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The More We Do, The More We Learn!

Posted on 07/10/2014 @ 05:00 PM

Today was another amazing day at IMPACT: Chicago. After a great breakfast, I went to my service site, UCAN Chicago, for the third time so far in the program. UCAN is an organization that provides resources for underprivileged and abused youth. My service site specifically travels to a youth treatment center to help out with maintenance and interact with the kids at the facility. Today we finished up organizing a library that had previously gone unused because of how disorganized it was. Now the library can actually be used as a resource for the young people at the center. Later next week, we’re going to do a Question and Answer session with the kids, and an immersion simulation to see what a day at the house feels like.

We also had a guest speaker, Lori Zisook, come and speak about Keshet Day School, which is specifically for people with disabilities. She taught us a lot about how to interact properly with people with a wide range of disabilities, and helped us learn how to be more accepting and understanding. She even left us with a sheet that listed out the proper terminology to reference when speaking about people with disabilities.

Jackson Block, Madrich for the IMPACT: Chicago program, then led us in an activity about the positive and negative ways social media can be used. We discussed the possible consequences that posting negative or derogatory things on social media can have on numerous aspects of your life. Next, we went to dinner, and after working in various committees for Shabbat activities, we moved back into our service site groups. There, we began planning our presentations on our specific service site, which will be shown at a grand ceremony at the end of IMPACT in front of all the participants and people that work at each of the service sites. After a long, fun day of community service and learning, we went out into the campus at the University of Chicago and watched a screening of “Frozen” on a huge screen, the perfect ending to an already great day. I can’t wait to see what we do next!

-Noah Shapiro: Northern Region East: DC Council

Weather report for Thursday July 10th: Mostly sunny. Stray rain shower may occur. Chance of precip 20%. High of 75. Courtesy of www.jakesweather.com

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CLTC 4 Continues

Posted on 07/10/2014 @ 12:56 AM

Hey! We are Bailey Cohen (South Jersey Region) and Zoe Duncan-Doroff (Evergreen Region). Today we talked about membership and learned how to continue the movement by reaching out to perspective members. We watched a short film called “The Tribe” which resonated with a lot of BBGs because of Barbie’s unattainable image. The movie also reminded us that despite our differences, we all identify ourselves as Jews. In addition, we completed some community service today by doing a scavenger hunt collecting toiletries to send to homeless teens in Virginia. To wrap up the day, the CLTC staff threw all of us a party with pie, ice cream, some good tunes and tons of dancing. The party focused on promoting International Convention, and got us excited to reunite with our CLTC friends in February. The end of our session is approaching fast, and we are trying to savor our last moments on these wondrous hills of Bethany College. Submitted with undying love for, The Yak Pak #3463, Gary, pie, BBG #313, Dafna BBG #1110, and all the fabulous friends we have made here this past week We remain, Bailey Reese Cohen and Zoe Isabel Duncan-Doroff Damn proud CLTC participants

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We Are Making Moves!

Posted on 07/09/2014 @ 05:00 PM

Today was our second day at our service sites, which for me means KAM Gardens. As a part of their food sustainability program, KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation helps to maintain gardens not only on the synagogue’s grounds, but also at a couple of churches in the area. As a part of the program, KAM teaches children and families how to compost and maintain their own gardens.

We started out by learning what it takes to write a grant to obtain money that will then be used to maintain these gardens and host programs like ours. After that, we got more hands on and pulled weeds in the plant beds that we will later use to plant our crops. We then made markers, stones painted with different crops, to mark the places of the seeds we will put in the plant bed and keep track of what crops we’re growing.

My favorite part of today was pulling the weeds because it was the first true hands on experience we've had at our site. It made me feel really good to be giving back and to know that my work will have an impact on others. I can’t wait to go back to KAM tomorrow and continue making my mark on the city of Chicago.

After we got back from our service sites, we had a campus-wide scavenger hunt, lead by Daniel Follmer, Admissions Director for The University of Chicago. We split up into groups and competed to see who could find the most places from the hints that we were given. The winning team (my team) found 8 of the places on our list and got UChicago swag.

After dinner we broke into our experience groups and learned El Sistema with a guest speaker, Albert Oppenheimer, and about mission statements. We all contributed ideas for possible mission statements for our service sites and compared our ideas to the actual mission statement for KAM.

Zoë Finkelstein Mountain Region Las Vegas, Nevada

Weather for Wednesday July 9th: 30% chance of AM rain, otherwise sunny. High near 77 Courtesy of www.jakesweather.com

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CLTCinco

Posted on 07/09/2014 @ 02:15 PM

CLTC 5 is off to a fantastic start so far! Yesterday, over 70 teens arrived at Beber after a long, exhausting day at the airport to begin the CLTC experience. A delicious chicken nugget dinner kicked off what was a fantastic first night including initial chapter meetings, ice breakers led by both Hunter and I, a motivational pep talk from Marty Shankle, and a high energy jam session led by our song leader Josh Cohen. Hunter and I want to make friendship circle a really meaningful experience for the participants throughout the session and our first one did just that. All the participants were very exhausted after traveling for a majority of the day, so after a good nights sleep, Day 2 has officially begun along with the regular CLTC routine. Dani's chapter did a great job leading flag raising and meal prayers during breakfast, while Jessie and Josh led an INCREDIBLE first morning minyan! Now, the chapters have returned to mock chapters to begin their leadership training! The chapters are still working on creating their own identities including their name, mascot, colors, and number. I am so excited to see what they choose to represent their groups! All of the participants at CLTC 5 are so awesome and thrilled to be here which makes me even more excited than I already am to lead an INCREDIBLE session! Beber is such a unique place that contributes immensely to the CLTC experience and I couldn't be any happier than to spend the next 12 days at this beautiful place. I can't wait to update you later on in the session about what is going on at #CLTCinco! -Sari Cltc is awesome. I love my roomates and all the people are so nice. I am excited for all of the upcoming programs. -Matt Linder, GJHRR Ive met a lot of people so far. Im so excited to get to know everyone here. -Reanna Edlin Southern Region-Atlanta Council Cltc is really great. I really like my friends so far and the people Ive met in the few hours ive been here. Im excited to pray and hang out with the guys today. -Ross Falkenstein, Southern Region-Atlanta Council

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First Full Day of CLTC5

Posted on 07/09/2014 @ 02:15 PM

Yesterday was the first full day at CLTC and we are off to an amazing start. All 5 chapters are beginning to develop their own identity and lifelong friendships are sparking up left and right. The day included a beautiful Shacharit service, leadership sessions in the chapters, and three rotations focusing on Jewish leaders, public speaking, and why everyone is here. The day ended with a unique AZA/BBG education program. In the education programs, the Alephs added a new cardinal principle and the BBGs added a new menorah pledge. The chapters will be electing their boards today and it is amazing to see how passionate people are about their new chapters that they have only been a part of for two days. All of this high energy is eye opening to me because it only makes me want to go back into 8th grade and start my BBYO experience again. It is crazy to think that a 12 day program can be life changing. -Hunter King, Liberty Region, Aleph Coordinator "Cltc is awesome. I love my roomates and all the people are so nice. I am excited for all of the upcoming programs." -Matt Linder, GJHRR "I've met a lot of people so far. Im so excited to get to know everyone here." -Reanna Edlin Southern Region-Atlanta Council "Cltc is really great. I really like my friends so far and the people Ive met in the few hours ive been here. Im excited to pray and hang out with the guys today." -Ross Falkenstein, Southern Region-Atlanta Council

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ILTC Maccabiah

Posted on 07/09/2014 @ 12:30 PM

Maccabiah was not only one of the best days of ILTC, but it was one of my favorite BBYO memories in general. Seeing the spirt in all of my fellow ILTC friends was an amazing experience. I have participated in my fair share of color wars, but Maccabiah without a doubt blew the others out of the water. We began the day with "The Great Escape,” an activity where we ran across camp attempting to finish many small tasks like doing 25 jumping jacks, singing the Hatikvah, or doing the Macarena four times. Afterwards, we gathered with our teams to celebrate the completion of the first part of color wars. Afterwards we had a silent lunch, a refreshing twist on the usually boisterous Heder Ochel (Dining Hall). It was crazy how determined everyone was to win—the dead silence was crazy for a group of mainly extroverted, extremely social 15-17 year olds. After lunch, we had activities relating to sports and arts. I participated in both Gaga and soccer, both of which the red team (my team) won. After these activities, we had team meetings and helped clean up different parts of Perlman, working to keep our home clean. Finally, everyone presented their songs, cheers, skits, and banners. My team’s theme was America, so our song was an awesome mashup of USA songs, "Party in the USA," "American Pie," and "Born in the USA." We then brought the house down with our skit, utilizing impressions of fellow campers and inside jokes from the session to make everyone smile. Although the Red/USA Team did not win, I had a blast throughout and was still proud of the work we did. While all of Maccabiah was fun, the stand out part of the day was the overall sportsmanship all teams showed. Everyone was there to have fun, not necessarily win. Maccabiah was also an opportunity to learn about the real Maccabiah Games in Israel, helping to further our connection to our homeland. Going into the final week, I am excited to further my connections with friends, yet, at the same time, am sad to say goodbye to my friends not staying for Kallah.

Nathaniel Bernstein Great Midwestern Region

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Another Great Day At CLTC 4

Posted on 07/09/2014 @ 12:59 AM

Hi! My name is Justin and I am from Liberty Region. Today marks the 8th day of CLTC 4. It is coming to the point where we have stopped counting days we have been here, and started counting the days we have left. My dorm was “Dorm of the Day” today, and I had the liberty of creating and presenting the chapter activity. My best friend Alexa led the Shacharit service in the morning. In the service, we replaced the prayers with popular songs that were representations of the meaning of the prayers we normally chant. It touched me deeply when instead of Mourners Kaddish we sang “Clouds” by Zach Sobiech. We then moved into our Part 1 of 3 for learning the how-to’s of membership. This was the first time my position (as chapter Moreh) had an active role in running a chapter activity. I also get to plan the 3rd part of the membership program with the other Morim, which is going to be a situational activity that I’m extremely excited to be a part of. I then moved into my rotation group, which began with a session on Synergy. Here I learned that, like most of my peers, I am a Grape (we completed an exercise similar to a personality test– a “grape” was used to describe one category). We then moved to Shira (singing) where we discussed our song requests with Stephen, our song leader. The final rotation today was Exploring Judaism. This one really was meaningful for me because we were told about 10 values and had to pick only 4 to describe your Judaic self. I was torn between what to choose, but my final decision I truly believe represented myself to the fullest. Tonight, two chapters presented their programs. Both a BBG and an AZA chapter presented very meaningful programs. Both programs were amazing, which inspires me to improve my chapter’s program. We truly bonded through these programs and brotherhood/sisterhood programs at the end of the night. These past 8 days have truly amazing, lets find out if the next 4 will make it the best 12 days of my life.

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Service Sites Have Begun!

Posted on 07/08/2014 @ 05:00 PM

Today at IMPACT: Chicago, we woke up early to go to our service sites. Everybody was very nervous, but it was exciting to experience our volunteer work for the first time this trip. I went to Montgomery Place to assist the elderly in their everyday lives. We helped pass out newspapers, played games, drew, and talked to many interesting residents. One of the highlights of the day was playing Family Feud with the residents. At first, only a few of us played in a small room. However, as time progressed more and more people came and the room filled with smiles and happiness.

Other teens here went to UCAN and KAM, two organizations that will be spoken about more in depth in the following blogs.

After that we had free time where we were able to explore the University of Chicago campus. Then we went to Hillel to discuss our volunteer work. We also did a program on first impressions and racial profiling, using the Humans of New York blog. We set up another activity where we all drew outlines of our hands, and throughout the week, other participants will write compliments inside them. After eating dinner (which was absolutely scrumptious), we listened to a speaker about the LGBTQ community. It was very informative and we all learned a lot. Finally, the campus police came and discussed safety rules in an entertaining PowerPoint presentation.

It was a long day, but I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Alex Hoffman, Pacific Western Region

One IMPACT: Chicago participant, Jacob Goodman, keeps a daily weather blog. The weather for tomorrow from www.jakesweatherblog.com is going to be a high of 82 degrees and a low of 61 degrees. There is a 50% chance of pm thunderstorms.

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A Fun And Meaningful Day

Posted on 07/08/2014 @ 12:57 AM

Hi, our names are Lisha Payne (Ohio Northern Region), Celie Shankman (Cotton States Region) and Adam Elkin (Northern Region East: Baltimore Council).

Today, we had our first fundraisers. Yafot BBG sold Dominoes’ pizza, also known as “outside food.” They raised over 200 dollars for families that have children with cancer. Some people ordered a whole pizza for themselves! Hineini BBG did a clothing auction in which the teens bid on rare and other regions’ clothing. The highest bid was $107 on a embroidered Aleph Zadik Aleph sweatshirt. Other high-bid items were an exclusive CLTC 4 Staff Shirt and our coordinator Devo’s chapter sweatshirt. This fundraiser raised around $800 toward the Justin Silver’s Fly With Me Fund, which sends families with autistic kids to special clinics.

Tonight, we took part in a Holocaust program that was one of the most powerful programs we have been to. Everyone wrote down their closest friends and family, goals they have accomplished, and aspirations they have on three different sections of a piece of paper. Later we discussed how we would feel if those were taken away from us like they may have been if we had been alive during the Holocaust. We watched two videos on the then and now, the Holocaust and the March of the Living. Everyone felt very emotional and both the activity and the videos were extremely moving.

Personally, I (Celie) felt very moved by this program. After learning about the history of the Jews all my life, I have felt as if the Holocaust was just facts- just something in the past. Now, I know how connected I am to my religion and my people.

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Impact: Chicago is HERE! We have all arrived safe and sound.

Posted on 07/07/2014 @ 05:00 PM

Hello!

We are Eliana DuBosar and Linus Gordon and we are your teen coordinators for IMPACT: Chicago 2014! We are very excited to start off our IMPACT blog, which will be updated every day with stories from our participants about their service sites as well as the trips we go on.

Today, all the participants arrived and we went straight into icebreakers to get to know everybody. We started with a fun game of Rock-Paper-Scissors Champion of the World, in which one participant walked away victorious with a cheering crowd. We also divided into our service site groups and got the 4-1-1 on each site. We discussed the differences and similarities between the two types of giving within Judaism, and how philanthropy overlaps within Judaism.

We ended the night with an interactive program that introduced the participants to a few of the places we will be visiting while in Chicago such as Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, Michigan Avenue, and the University of Chicago Campus itself. The participants learned about Chicago’s population density, life on a college campus, and Chicago music among other things.

All of our participants arrived excited and ready to go for the next twelve days ,and some even told us what they were most excited for.

Alex Hoffman Pacific Western Region "I'm really excited to make new friends and learn skills that I can use to help the world"

Samantha Sinder Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region "I'm really excited to start working at my service site. I also really love the city of Chicago so I can't wait to get out and see more of it."

Jamie Kotler Northern Region East: DC Council "I'm really excited to learn about giving back and philanthropy while having fun."

That's all for today here at IMPACT: Chicago. The two of us are so ready and excited for the days to come. For the remainder of the program, this blog will be updated daily by participants sharing their experiences here in Chicago.

Eliana DuBosar, Gold Coast Region Linus Gordon, Pacific Wester Region

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Our Second Shabbat Together

Posted on 07/07/2014 @ 04:28 PM

The Shabbat atmosphere at Perlman is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It begins at chofesh (afternoon free time), when all of the girls spend the majority of their time getting ready together. Once we are finished getting dressed, everyone comes together and takes pictures with friends. We then all head to the large quad—the central meeting spot at camp—and underneath the Perlman tree we have a menorah lighting together as a community to bring in Shabbat. Then we move into a group Friday night service and a great Shabbat dinner. After dinner, the night is filled with singing and nigguns where we have the option for “Shira” or a “Rabbi’s Tisch.” In “Shira,” we sing and dance to our favorite BBYO songs with the help of amazing songleaders Eric Hunker, Happie Hoffman, and Kevin Sloan. In the “Rabbi’s Tisch,” the Jewish educators come together to lead singing, chanting, and share stories about Jewish values and morals. On Saturday, we are lucky to get a late wake up and have some time to sleep in. Then, we have the option to participate in whatever service we want, be it a service involving nature, discussion, or meditation. Then, we all join together as one holy community, one k’hilah kedosha, during the torah service. This week, three girls had the opportunity to read from the Torah for the first time and become Bat Mitzvot. It was awesome to be a part of such a special moment for them, and really interesting to see what motivated them to make that big step. After the service, we are able to choose from different electives. The options range from discussions about controversial and popular topics— everything from Instagram likes to “voluntoursim", to reading, to cloud watching. Shabbat at Perlman is a time to connect and spend quality time with everyone. I’m so lucky to be spending a summer filled with amazing experiences like these!

Randi Rubenstein Beth Kadima BBG #639 D.C. Council, Northern Region East

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Becoming Better Leaders At CLTC 4

Posted on 07/07/2014 @ 12:40 AM

Hi, I’m Lindsey Levy and I’m from Ko’ach BBG #2529 in DC Council, NRE #54. My name is Rachel Garner and I’m in Sabbaba BBG #2524 in Connecticut Valley Region #17. We are in the mock chapter, Hineini BBG #4373 and have been having an amazing time here at CLTC 4! Just like at home, we have chapter meetings all the time during which we discuss chapter business such as planning programs and learning how to make our chapters at home so much better. We both found the programming education extremely helpful and can’t wait to put in use when the programming year starts. Knowing the basics of successful programming has really changed our BBYO experience for the better, and has made us feel more comfortable leading groups for future events. We have never felt more confident in our abilities to be leaders in the organization that we love. In addition to the educational aspects of CLTC we have never felt more connected to our sister BBGs. Neither of us expected to make such strong bonds so quickly, but our chapter instantly clicked in an inexplicable way. We are definitely a spirited chapter and have burst out in chapter cheer circles combining cheers from home, BBYO, and some even made up on the spot, which has been an incredible bonding experience for all of us. Not only do we cheer as loud we possibly can, Shira is another place for us to yell, scream, and bond over Jewish, and other well-known songs as a chapter and as a CLTC community. With everyone dancing, swaying, and singing it’s impossible to feel disconnected from your sister BBGs and brother Alephs. Over all, CLTC has been a life changing experience for both of us and we are not looking forward to leaving next week! Submitted with undying love for CLTC 4 2014, we forever remain, Rachel Elizabeth Garner and Lindsey Claire Levy, two damn proud BBGs!

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It's Day Three Already

Posted on 07/04/2014 @ 12:34 AM

Hi! Our names are Ben Halperin and Elad Rozen. It’s Day 3 already? We are having a great time at CLTC and the time seems to be flying by. Today we explored our Judaism by learning several Judaic values and applying them to a real world scenario. We learned more about ourselves as Jewish people through the application of these values, and we look forward to sharing what we learned today and throughout the entire conference with our chapters when we get home. We can’t wait to see what else CLTC has in store for us!

Leila Tov! Goodnight CLTC 4

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A Typical Day at ILTC

Posted on 07/03/2014 @ 01:07 PM

Yesterday at ILTC, we started the day learning about ways to solve chapter problems in Limmud and Blueprint. I really like how we begin our day with Limmud because it provides a Jewish lens to the leadership skills we are learning in our Blueprint sessions. The discussions we had in our Blueprint helped me to learn accessible methods of solving problems that have occurred in my chapter back home. It has been extremely helpful learning how my peers have dealt with the same BBYO challenges I am encountering. Knowing I am not the only one facing challenges with my BBYO chapter and region is also comforting.

After lunch, we had our specialist sessions. I went to Shira where I participated in a song session with Eric Hunker and Happie Hoffman—the best song leaders around. From there I journeyed to my "How-To" session with the ILTC Teen Coordinators, Dan Widawsky and Sofie Jacobs. They offered an open question and answer session where I learned about their experiences in BBYO. It was interesting hearing about their summer programs, conventions, leadership experiences, Jewish identity building, and everything in between. After that session, we went to Big/Little Limmud—a program where we are partnered with someone who we didn't know before ILTC and practice the role of being a big brother/sister or a little brother/sister in an AZA/BBG chapter.

Every night, we wrap our busy day up with an inspiring evening program. Last night, we had an Engagement festival where we played the role of different Jewish community teens—BBYO prospective members, new members, Alephs/B'nai B'rith Girls, etc. Practicing the different roles prepared us to go back into our communities to begin a big recruitment push. The night concluded with an exciting, glow in the dark dance. ILTC just keeps getting better.

Zach Freedman Lake Ontario Region

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First Full Day of CLTC 4

Posted on 07/02/2014 @ 11:58 PM

Hi! Our names are Elyssa and Liad. We met each other at the airport right at the start of CLTC and we’ve become close friends ever since! Today was the first full day of CTLC 4 and it was definitely all that it’s hyped up to be! We absolutely loved the morning shacharit because it was so meaningful and also catered to everyone’s religious traditions. We then went into our chapter session where we learned what it takes to be a leader. It was very inspiring to us because it introduced a new sense of leadership! We also completed our first rotations today and it allowed us to explore how Judaism fits into leadership and meet new people simultaneously. We ended the day with chapter bonding and a friendship circle; we enjoyed both of those very much because it allowed us to bond with our whole CLTC! All in all it was a great first day!

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We Are a Part of Something Special

Posted on 07/02/2014 @ 11:19 AM

For the past six days, I have had the pleasure of making a home at Perlman. From connecting with other Jewish teen leaders from around the world, to taking part in deep discussions on membership and Judaism, my time so far at ILTC has been a dream come true.

Today in our morning Limmud sessions, we discussed the importance of team building, trusting those around us, and understanding interpersonal relationships. Throughout the day, this idea took root in all our activities. The moment that I truly felt the magic of Perlman and this community was during our Limmud discussion when our educator said to us, "I don't feel the connection. Dig deeper. Get more personal." While the statement was so simple, it served as a catalyst for one of the most meaningful and personal conversations I have ever been a part of. Right after our educator said that, my group and I were discussing moments in our lives when we needed support from our friends. Participants felt open to share so much about themselves even though we barely know one another. The bond created through that dialogue was unbelievable.

That Limmud session truly illustrated to me the magic of ILTC. I did not know many of the people coming into ILTC, but our existence at Perlman has created an unexplainable bond.

Talia Weseley Connecticut Valley Region #17

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CLTC 4 Has Begun!

Posted on 07/02/2014 @ 12:45 AM

Hello CLTC 4! We are your CLTC 4 coordinators, Devo Hanai (BBG coordinator) and Cole Margol (AZA coordinator). Today was the first day of CLTC and we, along with our amazing staff, have been working hard preparing since Sunday. But the glorious day has finally arrived! The buses rolled in around 4 PM with excited kids from all over the United States. Walking on the bus and seeing all the kids excited faces really made the start of the program real. After everyone settled in, we brought them all out to the Gazebo for dorm orientation. They found out who their chapter staff is and the classrooms where they will be learning. Dorm orientation was exciting because everyone was walking down the halls looking at past chapter banners (including Cole’s) knowing that their banners would soon be hanging up leaving their mark on Bethany for years to come. Next, everyone went on a tour of the campus. Conquering Bethany’s infinite hills, it was amazing to see everyone walk with at least someone they didn’t know and introduce themselves. It was so great to see everyone already trying to connect to the people around them. We concluded our tour at the dinning hall where we had flag lowering. Because of Canada Day today we had the Canadian Flag flying as well as the Israeli Flag to represent the three teens that killed. Later that night we had our welcoming video and a very fun and loud song session with our song leader, Stephen, and moved into icebreakers. It was so great seeing all the teens really connecting and getting to know one another. We know that there is still more connecting to do, but the first day has been great! We finished the night with a friendship circle, which is just a time for us to sum up the day and set the mood for nighttime. First day was a success and we can’t wait to see how the rest of the session goes!!

Love, Devo and Cole

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ILTC Ceremony for Gilad, Naftali, and Eyal

Posted on 07/01/2014 @ 04:48 PM

During lunch, everyone was in the dining hall talking with their friends like a typical day at ILTC. One of our staff members got on the microphone for an announcement. We assumed he was going to say something about the next program or what was happening this afternoon. What he shared was much more important than anything going on in that moment. The three missing Israeli boys, who our community has been praying for and thinking about everyday, were found—not alive. The room fell silent; everyone was shocked. We all felt a deep sadness for the Israeli boys, their families, and for the Jewish people.

At night, we gathered as a community so that we could honor the boys through a memorial service. Led by Sofie and Dan (the teen coordinators) and the five Israeli Madrichim, we sang, prayed, and even inducted the three Israeli boys into the International Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph so they will forever be remembered as a part of our brotherhood. The atmosphere was filled with sorrow and support, truly bringing out the strong community that we have here at ILTC. Even though we are thousands of miles away from this tragedy, we still feel a strong connection with the three boys, their families, and the Jewish people.

The tragedy made us even prouder of our Judaism and gave us the inspiration to continue to strengthen the Jewish people.

Alex Myers Melech AZA #2461 Northern Region East—D.C. Council #54

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Israeli Exploration

Posted on 07/01/2014 @ 02:15 PM

On Monday, the teens at CLTC learned skills on decision making in their classrooms while figuring how to turn all situations into a win-win scenario. They then continued to prepare for the programs that all mock chapters will be running and leading over the next two days. The participants got to choose different skills that they wanted to learn in different rotations such as Israeli dancing, video editing, platform making, and speech writing and giving. Loving her experience in the Rikkudim rotation, Sam Sinder of Kentucky Indiana Ohio says, "I learned a lot about Israeli dancing and I can't wait to take it back to my chapter." The CLTC community later gathered to have a ceremony and reflection on our three lost Israeli boys. "It was really special how we came together as a community to honor the three boys and it made us closer," Madeleine Bendalin of Rocky Mountain Region shares. To finish off the night, a Knesset program was run to educate everyone on Isareli's government and politics and an Israeli fair was held to introduce different parts of Israeli culture to the teens. "It was really interesting to learn about the political parties and their relations," Joel Zishuk of North Florida Region states while learning about the workings of the Israeli parliament.

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What About You? A Look at Hebrew Senior Life

Posted on 06/30/2014 @ 05:00 PM

My name is Brandon Nussbaum, and I'm volunteering at Hebrew Senior Life. During havdallah, we discussed our futures in our community service lives after IMPACT: Boston is over. Despite this, the future for the residents at Hebrew senior life is not so bright. They have already lost a majority of their families, and soon, unfortunately, they'll follow their families' footsteps.

Our mission at Hebrew Senior Life is to guarantee as bright of a day and as bright of a future as we can for them. This includes playing games, watching movies, creating artwork and initiating conversations about their past lives. I've personally had experience working with seniors as musical entertainment, but never really communicated with them one on one.

I communicated and made connections with many different seniors this week, some of whom keep surviving in their 90s and even their 100s, some who deal with memory issues such as Alzheimer's and some who always have a smile on their face and behave as if nothing could ever go wrong. I've learned how to build connections with an older generation. I've learned communication skills such as attentive listening and asking appropriate questions. I’ve learned how simple it is to make their entire day just by smiling, shaking their hand or saying "hello." But most importantly, I've learned this: senior citizens may be old and very different from teenagers, but they're just as human.

In society, there should never be a gap between black and white, abled and disabled, or young and old. Senior citizens have so much to provide to our young generation and deserve as much respect as anyone else. Creating a connection with the elderly is just as significant as creating a connection with the person you're currently sitting next to in your circle group.

When I return to my home city of Dallas, I'm going to ensure that I treat all senior citizens with the care, treatment and respect as they deserves.

But it's not just about me. What about you?

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