Aviva In Poland

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It Seems Like Forever....

Dear Friends Family and Readers

It seems like forever since I have last written and it has been a long time so I will just share the highlights since Chanuukah.
Almost right after Chanukah I spent a week at Lauder Foundation Winter Family Camp. The camp took place just outside of Lodz and there were over 80 young, old and in between people who attended the camp. There were special programs for children, Jewish based lectures and seminars for adults and super evening programs for everyone. The camp of course fell during Shabbat and everyone enjoyed an uplifiting and spirit filled day. I was there to help with the children and evening programs and really had a lot of fun doing both of those things. Even in Poland with my limited language ability I managed to bring an abundance of energy and ruach to the program. The best part....they appreicated my singing there more then it has ever been appreicated at camp before. It was a great program and it was a really nice way to get to know more of the families in Poland.

After that I had a short time in Warsaw and then I had the pleasure of a working vacation in Israel. I just returned after spending 9 days there and in that time I did a lot of things. I had the chance to see some dear friends that I have been missing like crazy. They gave the best hugs, lots of support and good ears. I also ate so many of the treats that I have been missing while in Poland and enjoyed the endless sunshine that was in Jerusalem for the week I was there.

The main reason that I went to Israel though was for a JDC Jewish Service Corps Seminar. All 12 volunteers came together and met in Israel along with several JDC Executive Staff members for an informative, idea sharing, experience sharing, reflection and motivating semiar. The Seminar took place for 4 days in Jerusalem and I have to say that it was such an incredible 4 days. The sharing and understanding that took place between the volunteers was so helpful and important and the reasources, information and support that JDC staff shared was exceptional. The value of sharing with people who are in totally different places physically, but doing similar work and encountering some similar challenges and successes was very powerful. I entered the semiar with names, places of where people were based, a brief idea of who many of them were and I left with wonderful friends and people who I feel very connected to. The work that my fellow volunteers are doing all over the world, is different, important and inspiring. I feel renergized, motivated and looking forward to another 7 months to continue my work in Poland.

I will stay better connected in the coming months. I hope that you are staying warm and sunny wherever you.
Love from Warsaw