Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cohort 5 Impact Project Descriptions

Cohort 5 Impact Projects Descriptions

Isabel Feinstein & Hannah Goldstein: Coach- Dani Weinstein
We have chosen to develop a series of programs targeted towards students who are unexposed or uneducated about the Israeli-Arab conflict. Our model is intended to introduce a pro-Israel, yet open-minded viewpoint to Massachusetts students through focusing on not only Israel's politics, culture and economy, but its role in the Middle East as well as the whole world.

David Grossman: Coach- Jesse Ulrich
“The Influence Club” will be a place to discuss ideas and open students’ horizons to a perspective much larger than the high school classroom. Through influential and inspirational speakers, we hope to add flavor and depth to the academic high school experience, starting in my own high school in New Hampshire.

Daniel Smits, Zoe Federman, Naomi Silverstein: Coach- Chad Brodsky
“The Pending Food Project” will attempt to reduce hunger within the greater Boston area by installing a system through which people can pay for the meals of others. By enabling everyone to participate in the full cafe experience, dignity is preserved while providing a platform that will feed anyone in need.

Oliver Shoulson and Joshua Perlmutter: Coach- Jesse Ulrich
We believe that the inspiration and motivation of teachers and students of the community in pursuing and incorporating the arts in their work, learning, and lives is extremely important. We are carrying out a day of learning to exhibit and promote art among the youth as well as educate teachers about adding art and creativity into more traditional subjects. We are doing this because many students do not have an outlet for their creativity and also many classrooms can become much more pleasant learning environments by incorporating arts education.

Shayna Levitan & Emma Starr: Coach- Ilise Krieger
Through the use of “laughter yoga,” we aim to provide playful and fulfilling laughter yoga sessions for senior citizens, creating an invigorating laughter and meditation process that releases the inner child of every participant regardless of age.

Josh Geller, Rachel Goodman, Micaela Furman, Izzy Gleckman, Galia Bernat: Coach- Anne Hertzberg
We will create a better experience for the siblings of patients in hospitals.  We will help them to feel important even though they may not be the center of the parents’ attention due to the circumstances by donating items and hopefully hosting at event at a local hospital. Through donating items, like toys, to these siblings, we will help them to stay positive and occupied throughout their brother or sister’s hospitalization.

Sarah Gladstone: Coach- Dani Weinstein
The Starfish Project seeks to establish clubs in area high schools, modeled after the Starfish Club at Brookline High School.  These clubs raise money and awareness among teens of the problem of obstetric fistula in an effort to help these young girls get their lives back. Obstetric fistulas develop as a consequence of girls in Africa being forced to marry and get pregnant before their bodies are big enough to be able to deliver a baby safely.   Without proper medical care in these rural villages, these girls are often in labor for days, resulting in internal tissue damage that leaves these girls unable to control their wastes.  These girls are then ostracized by their family and the entire community because they cannot keep themselves clean.   

Hillel Maroun & Adin Feder: Coach- Liana Mitman
We will create programs that aim to educate people in our Jewish community about the plight of African asylum-seekers who have come to Israel. These people’s situation is not very well known in the Jewish community in America even though it is a very pressing political and social issue for Israel. Through compiling different asylum seekers’ experiences and stories and discussing them with our communities, we hope to raise awareness of and funds to assist organizations that provide assistance to the asylum seekers in Israel.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

First Blogpost of Cohort 6!

By Hadas Nahar, Newton

It is so exciting to be writing this because this first post of our blog of signifies the amazing journey that we are all about to embark on for the next year and more. This past Sunday, we had our second workshop which was truly our first real sense of how a Diller workshop functions. To start it off, Rose gave a "One Minute Drash" based on the quote “It is a miserable thing to be ashamed of home” from Great expectations by Charles Dickens. She talked about how in order to open up and get to know each other, we can’t hide essentials aspects of who we are, even if we are embarrassed by them. Everyone will have the chance to give a mini "drash" at some point. If we hide parts of ourselves, in some sense we are lying to one another. Following that, we played a game of hot seat, and I myself took my turn in the chair. The questions were sometimes weird but often entertaining and the game was a great way to continue getting to know each other. We conducted a fake interview of the NPR interview For Whom Are We Responsible? which was followed up by interesting discussions in small groups. 

We met Shmaya Friedman, who will be our Madrich on our Shabbatonim. Shmaya is a young Chabad Rabbi from the North Shore, and his wife and two young daughters will be joining us. His family was a part of the Shabbatonim last year and they really enjoyed connecting to Diller. Shmaya works with teens of all backgrounds on the North Shore and he especially enjoys interacting with Diller Fellows.

 After finishing our discussions, we split up into two groups. Kineret and Ariana read out facts about every person in Cohort 6 and the two groups had to take an educated guess as to who the person was. It was a great way to continue getting a sense of who everyone is. Following this activity, Yitzhak gave us a Diller “Ted Talk” on the importance of focusing on finding your why in Diller and leadership. He asked us to think about why we were in Diller, and told us to “make it good” because we would be sharing it with everyone later. I know that when he said that, I thought that I was going to share out loud what my thoughts were but he proceeded to tell us that we had to keep this “why” in the back of our minds throughout our Diller journey. Instead of simply telling others our “why”, we were going to share this with other people by accomplishing these goals and living up to this “why”. I appreciated the message, and it made me think about the importance of “why” in not just Diller, but in everything you do. If there’s not a why, what is the point really?

After the speech, we began to plan the upcoming Shabbaton which I know I am super excited for and I’m sure everyone else is too. Channah and Ben were chosen to be the leaders of this Shabbaton; congratulations to them! We all chose an aspect of the Shabbaton to work on in small groups. I chose Havdalah. Havdalah was always one of my favorite parts of my camp, so I am inspired to make Diller havdalah just as amazing, but in it’s own way. Our group had really good discussions about what makes a great Havdalah and how to execute that. Afterwards, we chose various committees to be on. I am personally very excited for the bonding committee because I know we are going to plan great activities that everyone will love and that will bring us all closer.  To close this workshop, we wrote down ways that play out the Diller Core Values in our lives, and then drew visible connections to each other to signify the meaningful connections that we will make in Diller. We then segued into coming up with a list of five values to represent our Cohort. Despite some disagreement about arrow placement or wording of our values, we came up with a list that everyone was satisfied with. Lastly, Eitan gave us his One Minute Drash on how Cohort 6 can make a name for themselves and can really work to be something great. He connected this to Yom Kippur and how we sort of reinvent ourselves yearly. This workshop made me so excited for future workshops, shabbatons and of course, our Israel trip this summer. Our cohort is made up of such a great, diverse group of people who I already know are going bond really well and learn a lot from one another.