Impact: Southwest 2 Underway!
Posted on 08/03/2010 @ 05:06 PM
Both groups are off and running.
After long drives full of good conversation and ice breakers the Impact groups made it to their destinations on the Hopi and Navajo Reservations. After arrival at their sites and meeting their hosts, participants began to understand what this program is all about. Camps needed to be constructed, kitchens needed to be built and duties needed to be delegated. Participants worked hard to set up their homes in the outdoors and everyone is adjusting. Both our hosts Phil (Navajo) and Iva (Hopi) gave us very gracious welcomes and gave us a picture of what the days to come have in store.
Service, learning, sharing and fun is what our groups will encounter while staying with their hosts. The group on the Navajo reservation will be helping to build a home for a veteran returning home from service, while the Hopi group will help with painting and constructing various structures around the village. As our groups perform service they will have the chance to interact and exchange with the Native American people. Participants are discovering the similarities between Judaism and the Hopi and Navajo cultures. A strong connection to their desert homelands as well as the struggle to find the balance between tradition and modernity are just a few. Each day, discussion around these topics as well as other Judaic and cultural themes will take place during a designated time called, Limud.
Our Panim/BBYO educators have put together a great series of topics and themes for Limud and these conversations and exchange of ideas are sure to add to the experience. As well, before each meal there will be a group of participants who will introduce and share a moment of Kavanah or meaning. This is designed to get the participants thinking about how fortunate many of them are to have the things that they do in their lives back home. It is a time to pause, think, and be thankful
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem
Posted on 07/30/2010 @ 07:10 PM
By Stacy Heller, Great Midwest Region Program Director
"Shabbat Shalom." People are rushing around saying this as they quickly make all of their last minute purchases for Shabbat on a Friday afternoon in Jerusalem. If you ever get the opportunity to experience Machane Yehudah (the Jewish market), I highly suggest you go on a Friday during the early hours leading up to Shabbat. In between all of the hustle and bustle of the local community, you will find people from all over the world who come to Machane Yehudah just for the Friday afternoon experience. Families picking up Challah and fruit for their Shabbat Dinner table, young children surrounding the candy stands, merchants calling to you to come over and make a purchase from their stand and of course the delicious smell of chocolate rugallah from Marzapan Bakery (which happens to be our groups favorite bakery).
Today our group came full circle on our journey together. We departed the north and spent the morning driving to Jerusalem (where we started out) and now we will spend our final Shabbat and weekend together in the same place. However, this time we have a better understanding of the land of Israel. We have explored many sites, met with numerous of people from different communities and organizations and learned from our professors and each other.
When we arrived in Jerusalem, some of us headed to Machane Yehudah, others spend time eating Falafel and shopping at Ben Yehudah Street, while the rest of the group relaxed at the hotel in preparation for Shabbat. Right before it was time to bring in Shabbat, we gathered together, the females lit Shabbos candles and wished everyone "Shabbat Shalom." After this we split up in group and headed to a variety of synagogues for services.
This evening I spend Shabbat Services at Shira Hadasha, which is an orthodox congregation. Men and women pray separately on either side of a mechitza (divider) that runs down the middle of the sanctuary. The bima is in the center which provides equal access for both sides of the mechitza. What I enjoyed about this synagogue is the women get opportunities to lead optional parts of the service, such as Kabbalat Shabbat from the women's side of the mechitza. Women are also called to the Torah and can make Kiddush. What's special about their Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat service is the entire service is done in harmonious singing. It is one of the most intentional spirited services that I have ever been to. The ruach and harmonious sounds in the sanctuary are absolutely beautiful. Shira Hadasha is a very well known synagogue that draws in a lot of visitors, so i you plan to go, definitely get there early for good seats!
Our evening concluded with a nice Shabbat Dinner together at our hotel followed by a meaningful discussion with our group and professors.
Leadership and Teambuilding at CLTC
Posted on 07/30/2010 @ 12:21 PM
Everyone is doing great and a lot of new friendships have already formed. We have a terrific group of teens to work with and we're having a great time!
What's been happening:
After reviewing election/voting and parliamentary procedures yesterday, the teens elected chapter officers in their chapters today. There are only a few elected positions in the chapters at CLTC, but, there are many opportunities for everyone to lead - planning programs, Shabbat services, fundraisers, tee shirt creations, song and banner committees, etc.
Recent leadership sessions focused on "Starting a New Chapter" and "What is a Leader".
Because BBYO was founded on a set of principles decades ago, ones which remain strong today, we held sessions to teach and remind the teens how important these values are toward their leadership growth. For the boys we have the AZA Seven Cardinal Principles (Patriotism, Judaism, Filial Love, Charity, Conduct, Purity, Fraternity) and the girls are inspired by the Menorah Pledge (Citizenship, Jewish Heritage, Community Service, Philanthropy, Inter-Faith Relations, Tradition, Good Sisterhood, Prayer for World Jewry. ) The Menorah principles were presented to the girls by our Coordinator, Jess Green, using cookie ingredients to define the values and then by putting all the ingredients together to bake cookies for a snack later. You can appreciate that as all of the ingredients came together into a sweet cookie, so, too, do these girls create a wonderful mixture of values and ideals.
The boys were led in their session by the AZA Coordinator, Andrew Abrams, who was able to challenge the boys to personalize their own core principles and relate them to the AZA values.
In addition to leadership training, we have rotation sessions most days - Jewish Experience (exploring Judaism) Shirim (singing) and Rikudim (Israeli dancing) and workshops on an array of topics.
The teambuilding program last night was called, "Junkyard Wars" - one in which chapters were asked to create something unique using "clean junk" (cardboard boxes, paper, cups, etc. and masking tape.) It was a lot of fun, but, the real purpose was for the staff to observe the group dynamics and to see who took on the leadership roles in planning and building the projects. This program enables the staff to evaluate each participant at the beginning and personalize individual leadership development as the session progresses.
We're very excited about our first Shabbat together - a very special time at CLTC. Each chapter is assigned the task of planning and leading one of the following each week: Friday night services, a Friday night program, Saturday morning services, a Saturday morning program and a Havdallah Service. Our goal is to excite the teens about Shabbat and to demonstrate to them that creativity and inspiration can enhance a traditional Shabbat service or program.
We've loaded pictures on our summer program website: http://bbyo.smugmug.com. I hope you enjoy them!
That's it for now. I'll be in touch.
Thoughts on Kallah
By Kallah 2010 Bloggers on 07/29/2010 @ 08:05 PM
Kallah Reflection, Melissa Diamond -- North Texas Oklahoma Region
At Kallah, we've each had a chance to choose a creative arts elective that interests us. I'm in the elective called "Kallacapella," and it's an amazing experience. We all love the same thing- singing- and you can tell how much we enjoy singing together just by watching us for a second. When someone mentions a song title, the whole group immediately starts singing it. In our sessions, we've sung both Jewish/Hebrew songs and popular English songs. No matter what we're singing, I can't help but smile and laugh and put my whole heart into the song. We'll be performing several songs at Café Kallah, and I can't wait to share with everyone what we've been working on.
I came into Kallah as a person who lost herself over the course of the year, unsure of who she was and what she wanted to be. I had disregarded my Jewish identity, feeling slightly embarrassed because of all the stereotypes. With a difficult year in my past, I had negative feelings about coming to Kallah. I thought it would be weird to attend services two times a day, and that everyone would have had a sense of themselves and I would be the outsider.
Kallah Reflection, Hayley Goldman -- Southern Region, Atlanta Council
But all of this quickly changed. I cannot say when I cannot say how, but Kallah has truly changed me. I came in afraid of who I may encounter, but everyone turned out to be people I could really talk to. The conversations with kids my age were so deep and mind-boggling, which was so unusual to me since most kids are just about material ideas.
But I loved it. I loved the challenge that they were placing on me, and all the different views and ideas totally changed my perspective on life. I felt my first real connection with G-d. I felt myself creating my own beliefs instead of going just by the books. I felt a connection to people from all over the country. And I finally felt a connection to myself. Kallah has changed me. The educators, the staff, the teens, the environment, the classes, the opportunity, the experience. Kallah has made me a proud Jew and someone who can feel comfortable with her own identity.
Color War Rap
By Kallah 2010 Bloggers on 07/29/2010 @ 07:25 PM
Color War, by Gabrielle Lewis
(to the tune of “the fresh prince of bel-air”)
Now this is a story all about how our lives got flipped turned upside down.
I’d like to take a minute so just sit right there.
I’ll tell you how BLUE became the Kings of Camp Perlman.
In North Pennsylvania, at a place called Camp Perlman, where ever I spend most of my summer.
Chillin out maxin relaxin all cool.
Sittin on beds inside of ours dorms
When a couple of campers were up to no good.
Started making trouble on the camp grounds.
We went to Katz and we all got scared
And staff said welcome to the Kallah color war.
I whistled for a golf cart
And when it came near, I saw Captain Planet through the side view mirror.
If anything, I can say that this day was RARE!
I said, man this is going to be great!
After all the competitions, it was finally time to announce the winner.
Blue sits on their throne as the Kings of Perlman!