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Hello From One of The Teen Coordinators

Posted on 07/14/2011 @ 08:40 AM

To quickly introduce myself, my name is Max Shafron and I am a rising freshman at Tulane University and I live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Happy first full day! As the day comes to a close and as the teens tiredly venture back to their respective dorm rooms, I can only sit here and reflect on my already incredible experience at Impact: DC 2011, starting on day one. Participants woke up this morning excited to begin working at their various community service sites with various non-profit organizations in metropolitan Washington DC area. My group worked with a non-profit organization called "A Wider Circle," which collects donations of gently used furniture, electronics, appliances, and toys, gathering and sorting the various items into groups, allowing them to be redistributed to people suffering from poverty, free of charge. My k'vutza (site group) and I had a wonderful first day of service learning about how the organization functions, grouping and testing the items to make sure they are in great enough shape to be donated, and visiting with shoppers.

Later in the day, each k'vutza came together for an incredible and highly inspiration program called "Street Torah." Groups went to McPherson Square to engage in conversation with homeless people living around Washington DC. Initially, my mind could not settle on the fact that we were about to engage ourselves in physical conversation with people that live in poverty and on the streets of our nation's capitol. But once the "Impacters"and I began conversing with them, our experiences vastly changed. I learned about both the physical and mental struggles that one homeless man has endured in his life, and I can honestly say that I absorbed his advice, charisma, and positive attitude and it allowed me to establish a new view towards homelessness and poverty.

After this activity, our main group reconvened in the George Washington University Hillel to participate in a program led by our teen coordinators and staff regarding Judaic pluralism and Shabbat life on Impact DC. Our community established general rules that we will abide by on Shabbat to create a community that respects all levels of Shabbat observation.

As the physical week comes to an end, our program is just beginning. I can't wait to experience everything else over the next two weeks!

Max Shafron, Atlanta, Georgia

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