We’re Back! Diller’s In-Person Shabbaton

Posted on 11/19/2021 @ 07:00 AM

Tags: Diller Teen Fellows, Teen Education & Engagement

After a challenging two years, Diller Miami is grateful to have hosted a successful, meaningful, and safe in-person Shabbaton with a variety of health and safety protocols in place which can be viewed here
Miami’s Diller Teen Fellows Cohort 9 experienced their first Jewish Identity Shabbaton last weekend where they were able to reflect upon who they are and begin the process of becoming a strong, cohesive group. 
Fellows spent time understanding last week’s Parsha [Torah portion], Vayeitzei, which tells the story of Jacob’s famous dream about the ladder to heaven, and outlines the many years that he spent building his family.
Teens were able to think about Jacob’s journey in the context of their own lives by evaluating their dreams, aspirations, and values as Jewish leaders. 
Recently, a new Pew Research Center report was released that found that members of different branches of American Judaism generally do not feel they have “a lot” in common with one another. About half of Orthodox Jews in the U.S. say they have “not much” (23%) or “nothing at all” (26%) in common with Reform Jews, and a majority of Reform Jews reciprocate those feelings: 39% say they have “not much” in common with the Orthodox and 21% say they have “nothing at all” in common. In fact, both groups are more likely to express feelings of commonality toward Jews in Israel than toward each other.
One of the reasons that Diller Teen Fellows is such an important program for our community is that it brings together Fellows who identify as Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or Just Jewish. They also come from a variety of communities: North Miami, Central Miami, and South Miami-Dade; Argentina, Israel, America, Venezuela, and more!
This Shabbaton focused on what the Fellows share in common in order to build community. In addition, we ask them to articulate their opinions, thoughts and ideas about who they are so they can begin to identify their differences in more personal, spontaneous ways before diving into larger, more difficult conversations.

Throughout the weekend, the Fellows had conversations about their Jewish identities, sharing commonalities and differences, realizing the scope of our vast Jewish community, and the power that our group provides.
Fellow Ava Perloff was able to personally connect to Jewish texts and tefillah (prayer) in a way that she has not been able to before, by broadening her perspective as she learned from others and saw how the teachings were applicable to her modern life. 
Each teen was challenged to encounter new perspectives, learn new things, really think about themselves as individuals, and grow as a community.
Through these ties, Diller helps to shape the Jewish world of the future. The Jewish Identity Shabbaton was an incredibly fun, formative, spiritual, and meaningful experience that forged a strong bond for Cohort 9! 

For more information, visit dillermiami.org