Year Round Programs National Convention 2023: A Reflection
By Mia Finestone
I had an amazing time at National Convention last weekend! It was an incredible opportunity for me to reconnect with friends from Young Judaea that live far away and learn about important topics of today.
We participated in activities that focused on this year’s National Initiative, Women’s Rights, including discussions about reproductive rights, consent, the wage gap, powerful women leaders, and a service project where we packaged hygiene products for those in need. This was especially meaningful to me because this summer I was a part of the Women’s Rights Tikkun Group at Tel Yehudah that proposed this year’s initiative.
Along with activities on the initiative, we also learned about how Shabbat is celebrated around the world, by creating dishes from various Jewish cultures and comparing them to the ways we celebrate personally. In discussion groups, I was able to learn from my peers’ perspectives and share my own when we talked about topics such as Israel, Anti Semitism, and the roles they play in our lives today.
Throughout the whole weekend, I felt welcomed by my Young Judaea community and was never afraid to voice my opinions or share my own experiences. At our asepha (election), it was amazing to be a part of the election process for our future National Mazkirut, and it reminded me of the larger Young Judaea movement I am a part of. It was so cool to see my friends and peers be elected into positions of leadership for the movement I love so much. I had so much fun participating in our camp rituals of Shabbat, Havdalah, and rikkud. The moments I shared with my friends who I don’t often get to see, were so special to me, and reminded me of why I love going to camp.