Etgar 36 2013 has started off well! Everyone made their way to Atlanta from places as far away as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and even Singapore! As Etgar groups in the past have also done, the teens began to make friends immediately.
We began by introducing the themes behind Etgar 36 (discovering their voice and their power to create change, developing their American and Jewish identities, learning about history, politics and activism as well as exploring America) by showing a clip from the movie “The American President”. The participants got to know their fellow journeyers even better when the staff ran some ice breakers. Afterwards, we went outside to relax on the town square of Decatur and had some pizza and salad and hang out with new friends. The frozen yogurt on a hot day wasn’t bad either!
We ended our programming by watching a documentary film called “The Journey” about the meaning and importance of travel. The movie focuses on a young man who travels the country interviewing successful people of all ilks about the decisions that have defined their lives. After the movie, through the magic of Skype, we had a conversation with Eric, the film maker. The ensuing discussion set a precedent for the nature of the journey on which we are about to embark. This will be a summer not of passive observance but of active engagement, and your sons and daughters will be treated to unique opportunities to question and probe at the meaning of their experiences. We will be meeting with actual doers, and not mere talkers. Tired as everyone was, I think they all began to appreciate this fact.
A very tired but excited group checked into our first hotel of this journey and are looking forward to a full day in Atlanta when we begin our theme of the Civil Rights.
Please keep checking back to this journal as the teens will start writing daily updates tomorrow. Also, if you have a second, please “like” our Facebook page at Etgar 36.