and contributed to dozens of highly significant, completely honest conversations, spanning topics pertaining to human rights and genocide expertly and seriously.

I very much respect the teens and presenters who attended the Summit and am glad that, armed now with more passion and much more knowledge than when I arrived in Washington, D.C., I will have a strong network of contacts if I ever seek to follow up this wonderful experience with an advocacy initiative.
- Laurel Cohen

This is the Place to Keep Up With Panim el Panim and Teen Issue Summits!!

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Making New Friends, Changing the World

Posted on 06/28/2011 @ 06:35 PM

Teens are Inspired by Their Peers

Hi we're Gillian and Carly.

We both wanted to share with everyone something really important about this summit: all the amazing people we have met here at the summit.

Before this summit we has never met one another, but we instantly bonded and have become inseparable. In just two days we met not only a friend, but a best friend. We think a lot of the participants feel similarly.

We have learned so much together and are prepared to share this knowledge with out friends and family to advocate for human rights and genocide prevention legislation.

Gillian Bayer (Miami, FL)
Carly Hanft (Roslyn, NY)

This is the Place to Keep Up With Panim el Panim and Teen Issue Summits!!

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