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PB & J: Bread, Poverty & Justice

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A Jewish Teen Summit on Hunger

June 24 - 28, in Washington, DC

Welcome to the PB&J 2010 Blog!

We’re so excited to be able to share all of the wonderful news, tidbits and fun that go on here every summer with even more people. This blog kicks off June 24th. Check back frequently to see the most recent updates for PB&J!

Going to the Hill

Posted on 06/28/2010 @ 03:03 PM

PB&J

Much of Sunday was dedicated to preparing for the lobbying visit the next day. The teens were divided into mini districts and assigned legislative positions so they could learn about the processes involved in legislating and politics.

On Sunday evening the teens were given their appointment packets that included all of the information surrounded various food and nutrition bills and their Member of Congress' voting record. The excitement was definitely building as the teens then wrote out their scripts for the appointments and practiced with each other.

All the informational sessions and activities they had participated in were really informing their speeches and their passion for this cause was easy to see.

On Monday morning everyone came together for one last breakfast. This time everyone was dressed their best. In suits and business attire the teens were nervously leafing through their information and presentations before heading out to Capitol Hill.

We took the metro at rush hour and made it to the Hill. After four days of learning and leadership training our 72 teens were transformed. They fit in perfectly amongst the pages, lobbyist and lawyers that mulled about the Senate buildings. They were informed, passionate and prepared.

During the appointments the teens shared their new knowledge and asked the tough questions. They shared their concern and wanted to know the steps they could take towards achieving change. They all left their meetings with email addresses and business cards in tow, and in fact two of our own were asked to be interns!

Monday was a great day for teen leadership!

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Getting Our Hands Dirty

Posted on 06/27/2010 @ 02:09 PM

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Blog written by Andrew Greenberg of Orland, Florida and the North Florida Region

Today at PB & J we went to a Kayam, a Kosher organic farm to learn and experience daily farming activities. Small groups received an insight into the different farming techniques, with a Jewish twist from the Torah; while Charity, Tzedekah, and modern technology were all added into the mix. We all learned to appreciate the foods we have, while learning hands on about Poverty, Bread, and Justice (PB&J). I am very excited to head to Capital Hill tomorrow to begin lobbying!

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Havdallah in DC

Posted on 06/26/2010 @ 11:30 PM

PB&J

Tonight was my first BBYO Havdallah experience. I have always loved Havdallah services in the past, so I was really looking forward to this.

During PB & J all of the teens were able to plan a different Shabbat component: Friday Night Services, Oneg, Saturday Morning Services, and Havdallah. They worked together and used BuildAPrayer.org as their planning tool and resource.

The Friday night service and Saturday morning services were filled with beautiful stores, songs with new tunes, and text discussion. Saturday evening's Havdallah was extra special because we took a walk to the Marine Corp Memorial.

The statue of soldiers at Iwo Jima is towering and really takes your breath away.  It was the perfect backdrop for this experience. Once again our teen leaders lead their peers in song, prayer and discussion. The candle light, and spices set the tone for discussions about pride, patriotism, and sacrifice. This will be a Havdallah I won't soon forget.

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Blogging From PB & J - Jeremy Sherman

Posted on 06/26/2010 @ 02:03 PM

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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!

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What can a Teen do?

Posted on 06/25/2010 @ 04:02 PM

PB&J

Blog written by Jason Brillon of Roslyn, New York and the Big Apple Region

As a sixteen year old Jewish teenager, actively involved in BBYO, entering the Poverty, Bread & Justice Seminar, a five day hunger awareness program run through PANIM, I was unaware of just how much of a voice I can have in worldly affairs.

Fortunately there were a litany of keynote speakers to aid me in accessing this adolescent advocacy. Among them was Nigel Savage, founder of the renowned Jewish organization HAZON. In addition to discussing the actions others have taken to help benefit the world and environment around them, such as the efforts of contributors to the Community Supported Agriculture projects, he also pushed for us to take action for what we "Stand Up!" for.

He reminded us we are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today as well.

We are just beyond the starting line of the seminar and I already know just how much of a voice a sixteen year old can have.

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