Staff Reflection: Sharon Schoenfeld

This past Thursday, as our teens stood next to Wilhelmenia Hickson’s tiny house in Lake City, South Carolina, it was clear they were ready for action. Although not as cold as what our friends were facing in the Northeast, it was still quite chilly. While I grumbled a bit in my own head about the temperature, the teens were completely …


There Are No Small Jobs

Today, we volunteered at what was essentially a giant Christmas party for those of Charleston that were in need in one way or another.  I chose to help out with “maintenance” –  essentially to pick up garbage. This gave me a opportunity to look around and see everything, as opposed to being in one place. I was not particularly surprised …


Branching Out

As an active member in Young Judaea, I’m incredibly passionate about our programming. We write, lead, and participate in great peulot and educational activities. Today we participated in an educational activity lead by the Transformative Teaching Collective. This cooperative promotes social justice based education in South Carolina. Naturally, I was skeptical at the idea that another group from outside of …


It’s Worth the Struggle

This is my third time on AWB, and this trip has stood out to me in particular. Why? It’s because we dove into the heart of one of society’s pressing issues, one that questions an ideology that Americans have struggled with for over 200 years. . . racism. The educational programs have gotten me to think a lot more about …


Simple and Blunt Intentions

Today AWB volunteered at a Christmas Party for underprivileged families, with the hope of providing gifts, haircuts, and some holiday cheer to them. Most of the students were working with children in the carnival area of the ‘Birthday Party for Jesus’. I chose to work with kids at the Face Painting station. Overall, the experience was one of joyousness and …


Feliz Navidad

I had many different experiences and emotions throughout the day after being chosen  to be a translator for Spanish speakers at the gift-giving station at the Without Walls Christmas Party.  At varying points in the day, I felt: happy, fulfilling and grateful, while at other times I felt frustrated and shocked. I heard a number of racist comments towards the …


Sports is a Place of Community

Today, the first full day of the 2017 AWB trip to Charleston, we volunteered at a party open to anyone inside the community who wished to come. This party was run by an organization called Without Walls. This is a Christian based organization that holds this event every year for Christmas. At the event, volunteers give out presents to kids …


Two Very Different Experiences

This morning, AWB split up and ventured to three different volunteer locations, followed by a tour of an historic slave plantation in the afternoon with all of AWB. My group went to the Sherman House, a subsidized independent living facility for seniors. A friend of mine and I were paired with a lady who was probably in her early seventies, …


Staff Reflection: Nathan Rubinger

My biggest regret as Young Judaean is not attending Alternative Winter Break when I was in Young Judaea. However, being able to see the work our teens are doing this week surely makes up for it. On the second full day of our program the teens  split up to head to different volunteer opportunities. Our first group went to East …


An Exploration of the Plantation past and Perspective filled future

This is my first experience in the South, a completely different atmosphere and historically filled past than my native Seattle, Washington. So going to a plantation brought my dreams from US history class, of visiting American historical landmarks, to fruition. We walked through the McLeod plantation led by our knowledgeable tour guide, Paul. We learned about the slaves who worked …





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