Monday, May 3, 2010

Getting Ready for Garin Tzedek on YC 2010-2011!

Yes, the time is coming for me - four months from now, I'll be enjoying my third day of Year Course in Israel. Meanwhile, back in East Brunswick New Jersey and Portland Oregon, Alexis Wojtowicz and I have started working on some of the primary plans for picking up where this year's Garin will be leaving off. We've drafted a vision statement, the fundamentals of which are very similar to the current vision upon which Garin Tzedek is currently acting. Alexis and I are still bouncing ideas off of eachother in terms of the vision, and waiting for input of those who would like to be involved. With about nine people who have expressed interest thus far, the Garin, by its nature, is starting off small in numbers for next year. Recognizing that it will most likely grow quite a bit, we're working on ways to create a community within the Garin members while in our different sections. Ideas such as monthly Shabbat dinners and fund raising projects within all sections have come up. As we progress and work with some of the year course staff, the logistics for this will continue to develop.

One of our big focuses is on how to utilize the time that each section spends in Jerusalem, where there is no Sudanese community (I believe, but someone correct me if I'm wrong). Political action has been discussed, though that could potentially become messy with the mix of two very valid sides to a complex political and moral conflict. A political stance will be something to discuss with the Garin as a whole. Some other ideas for Jerusalem include educational seminars. I've spent months researching the conflict in Sudan/Darfur, talking to experts, and have been doing my best to do hands on work, and STILL, I find it very dificult to put all of the pieces together. I think that the whole Garin will benefit greatly from a deeper understanding of the big picture. Fund raising can also be a focus in Jerusalem.

As for Arad and Bat Yam, we'll be continuing the great work being done now. We plan to tutor English and Hebrew and have community events for the Sudanese community. We're both really looking forward on spending the summer building these plans and working with Noah and other members of the current Garin in doing so, as Alexis, myself, Noah, and other Garin members will be staff at Young Judaea's leadership summer camp, Tel Yehudah.

Keep your eye open for posts on this blog regarding next year, and rest assured that all of the incredible work being done this year will not be coming to an end as the month of May does. Alexis and I both feel an extremely deep connection to this particular matter and can't wait to devote our year to it. While they still have about a month left, Alexis and I congratulate the current Garin on the amazing Dugmah (example) which they've set SO FAR (it's, of course, not over yet!), and we can't wait to get it going on Year Course 2010-2011!

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