Past, Present & Future: Miami’s March of the Living Journey

Posted on 02/02/2024 @ 05:00 AM

Tags: Teen Education & Engagement, March of the Living

Miami’s Leo Martin March of the Living is at the heart of CAJE’s enduring commitment to Jewish education and has served as a beacon of learning for Miami Jewish teens since 1988.


Throughout the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the March has remained dedicated to educating high school students.


Due to the current war in Israel, this year the March will be traveling solely to Poland, with attention to comprehending the struggle of Jews in Europe and educating about the ongoing battle for Israel’s existence.


Even in the absence of a direct visit to Israel, our teens are embarking on a journey that explores our 3000-year-old history, with emphasis on the critical significance they play in shaping the current and future narrative of the Jewish people.


Our commitment is to guide participants through a transformative journey by helping them understand their roots, recognize their current standing as emerging Jewish adults, and envisioning the positive impact they can make.


This year’s March community has already gathered for a virtual session that included hearing from Holocaust Survivor Laszlo Selly and his distinctive testimony of hiding as a non-Jewish child when he was young.


January 21st marked our first in-person gathering, sparking palpable enthusiasm as teens actively engaged in the learning process and forged a sense of community.


To catch a glimpse of the impactful conversations that shape our community and empower our students, explore excerpts from a speech delivered to Marchers by Carly Orshan, CAJE’s Teen Department and March of the Living Director.

Against the backdrop of the overarching question, “Who am I?” participants engaged in a crucial phase of the program-- navigating the intricate path of identity formation.


This session focused on a pressing issue in our minds and hearts: understanding Israel and the role of social media in addressing antisemitism.


We also began learning about the Shoah and discussed what Jewish life looked like before the war in Europe.


Here are a few takeaways participants wrote in their evaluations:


Recognition of Jewish Identity:

“This session made me recognize that I’m more connected to my Jewish identity than I thought.”

“Antisemitism is becoming an increasing problem in society and social media, and we as Jews must stand up to hate.”


Media Literacy and Countering Hate Online:

I learned a counter-strategy when seeing hate online, that I should screenshot the post to prevent the algorithm from sharing it more.”

“I feel I should be even more vocal on social media. I have posted but not as much as before, so I feel I need to advocate more for myself and Judaism.”


Understanding Historical Parallels and Advocacy:

“We’re very similar to the Jews before the Holocaust. It really opened my eyes to how easily an event like the Holocaust can happen, and it can very easily happen to us if we don’t do something about the hate we see.”


As we continue this educational adventure, we aim to foster an environment where the teens not only discover their identities, but also emerge as advocates for tolerance, dispellers of misinformation, and guardians of collective memories.


CAJE’s Leo Martin March of the Living program is more than just an itinerary or a series of workshops. The March is a living testament to our commitment to cultivate a generation of informed, compassionate leaders.


Beyond the immediate goal of deepening their understanding, the program strives to instill in participants the values of tolerance, responsibility, and a keen awareness of the power they hold in shaping a better Jewish future.


For more information about the Leo Martin March of the Living, please contact Stephanie Goodman, Program Manager