Sydney and a couple of teens take in the sun
Coming from Sprout Lake and working with Offarim (the youngest age group), I am used to having 5 six year olds hanging off of my arms and legs. So naturally, going into this trip I was nervous about working with teenagers. But once the chanichim arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by their level of maturity, concern about the world that they live in and the passion that they express about social action and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). Being half way into the trip, I can tell you that the education provided on this trip has provoked passion, thoughtful questions, and meaningful connections to Young Judaea and Los Angeles.
Today was a very informative day for the chanichim, and also the staff. We spent our morning at the JQSA (Jewish Queer Straight Alliance), learning about the importance of inclusion and acceptance of the LQBT community. It was interesting to listen to the chanichim’s questions, which were all thought provoking and meaningful.
After that, we headed to Santa Monica to help clean up the beach that LA Young Judaea adopted this year. The teens had fun hanging out, soaking up the ((finally warm)) California sun, and helping the environment. I know the staff also enjoyed the much needed Vitamin D.
I am enjoying working with the amazing teenagers on this trip, and I look forward to the rest of the trip. The future of Young Judaea is in great hands. This generation is filled with leadership, passion, connection and understanding. May we continue to support the YJ teens as they continue to grow into young adults and beyond.
~ Sydney Bluman is a junior at Buffalo State and a veteran staff member of Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake.