by Idan Azani
We learned the importance of literacy today in San Francisco. We met with Leon Veal, a reading tutor at the San Francisco Public Library who learned to read himself when he was 45 years old. Illiteracy is still a big issue in the world because it’s becoming harder and harder to find careers that are available to illiterate people.
After the library, we took the BART train to Berkeley where we discussed student activism with David Smith, a former student and activist at the University of California-Berkeley campus. We talked about the impact of activism. Change can be made when a group of people calmly express their feelings toward a rule or behavior that they oppose. But when a rally gathers and violently express their feelings toward it, change might be not be made. David Smith told us about the free speech movement in Berkeley and how civil the protestors were by compensating the police officers for the overtime they had to work and feeding them. This was an example of a successful and civil protest.
Our day ended by having Friday night services at a chavurah based community of Jews who created their own place and service. It was called the Kitchen.
Today was one of the days we really got to explore the city because we didn’t have a bus to take us around. We saw the diversity of the people. There were random people telling us stories about their life and we were able to see street music and dancers on the subway. The city was truly beautiful, and while we enjoyed seeing the city up close, we were also tired from all the walking. We miss you Earle (our bus driver)!