Monday, July 14, 2014

Thank You for Sending Your Teens!

My final posting was a thank you to parents. I urge you to take this journey. Not just ot the Shoah, but to see what life was like for hundreds of years and could have been if not for the Shoah. And to see Jewish life beginning to return to Eastern Europe.



Thank You for Sending Your Teens! 
I was honored to chaperone the 46 teenagers in NFTY L’dor V’dor’s Group 11 on their flight to Europe. It was a little hairy making our connection in Warsaw, since our first flight took off almost an hour wait. But when your group is more than half the plane’s passengers, they hold the plane for you.

I found myself moved among the four different groups according to the needs of the staff and the capacity of the busses, so I was able to spend time with most of the members of groups 9, 10a and 11.

Ceremony at Terezin
It was an amazing adventure as we made our way from 13th Century Prague and Krakow to Terezin, Auschwitz/Birkenau and the Warsaw Ghetto to the vibrant communities of today.

As an educator, I often tell parents not to ask their kids “what did you learn in school today?” We all know the answer is genetically encoded: “Nothing.” When these fabulous teens get home they will say “Thanks for this opportunity, folks!” (They are good kids!). “Now I need to sleep.” Of course you will want to hear everything about the trip, even though you have been following it through these blogs and through conversations on the phone, e-mail and texts.

I tell parents to ask leading questions instead. So for a resource for the such questions for the first leg of the trip I recommend clicking on the links below. They are short and will give you an idea of what we experienced in Europe. Ask some questions about those places. For the rest of the trip, I recommend Google searching some of the sites they will be visiting.

Me and my (temple) kids
As I sit in a cafĂ© in Tel Aviv, I want to thank the amazing madrikhim (counselors) and mekhankhim (tour educators) and their unit leader Yotam for the work they are doing – they are wonderful! Jake, Paul and Rich and their staffs have put together a phenomenal team who keep the kids on schedule, keep them laughing and singing, and keep them learning and help them negotiate some emotionally challenging issues.

So thank you for sending your teens on L’dor V’dor. Thank you letting me share their experience. Now you have a job to do – YOU need to come to Israel. Not to support Israel, but to experience it for yourself. If you have already, it is probably time to come back. And I bet you know someone who will give you advice on what to do and see. You just have to wait a month to see them!

Your Homework:
Communities of Today: http://www.beitkrakow.pl/

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