Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What It means to be part of the people of Israel ( the Jewish people)


Being Jewish has always taken on different meanings throughout my life,its transformed from just looking forward to presents on Hanukkah to having a bat mitzvah and then experiencing Jewish summer camp, something that truly has changed me in so many ways to the person I am today, then today being here on EIE has truly changed what it means for me to be part of the Jewish people, although EIE has been a huge influence on me , in the past couple years I have viewed what it means to be part of a the Jewish people so differently. I have had many things that have happened that have put things into perspective of how I view being a Jew. The Jewish people are part of something amazing. Not only because of how long we have survived, but we have a certain aspect to us that makes us incredibly strong willed and brave. We are a people who have this amazing ability to be so brave and stand up for what we believe but also be people who value being kind and making a difference. It is our responsibility to learn why we are this way, to look at our incredible history and take pride in being a people who have done incredible things. We are about one incredible thing , community.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Anti Semitism In Madison Wisconsin


Madison Wisconsin , beautiful in the summer and spring , exciting in fall and a cold winter ghost town. My whole life I have lived in this small city appreciating the nice people but also realizing the ignorance that comes with some people in every place. Although Madison is considered a pretty liberal place there is still things that happen that do not make it seem that way. Recently in a local Jewish paper in Madison there was a occurrence of antisemitic graffiti drawn on UW Madison campus. Because of this some of the community has come to together to solve this problem. This includes some of the black community in Madison because they have experienced some of the same things. This makes me incredibly happy to see people in my community come together. It really makes me think that sometimes we forget how easy it is to come together as a community because of common experiences , which can truly make a difference. Although this aspect  of a community coming together is really amazing, it still brings up one more question, the rise of antisemitism on campuses. Many of the people who were Jewish who came together because of this noted of their experiences of antisemitism in the 70s and 80s. I truly believe that this is an issue that is a huge white elephant in the room, that no one wants to talk about. Just like I have talked about in my Jewish history class , today antisemitism has taken the shape of anti Zionism today, because of peoples lack of knowledge of the conflict in Israel, It is a debate between whether this is cloaked as antisemitism. College is supposed to be a place to find yourself , but I truly hope people dont use that as an excuse to put down some people just because of their beliefs. I want to live in a world that by the time I go to college ( which is sooner rather than later ) I will be able to find a way to teach people that learning about the situation is more important in order for you to understand.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Passover and Y'am L'yam

Over this break of 10 days we all experienced many things. All of us went to possibly our first Israeli Passover and experienced hiking from sea to sea. The most changing part for me was hiking from sea to sea. Y'am L'Yam was like no other camping experience.One thing I have to address is, camping for almost everyone is almost never the most comfortable experience. I turned out to have a terrible cold during the whole trip. Although this happened, and although every day was far from easy, there was something incredible and intriguing  about this 5 day journey. The first day was sweltering hot and we hiked up the Mount Meron. Although It was beautiful , appreciating the hot hard day up the mountain took some time. As the journey went on although some days were easier it still was a mentally challenging trip. It was very easy not to have a positive attitude while hiking but I tried my very best to. Although I tried I am also guilty of complaining. In the end of the last day, we rode bikes the rest of the way to the Mediterranean sea. Lets just say I was three words... A nervous wreck. I do know how to ride a bike but past experiences have scared me so much. Jumping on that bike terrifying. As I nervously rode down, I saw the Mediterranean sea span in front of me like the opening of a theater curtain. My nerves turned into a sense of being proud that I had did it, walked to the Kineret to the Mediterranean. I biked longer finally reaching the clear blue waters of the beach, spending the day there filled with happiness. I am writing this blog not to only describe how beautiful it was but to say what I learned from this. EIE has been full of things that have made me truly appreciate Israel and made me reflect on who I am and who I want to become. Because of these 5 days I not only saw Israels beauty, but I learned how strong I have become because of EIE. There is still a month left,but I have learned by doing things like this trip here that I am able to learn so much from seeing the world. I have connected everything we have done to not only being a better Jew but I better and stronger person.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"The Israel Problem" : Article response


This week I read the article "The Israel Problem," By Donniel Hartman. This article addresses the Idea of how modern american Jews view their connection to Israel. He believes that we are getting more and more disconnected to it, but it is not our fault. Although I can see where he is coming from I can only agree partly to this statement. A new generation is continuously finding a way to support Israel. This is not everyone but I do believe that as the connection fades another part strengthens. He believes that we as american Jews are in a transitional period. In some ways this could be true, but I do not believe that there is necessarily a disconnect , but the way some people who dont know enough about Israel is not good. The disconnect is knowing enough about it. In american media it is hard to know enough about Israel because it is not shown enough and when it is it is not in a accurate fair way. There is no side that is to blame for this situation, but this is why programs like EIE are important. We can inspire people to want to know more about Israel, not necessarily politics, but the culture and beauty

Monday, April 18, 2016

Orthodox Speaker Last Week


Last week we had a ultra orthodox speaker come and talk to us as a continuation of us learning about the different streams of Judaism. There is no other way to say this- we were all deeply offended. This was of course expected, but we were prepared to be open to other opinions and tried to be as respectful as possible. As I sat there I thought about one thing that we have been taught throughout our experience on EIE, be able to defend yet be open to be angry and be open to others. One thing that I knew he was going to say was that  we, as modern american reform Jews, we were not considered Jews to him.  Although I predicted this, I cannot say I was ok with this.  One thing that I really value as a reform Jew is the sense of community and the strength that connects Jews in a common thing. So because someone does not consider me Jewish, although I can respect their opinion, It hits me in a wrong way because those values are a huge majority of why I am proud to be Jewish. I strongly believe that there needs to be a middle ground  between the orthodox and reform and everything in between. I say this because it IS unity that connects the Jewish people and I believe after all that we have been through It is worth sharing the sense of pride in Jewish values

Monday, April 11, 2016

Learning about the modern period


Since we have been back from Poland , we have started off learning about the modern period of Jewish history. It has all begun from the rise of Zionism. We have learned about the belief in a Jewish state since I have came on EIE but it being the main part of our conversation has made me fully understand it. I know know why the Jewish people needed the Jewish state. We have also learned about the rise and fall and multiple aliyahs. These all tie into the idea of a jewish state. Seeing how this all happened is different from everything we have learned about in jewish history so far. We always go to the sites where the history happened but it feels different this time. Since we are in the modern period it seems to be more relatable. I have learned a lot of things here and they have made me proud to be jewish but since it is easier to relate I have been particularly interested in this. I feel more interested in something that has happened more recently

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Article Response: Goodbye to the Reign of the Rabbinate, Hello to a New Era of Judaism

April 10 2016

In this article it talks about the new generation of Judaism. There is less attention to asking people like a rabbi for help for most young people. It also addresses the aspect of the Israeli government changing. People are not going along with Heredi part of the government anymore. This can be viewed as a good thing and a bad thing. The way you view this article can vary on what you believe. Our generation is constantly changing so thats why this article was written. Because of this change we have the ability in Israeli politics to form a new set of values. People are not necessarily able to change the laws but it can be something powerful, the more reform some things come could be viewed as a more open society. If the people feel that going to someone like a rabbi for advice is not necessary to them then it isint. Overall this article addresses the fact that the powerful changes that the modern society can have