Following L’Taken in DC 2019

Following L’Taken in DC 2019

#JewishBostonTeens are spending the weekend with Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism & other Jewish teens from all over the country at #racltaken Social Justice Seminar in Washington, DC! Follow our adventures throughout the weekend:

Day 4: Jewish Voices for Justice
After our inspiring group of #JewishBostonTeens wrapped-up their time at Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism #racltaken by lobbying their elected officials and raising their voices for criminal justice
reform, disability rights & awareness, economic justice and gun violence prevention. Everyone is home
safely, and hopefully en route to getting some much needed sleep after all of our DC adventures!

And, now that we’re back home in Boston, we remember that our tradition teaches us that it is not up to us to complete the work (or repairing the world), but neither shall we desist from it.

photoA heartfelt todah rabah (many thanks) to everyone for a very special and awesome weekend. We’ll be in touch in the next few days on Facebook and Instagram with follow-up info and photos, but for now we are still smiling from all of the laughs and fun times our group had this weekend!

Good night, and thank you again!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


Day 3: Storytelling for Action

We started day #3 connecting as a group over breakfast, which was followed by a “storytelling for action” workshop and time for our group to check-in, debrief yesterday’s experiences a bit more and create cards to share some love with local Muslim friends and Islamic organizations. Our teens then attended workshops to learn more about different issues and bills, in addition to advocacy skills related to their various interest areas.

Our afternoon brought us to the Smithsonian Museums (and food trucks) on the National Mall, with our group touring the National Museum of Natural History, as well as spending some time hanging out on the Mall. We then headed for dinner at Pentagon Row, and headed back to the hotel for issue briefings to help us turn our interests and passions into action.

photoTonight was all about preparing for tomorrow, with our teens teaming-up with others in our group who shared similar interests. We split into four groups to cover a variety of important topics and challenges: criminal justice reform, disability rights and awareness, economic justice and gun violence prevention, and worked with RAC Legislative Assistants to learn more about their topics and challenges. We will be lobbying for these issues and current proposed legislation on Capital Hill tomorrow!

It has been an absolute pleasure working with this group of passionate, talented and creative teens. We were blown away by their maturity, dedication and compassion – and can’t wait for tomorrow (well…today, at this point)! Before bed tonight, our group took some time to debrief the day and reflect on what we each learned about ourselves from this experience. We also are reminded of what our tradition teaches us in Pirke Avot: it is not up to us to complete the work (of repairing the world), but we must not desist from it. We are commanded to pursue justice, and to do our part in helping to make our world a better place.

Tonight, we had our first electives, where we were able to learn about many different legislative issues currently being discussed. We begin to identify causes sparking our interest that we will lobby for on Monday!  These included Israel, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights, the refugee crisis, disability rights, and gun violence prevention.

Stay in the loop and follow our Facebook and Instagram channels!

Time to get a few hours of sleep before we make some noise 📣 in our nation’s capital!


Day 2: #ShavuaTov from #racltaken!

We began Day #2 at L’taken with breakfast and Shabbat morning services, where we were given the charge from Rabbi Jonah Pesner (Director of the Religious Action Center and former Bostonian!) to consider the power each one of us has to make a difference in the world.

After services, we participated in Kesef, Koach and Politika: A Lobbying Simulation – which focused on money, power and politics through the lenses of campaign finance reform and gun violence prevention. Our teens dove right into the middle of it all, helping to create creative marketing campaigns, slogans, arguments for and against various policies and issues – and being outspoken and passionate advocates for their causes.

photoFollowing lunch, we headed into the city to tour the MLK Jr. Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Museum. With recent events fresh in our minds, the threads of memory, hope, justice, freedom and speaking up for change were present through the many discussions and experiences we had today. They also connect to the upcoming holiday of Purim

Our group then headed into Georgetown for dinner and some free time, which was enjoyed by all. We then said goodbye to Shabbat with the rest of the L’taken community with Havdalah at the Jefferson Memorial.

Tonight, we had our first electives, where we were able to learn about many different legislative issues currently being discussed. We begin to identify causes sparking our interest that we will lobby for on Monday!  These included Israel, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights, the refugee crisis, disability rights, and gun violence prevention.

We wrapped-up the day with a snack and group debrief, and are excited for another action-packed day tomorrow. A reminder to check out our Facebook and Instagram channels for highlights from the weekend. We’ll post more photos, videos and resources in the coming days. Thanks again for following along…and giving us a few likes!

But, for now…good night! 😴


Day 1: Hello from Washington, D.C.!

Our group had a fun afternoon of getting to know each other and travel, and have settled into our rooms at the hotel as we prepare to welcome Shabbat together with the rest of the community here. The weather has been beautiful, and everyone is looking forward to learning more about what we will be doing this weekend.

photo

We enjoyed Shabbat dinner and services with the rest of the RAC L’Taken Seminar community, followed by a poverty education/simulation activity.

Connected to this, our group discussed the various levels of Maimonides’ Ladder of Tzedakah, and the number of barriers families of all shapes, sizes and stories face. Many of our teens took leadership/speaking roles in the discussion and program! Our group had a meaningful conversation of how we can connect our values to what’s happening in our world around us, what people need, and how different programs help and serve vulnerable populations.

We wrapped-up the evening with a snack and some debrief/bonding time with our group. Lots of laughs, good conversation and an opportunity to review the schedule. Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Time to rest-up for an action-packed day tomorrow!