The Journey Begins! By Billy Planer
At 4 PM, both the participants who flew in to Atlanta and the local teens from the area arrived at the synagogue we used for our programming for the day. We introduced the ideas and educational philosophies behind Etgar 36 and our expectations of behavior.
The staff led some ice breakers, but the teens had already done a great job of mingling and getting to know each other.
Dinner was next- just a relaxed hour of pizza and salad with kids jumping from table to table getting to know each other some more.
We then came back to the synagogue where we showed a documentary called “The Journey” (thejourneyfilm.com
). This film was a major influence on the creation Etgar 36. It is about a young man who goes across the country interviewing powerful and famous people about advice they have for the younger generation. I became friends with the film maker and his crew, including Kathleen the Cinematographer. She surprised the group by coming in to say hello at the end of the movie and answered the kids’ questions about the movie. She also gave some advice and encouragement to our group as we set out on our journey.
The group has started bonding together and already seems like another fantastic group ready for the journey of their lifetime!