What I Learned at the DC Shabbaton

4 years ago Leighest 0

By Lauren Losak
What did I learn from attending the CTeen regional Shabbaton in Washington D.C.? Well, let me start with why I attended. I wanted a stronger connection to my Jewish family by connecting to every Jew. On this trip I found connections that I wouldn’t have been able to have if I hadn’t attended the Shabbaton.

Shabbat helped me make new friends. Not being on my phone helped me connect to those around me and get closer to people who I might not have talked to in the first place. People know me as being shy, but by not having an electronic to hide behind I was able to get out of my shell and make new friends—two of which were people from my own town that I have never talked to! Because of this trip, strangers became new found friends. I found a connection to those who may have different backgrounds, live in different towns, states, and even have different views on politics.

Another takeaway I gained from this trip was learning how to speak up. There is hate in this world—some say there might always be hate. When we attended the Holocaust museum, I saw what hate could lead too. By seeing the past, I know I must help the future. Even more than just seeing Jews trying to speak up for what’s right, when seeing the monuments and coming to AIPAC, I learned that Jews aren’t alone. There are others who care for Israel as much as we do despite religious values and political stances. We are connected. This is the reason that I won’t stop fighting for what’s right and against hate. I will act, I will respond, and I will fight for what is right for the Jewish people and our homeland.

My voice matters. So does the voice of the person reading this— everyone’s voice matters. My favorite speaker from the AIPAC conference was a man named Father Patrick Desbois, whose mission is to educate the public about the Holocaust. Speaking about Israel, Father Patrick Debois stated, “We have to be strong… stand together strongly”. During this trip I’ve grown to further accept differences and realize no matter what, there is a bond between those who are pro-Israel and especially between my fellow Jews. Together we can speak up and stand strong. If you haven’t gotten the answer so far on what I’ve learned, I’ll say it in five words. We are connected for good.