This summer we are introducing a newly framed part of Genesis – Expeditions! Expeditions are 2 week experiences that explore a question related to Judaism or Jewish identity. Participants will have the opportunity to explore one topic in depth, as well as to engage in some sort of project related to the topic. Expeditions are developed and led by the six Genesis Community Educators. Each participant will take one expedition during the summer.
We will update the blog throughout the expeditions and hopefully profile some of the products here.
Becoming a Teen Philanthropist: The Journey of Making a Difference
Participants will spend time learning and exploring the Jewish concept of Tzedekah through Jewish Philanthropy. They will form their own “Genesis Teen Foundation,” collectively deciding on the guiding values and mission of the foundation. Through meetings and hands-on experiences with local non-profits, participants will discover the diversity of organizations in the non-profit community, as well as how they are making a difference in the wider community. The Genesis Teen Foundation will review proposals and requests for funding and make decisions about how it wants to allocate the Foundation’s money. This expedition is made possible through a grant from the Jewish Teen Funders Network. Join this expedition to learn and experience the real difference philanthropy can make.
Engaging with G-d
A Jewish understanding of G-d has been evolving from the very beginning of our history, even throughout the course of our Bible – the TaNaKh. G-d has been thought of as both merciful and just; involved in daily human life and distant from us; male and female (and non-gendered); supernatural and natural, and in many other terms. Modern religious leaders and philosophers continue to struggle with the ramifications of G-d’s potential existence and non-existence, but as many of us today learn about Jewish thought and tradition at home, in school, and in our communities, we rarely broach such important, personal questions as: “What do you believe about G-d?” or “What is your relationship with Him/Her?” Together, we will begin to plant the seeds of these questions through conversations with one another and through interviews with our extended Genesis community and beyond… ultimately creating a series of videos to spur the questions and conversations further.
From the Streets to Home: Creating a Path to Change
Change. We all want it; the challenge is in creating it. This expedition is going to explore how to create positive change specifically with regards to the issue of homelessness. Through meetings with social service agencies and community service projects participants will gain a broader understanding of the issue and will create a project to take back to their home communities regarding the issue of homelessness. Come be a part of the process. Come create the change.
Peacing it Together: Approaching the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Many people have lost hope in the Israelis and Palestinians reaching a peace deal any time soon. One hears more and more often how most Israelis have lost interest in peace with Palestinians and most Palestinians have lost hope for peace with the Israelis. In this expedition, we will learn about different perspectives toward conflict-resolution and the major obstacles to peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today. We will engage with a sampling of the various peace-building initiatives that are currently on the ground, and in addition we will brainstorm and discuss possible new models. This expedition will culminate in a group proposal for which peace-building efforts will be most effective and should be supported by the Israeli government and its advocates.
Privilege and Power and Jews, Oh My!
How have the Jewish people interacted with communities of color throughout history? What is the relationship with these groups now? Explore these questions from a few angles–examine the Jewish role in the Civil Rights Movement, look at contemporary examples of cross-cultural partnerships, and understand where we are today. We will be partnering with a group from Roxbury Presbyterian Church in Boston on a community art project and dialoguing about what privilege and power mean in 2012, to both Jewish and African American teens.
Tell me a story: The Power of Personal and Communal Narrative
Delve into an exploration of personal stories as a mode of self-expression and historical remembrance. We will explore the nature of oral histories, as well as learn how to collect them and present them. Further, we will explore the power of stories as modes of leadership and empowerment. We will ask what a story is, how the acts of sharing and collecting stories are fundamentally Jewish, and how we can use stories to build community. We will particularly consider the place of stories for women and marginalized groups. Everyone will have a chance to present his or her own life story in a variety of mediums, as well as to do the same with someone else’s story. As we make our way through the expedition, we will have the opportunity to identify voices of our Genesis and broader communities that we have not heard and pursue a process to lift up their voices and capture their stories.