Monday, July 27, 2015

Dear Jewish People!

Below is an open letter to the Jewish people written by Rebecca Shafron (class of 2009).  She explains the context for the letter as follows...

This summer I'm working at BBYO's Perlman Camp for their two programs, International Leadership Training Conference and International Kallah. During both programs the college aged staff are charged with the responsibility of creating meaningful programs for the teens with the intention of inspiring them Jewishly through leadership and beyond. I've found the most meaning and fulfillment through this programming and really hope this piece shows the teens how important it is to live Jewish lives even beyond their time in the organization.

Rebecca's impassioned charge to her campers demonstrates how broad Jewish tradition and culture can be and emphasizes individual responsibility, growth, and decision making. It's the type of letter that reminds those of us who work at The Davis Academy that we are shaping the future leaders of the Jewish world. 

Dear Jewish People of 2015,

What is my dream? My dream is to be a part of it. To be a part of what the Jewish people will look like 10 years from now, 25 years, 50 years, 100 years from this moment. My dream is to convince you that being Jewish is your one stop shop and your home field advantage for the rest of your life. I want to – no I need to – fulfill my role in safeguarding a Jewish future because I have this unexplainable feeling inside me when pray the shema, when I learn more and more about Am Yisrael, when I stare at the Perlman tree lights and envision what the future of my people should and can look like. My dream is to be a part of preserving tradition, practice, and prayer within a civilization that is slowly forgetting its importance. To help you remember the Holocaust because the last generation of survivors are slowly but surely leaving this world for Olam HaBah. To stimulate you to want to learn about both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and to advocate for our people’s 2,000 year old homeland. To inspire you to yearn to stand at the Kotel and pray for peace with all of your might. To incite that sigh of immense satisfaction after you’ve successfully recreated your Bubbie’s matzah ball soup recipe, a family tradition. To encourage you to dance, sing, and celebrate with all your heart on Rosh Hashanah in appreciation that our people have made it another year. To encourage you to eat Karpas dipped in salt water and feel introspective on Passover as we imagine and recreate the struggle our ancestor’s faced in the desert so many years ago. To move you to welcome the Sabbath bride on Friday night with open hands, clear eyes, and a full heart. I want you to understand that there is always more to learn, more places to see, and more people to meet. It is our responsibility, and I will hold you accountable, to ensure, continue, and preserve. It is with our eyes that we transform our dreams into realities. My dream is to do what I can to allow us to be our ancestors’ wildest dreams.

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