Young Ambassadors begin journey to Israel from home

4 Feb

On Sunday, February 2, the 2014 Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors (BMYA) group met at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee where we started our two hour session by greeting one another and catching up. Jamie, one of our group members, brought a delicious snack consisting of a variation of muffins and the sack of oranges. As the group snacked, we learned a few Hebrew words and listened to Jamie’s current Israeli news presentation on immigration issues. After her presentation, the group discussed the topic.

We watched a video called “The History of Israel in 5 Minutes” which gave us an entertaining overview from the perspective of Jewish history. We also learned that the word “Israel” means “wrestling with God,” a fitting theme while we are all exploring, learning and discovering what Israel means to us.

Next, we received journals which we are to write in throughout our experience on BMYA. In our first entry, we answered questions about our current feelings about Israel, stereotypes about Israel, Jewish identity, things we’d like to learn and our goals for the program. We also discussed this as a group and explored what in our lives has shaped the way we think and feel about Israel and Judaism.

Around 11 o’clock, members of past BMYA groups sprinkled in and we were paired with them one-on-one to discuss any questions we may have about Israel. The alumni shared lots of funny, meaningful and helpful stories about their experiences. Then we formed together again to play a game. The game required everyone to be open about themselves on a personal level; one of the alumni mentors asked us questions to help everyone realize that although we have not known each other for long, we are more alike than we know. Overall the meeting was enjoyable and I look forward to the trip to the Holocaust Museum next week.

2014 Young Ambassadors and their alumni mentors

2014 Young Ambassadors and their alumni mentors

Jared D. is a member of the 2014 Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors Teen Leadership Program. 


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