As Alternative Winter Break continues during our beautiful week here in New Orleans, it’s a huge privledge for me to be able to be here with our eighty amazing Judaeans. As someone who grew up in Young Judaea and has had to chance to be a Tsevet member for dozens of our programs around the country the years, Alternative Winter Break always has a special place in my heart. In 2009, as a senior in high school and a member of Young Judaea’s National Mazkirut, I had the opportunity to help lead Alternative Winter Break, which was held in Miami. Gathering together with Judaeans from around the country, to join together in volunteering to support communities in need in the greater Miami area. From a Food Bank to beach clean-ups, our group worked, laughed, learned and struggled together. 5 years later to be an Alternative Winter Break Staff member with a new generation of Young Judaeans feels like nothing short of an honor. To see Young Judaeans gathering together to embrace our drive for service, our commitment to Tikun Olam, and to live out our ideals here in the city of New Orleans is the best way for a proud Alum to spend this week. From my formative experiences as a 17 year old volunteering in Miami, to my years as staff here in New Orleans, I continue to be inspired by our movement, our mission and most of all our teens. Wishing you all the best from New Orleans.
~ Joel Srebrenick, Student, University of Maryland; National Senior Advisor; National Mazkir 2009-2010