Maccabee (l) and the other LA teens teach their friends about “Heal the Bay”
This being my second AWB LA I thought it was over; the idea that AWB wouldn’t be as fun for me because unlike most of my peers and friends, I actually live in LA. Somehow, I again came in thinking, “I already know this city.” This year it was one step further. Not only was I going around my own city, but we also had the privilege of meeting with an organization I working very closely with, the Jewish Queer Straight Alliance. I had set up this meeting between our two organizations and had offered to help the coordinator Anna with running the event. Again, I was thinking “Okay. I already know this organization, nothing new.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within minutes of us being there I began learning things about Judaism, the LA community, the queer justice movement, and my peers that I had never known before. I am so glad that I was able to push down that same old feeling and really be present and take in the great conversations and information being exchanged in that space.
Later on, at the end of the day, my group’s counselor started to lead our sikkum yom (closing debrief) and she said what I thought was “describe your day with a movie” (turns out she said emoji). Immediately, I thought of The Lego Movie. “Why?” You may ask. Well, when I first saw The Lego Movie with my dad I thought it was just another child’s movie with simple jokes and an even simpler story. Something I had seen before. Something I knew. I was surprised to find out it was an incredibly smart and profound movie with with sharp humor and a deep plot. I am so glad I gave both the JQSA and the Lego movie a second chance.
NOTE: This is not an add for a the Lego Movie.
~ Maccabee Raileanu is an 11th grader from Tarzana, California and he is one of the teen leaders of LA Young Judaea.