Every time I enter a workshop, the atmosphere changes for the better. I’ve noticed our progression as individuals and as a group. We’ve become such a tight-knit cohort in merely a matter of months, and I’ve already begun to see our growth in terms of the meaningful content of this program. Our discussions, like the one from this workshop, have morphed into mature, enlightened conversations that leave us with a new perspective on life or attitude about ourselves.
What I found truly remarkable was the warm-up discussion we had about the election. We were instructed to walk around the room and choose a photo from the floor that corresponded to our feelings about the events. The cards had words and images of all sorts. I chose a card with a photograph of a one-way arrow, and expressed that I had two reactions to the card. There was my initial shock, as if my country could only go in one direction - and then there was the feeling that the only direction we could go was up. I was delighted to see that many of my “fellow fellows” were experiencing similar feelings, but each of us had such a positive attitude about our next steps. I feel incredibly blessed to be in surrounded by a group of people with similar values as my own, as well as the ability to differentiate right from wrong - and speak out when we recognize that distinction. I find it so important that teenagers are able to express their beliefs in a positive atmosphere with like-minded kids and adults.
For a brief period during the workshop, we got together to film a mannequin challenge as a cohort to introduce ourselves to our Israeli friends. I saw the crazy, silly, ridiculous sides of my incredible friends as we put together this video. I realized that we work so well together in both the structured environment as well as our down time.
I am so elated to see how we grow these next months along the course of this once in a lifetime journey.
Workshop 3 took place at the South Hills JCC. We finally all got to see each other again, but we were unable to see Danny and Meital. We all hope to see you guys soon. The Workshop was about communication which was played through many activities during the workshop. The first thing we did for the workshop was have our Added Value team give us candy to express how to stay cool under pressure. After that, I shared an article on Jewish Conversion Discrepancies. It sparked a good conversation about the rules of becoming a jew in the Israeli state as well as everywhere else in the world. Next, Paulina gave us the Hebrew word לְעוֹרֵר which mean't spark in English. This connected to communication by showing how communication is sparked by people wanting to make a change in the world.
Then, Annabelle asked the cohort to share our thoughts on the presidential election by letting us pick Points of You cards to express our feelings. Many of us said how shocked we were, but others said that this would bring the nation closer together. I thought this was a great conversation because it gave everyone a different view of how many of us thought the presidential election went.
We then started activities that showed us the aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication. These activities were great because they showed us how we can communicate with body language and other non-verbal ways. My favorite game that we played was a game called "Murderer". The rules of the game were that one person was selected as the murderer, which was Harry, and they had to kill everyone else in the game by blinking at them. However, everyone had to walk with their head down. When we got blinked at, we had to die on the floor. I had a really fun time with especially since everyone died so dramatically. After, we discussed the communication that was made in the game. Harry said how it was very hard for him to 'kill' people because no one was looking up. He said he had to nudge people to get them to look up. Everyone else said that it was hard knowing who the murderer was and if they were signaled for death yet since their heads were down too.
Towards the end of the Workshop, we all went outside and created a mannequin challenge video in the snow. It was really funny to see some of the creative positions some of us were in. We also filmed everyone of us walking into a room to introduce us to the Israelis. Finally, we decided our roles for the 2nd Shabbaton. The Sababa team, which was the decided by the cohort, was the team that worked on the whole Shabbaton. It is the team that has the biggest role for the next Shabbaton. The cohort selected Natalie, Jordana, Evan, and Derek to all be a part of this team. Chris also explained to us the responsibilities of each team which was kind of overwhelming, but I believe that this Cohort will do a great job preparing for the next Shabbaton, Overall, this workshop taught everyone a lot on communication, Diller, and it also allowed us to bond even more with each other.
- Gabe Riberi