ILTC 2010 Day 11!
Posted on 07/08/2010 @ 11:28 AM
Once again, it was a wonderful day at ILTC 2010!
Thursday, July 8th:
7:45AM: Optional Shacharit (Morning Prayer): Led by Dorm 4 (Dorm of the Day)
8:30AM: Aruchat Boker (Breakfast)
9:30AM: All Region Meetings: Review of Curriculum
10:00AM: Mock Region Meetings
11:45AM: Morning Snack
Noon: Like Region Meetings: At the teens request, we added additional time for teens to meet and plan how to implement what they have learned at ILTC when they come home.
1:00PM: Aruchat Tzoharaim (Lunch)
2:00PM: Creative Arts: Teens had their sixth creative arts session including everything from ceramics, 3D Art, 2D Art, improvisation, Israeli dancing, lego modeling, jam band, intramural sports, and video yearbook. Each of the groups will make a presentation at ILTC Presents (talent show on the last night).
3:00PM: Elective: Participants picked between ten different offerings including public speaking, convention planning, stress management, counterpart work and conflict resolution.
4:00PM: Jewish Culture Rotation: Participants attended either avodah (campus restoration) or a Judaic Value session. Thanks to these rotations we have restored many projects around camp created by previous generations of participants such as the ILTC Ganeiza which is a burial place for sacred religious objects and restoring the Israeli map fountain.
5:00PM: Chofesh (Free Time): Teens spent Chofesh relaxing in the quad and downing lots of water to stay hydrated!
6:30PM: Aruchat Erev (Dinner)
7:30PM: Mock Region Program: Regional Leadership Training Institute (RLTI): Leadership rotations (networking, communication, delegation, etc.) based on the concept goal GOAL (Go Out And Lead). Each rotation was a different obstacle in the way of reaching one’s goal.
9:30PM: Rikkudim (Dancing)
10:00: Evening Snack
We are continuing to add pictures (I am sorry for the delay our internet has been very slow and it has not allowed us to upload pictures, I am working on it!) on http://bbyo.smugmug.com (click 2010 and select ILTC), and our ILTC Creative Arts group is blogging (http://bbyo.org/summer_blog/) and tweeting (http://www.twitter.com/ILTC10) everyday so make sure to check it out!
DC Jam Heads to U.S. Institute of Peace
Posted on 07/07/2010 @ 12:13 PM
Today the students headed over to the United States Institute of Peace for a simulation exercise on Israeli/ Palestinian relations.
From there, we headed back to the GW Hillel for another simulation on how a Congressional Office works. Each student was assigned a job in a Congressional Office such as Chief of Staff or Legislative Correspondent. We then acted out the process of voting on a bill.
After a little down time, we met again for Beit Midrash. This session focuses on giving the students a Jewish framework for their lobbying efforts. We examined three biblical figures- Noah, Abraham, and Moses and analyzed the unique way each of them responded to God in a crises situation. The students learned that advocacy and “chutzpah” have roots that go all the way back to the Bible. We also looked at a Hasidic text that connects self-esteem to the ability to be an effective advocate.
This evening, we will be splitting into groups to prepare for our lobbying visits. Tomorrow morning we are off to the hill!
Update from CLTC!
Posted on 07/07/2010 @ 11:45 AM
This week has been full of excitement, as everyone has been working on their creations: chapter tee shirts and songs - to be presented Saturday night at CLTC Presents.
The teens have really honed their organizational skills, planned unique and informative programs and had great fun in the process. The teens created programs coverering the following:
(1) sharing stories of discrimination, followed by burning cards with discriminatory words on them.
(2) an informative, interactive human board game on Jewish communities around the world.
(3) community service work around camp, clearing away branches and weeds to create a beautification project that will result in a new campfire area.
(4) and a journey through time, beginning with the 1930's of Eastern Europe and settlement in America.
On Monday night, staff introduced a powerful and emotional program on the Holocaust, focusing on BBYO's March of the Living educational mission to Poland and Israel, which is held every spring. It was a solemn evening, but, a meaningful one. We were all visibly moved. Many of the teens were inspired to participate on a future trip.
Last evening, we welcomed a past international AZA president - Brian Sureck - who served his term in the early 1980's. The teens asked him a lot of great questions and he truly inspired them to work hard to reach their goals.
Tomorrow night, special ceremonies will induct the teens into the AZA and BBG international order, a ritual connecting them with the thousands of teens who have attended CLTC over the past 30 years. The emphasis on brotherhood and sisterhood will be a wonderful expression of how much the friendships have progressed here.
I'll be in touch in a couple of days with airport departure procedures. Take care.
Jewish Organizing Initiative
Posted on 07/06/2010 @ 01:12 PM
On Monday, the teens spent an afternoon with the Jewish Organizing Initiative (JOI) and MassVOTE, an organization that works to register, educate and mobilize voters. Groups of participants spread out all over Boston with clipboards and signs to help with a voter registration drive. The teens enjoyed the opportunity to empower citizens to find their public voice through voting.
Representatives from MassVOTE and JOI returned to campus with us on Tuesday to debrief Monday's activities and present a workshop on community organizing. In addition to learning about the process of organizing, the participants re-enacted a successful organizing endeavor with YMORE, a collective youth organizing effort in Boston. Through mock meetings with a state representative, the teens were able to see how a group of students like themselves were able to secure more funding for youth jobs in the state budget.
For more information on JOI and their community organizing work, visit them on the web.
Making More Connections!
Posted on 07/06/2010 @ 01:09 PM
Connections are our way of creating a live conversation between the work we are doing and the values that guide that work. The connection sessions are an opportunity for the site groups to process their experiences on site as well as view it through the lens of Jewish texts.
This session designed for the teenagers to think about what makes an Agent of Change. What drives them to fight for the change? Does that manifest itself in different ways across their lives? To start the session and get us thinking about these issues, we looked at three stories from Moses' life and asked about the range of qualities and personalities he exhibited during his lifetime—rash, confused, unidentified, passionate, advocate. The list was quite extensive and it showed us that being an agent of change requires the ability to know how and when to act as well as the ability to learn from our experiences.
Moving beyond the text to discussing our sites, the group had a very fruitful conversation about what one gains and sacrifices in order to be an agent of change, on whatever scale. One of the strongest drivers for striving to enact change in society is having a passion for what you are trying to accomplish. The group considered that without passion, you would never accept a non-profit's lower salary nor have the determination to overcome the barriers to change. One conclusion was that you need to open your eyes to what is around you and be passionate about the issue you then try to tackle.
At Impact Boston, we have experienced different communities in need. Hopefully, by this point we have begun to make relationships with both these communities and the people in them. In this session, we explored the idea of how we choose where we engage in service work. Why are none of the sites at Impact: Boston specifically Jewish? Does it matter? As Jews, what is our responsibility to our fellow Jews? To the rest of the world? In Connections 5 we dealt with the tension of choosing a Jewish organization over a non-Jewish one, and looked at a few different Jewish texts that helped us shape our ideas about how we prioritize what is important to us in terms of community service. The discussion was incredibly fruitful and everyone left pondering some very important questions. Everyone is going home with new perspectives on how we prioritize our resources when it comes to doing service work.
In this session, participants began to think about wrapping up their Impact: Boston experience. They reflected on the commitments they made to themselves during the course of their site work and took a step back to see all of their site work and the difference they made in the lives of people they directly engaged with, as well as people’s lives who will benefit from their work in the future. At the same time, they considered the implications of a well known Rabbinic verse: “It is not your duty to complete the work, neither are you free to withdraw from it.” Through this verse, participants discussed where they felt they had left their work at sites incomplete, or how they thought they may have been able to make a greater contribution through more extensive training or a broader knowledge base about issues. They also used this time to share general feelings about their last day on site and any lingering thoughts or questions they still had about their experiences.
On Shabbat, the teens were asked to tell a story about something that surprised them on site. The intention of the activity was to bring their minds back to the moment and reflect on their experience. The room was filled with lots of laughter and many sobering thoughts. One of the most profound moments was when a teen asked how she is to wrestle with the guilt of privilege compared to the individuals she interacted with throughout the week. This comment sparked more concerns, which were addressed accordingly by the teens themselves: never forget who you are or where you've come from but most importantly, always remember the moments you've experienced here at Impact: Boston. Wrestling with the frustration of how one needs to fix the world while living in middle-class America can be taxing on the brain. It was more than clear by the end of the conversation that brains were churning and hearts were pumping because everyone in the room was committed to making a difference in their communities upon their arrival home.