Blogging From PB & J - Jeremy Sherman
Posted on 06/26/2010 @ 02:03 PM
Blog written by BBYO's Grand Aleph Gadol, Jeremy Sherman of West Bloomfield, Michigan
So far, PB & J has been a blast!
It was great learning about world poverty and hunger on the first night during an program we had called a “Hunger Banquet.” We each received an identity and were divided into three income levels: high-income, middle-income, and low-income. My name was Claude and I was in the high-income class. It was so interesting to see how unequally income is divided throughout the world. There were only about ten of us in the high-income group, while the low-income had about forty people. While we were served a nice meal of salad and lasagna, the middle and low-income groups received rice and beans in differing quantities. At some points throughout our Hunger Banquet I felt guilty eating my meal. I was tempted to get up and give my salad and lasagna to some of the poorer people in the other groups. It really opened up my eyes to the reality of hunger and poverty throughout the world.
On Friday, Marilyn Sneiderman led a program about community organizing. She told us about the power we have as a group of teenagers, and that we can accomplish so much when we organize together towards one goal. She asked to assume the role of Wal-Mart employees. She was our boss. She told us that each day we would receive a fifteen minute break, but that we could not leave the store or use our iPods! I could instantly tell people around the room were mad. So what did we do? We organized as one group of Wal-Mart employees and decided to stand up to Marilyn and give her multiple reasons as to why we should be able to use our iPods during our break. We even chanted “We Want iPods!” Although it was just a simulation, we all got really heated about something we cared about and we realized how much stronger we are when we organize and team up.
As a BBYO leader, community organizing is something I can relate to a lot, and it was a great experience partaking in that simulation to learn about more successful ways to bring people together for one cause.
Today, we took a trip to Kayam Farms, which is a small farm about five miles outside of Baltimore. We picked lettuce, garlic, potatoes, basil, & tomatoes. But more importantly, we learned about the Jewish responsibility of providing for the homeless and hungry. While picking some garlic, I realized that it’s our duty as Jews and as people to not only provide money and food for the hungry, but also to teach them and educate them about ways they can provide for themselves.
Overall, these past few days have flown by, but it’s been an amazing experience that I know I can take home with me. I can’t wait to begin lobbying my senators tomorrow!