Monday, April 27, 2015

April Roundup Part 1: Yom Hashoa and the May Day Seminar

It's been a very busy few weeks over here in Israel! We are in the mad dash to the end, trying to fit in everything possible during the Workshoppers last month in Israel.

Yom Hashoa

After returning from Passover break, the Workshoppers headed to Kibbutz Loachmei HaGitaot for the national closing tekkes of Yom HaShoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Before the official tekkes (ceremony), the Workshoppers led a tekkes for all of the Habonim shnatties. Micaela shared with everyone some of her thoughts from her journey to Poland.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the movement since I returned from Poland two days ago. The longer we are back from Poland the more I think I am realizing what exactly Poland is going to mean to me in the future as a member of the movement. It was the type of experience that I will never get to have again.

Something I keep thinking about is what it must have meant to be apart of Dror at the time of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Back when being in a Youth Movement really meant something. I want to learn from their devotion. I want it to inform my future as a member of the movement...I think the idea of this story gives me strength. I want to be a madricha like Zivia, and a leader like Antek, and I want to know the passion Mordechai must have. I need to know that there is power in this movement, and that there is power in the choice to be apart of it. When I doubt the movement I want to remember this story, because when I was in poland I think I saw into some of the darkest parts of humanity. It scared me to understand that humans can hate so absolutely, and so blindly, and it taught me that when we face such darkness we also need to understand how to create light. Because darkness seeks to draw the light from our world, and something like this can never happen again. There is a way to the light -- we just need to find it.

In his last letter to Antek, Mordechai wrote this:
“The last wish of my life has been fulfilled. Jewish self-defense has become a fact. Jewish resistance and revenge have become actualities. I am happy to have been one of the first Jewish fighters in the ghetto.
Where will rescue come from?”

Mordechai died at Mila 18, we need to remember what his dream cost him. Let us dream the next part for him. That much we can do. So maybe my dream for the movement comes back to this: I want to lead a movement that will always remember Antek & Zivia, and is always ready to fight the fight against the encompassing darkness. I want our movement to be brave, I want it to serve with readiness & devotion.
After our tekkes, the Workshoppers watched the national tekkes, including performances by Ivri Lidir, and speeches by the head of the museum, local politicians, and Isaac Herzog, current leader of the Labour Party.

May Day Seminar

After Yom Hashoah, the Workshoppers went to Kibbutz Ravid for May Day Seminar. Along with Australian, South African, British and Dutch Habonim, they explored the historical relationship between Habonim Dror and the labour movement. The participants also discussed current issues with workers' rights, and heard from guest speakers on Saturday afternoon to learn more about our sister movement, Hanoar Haoved, and their role in various cooperatives and labour struggles around the country. Hanoar Haoved operates the youth workers' unions in Israel, and as well as supporting efforts among youth workers' to unionize, they are also the address for young people in Israel who are denied their rights. On Friday night, we also enjoyed a kabbalat shabbat led by the Australians.

Fun evening programs!
 Attempting to complete a mission for the fun evening program: a picture of everyone jumping at the same time. 
Learning about workers' cooperatives and enjoying some sun. 
 Rayna and Tali singing "This Land is Your Land" for our closing tekkes.

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