Monday, October 18, 2010

A Teen Workshop in Northern Westchester with Jon Adam Ross

There are two traditions I love about Shabbat. One is the reading of Torah, the other is the bagels and tuna salad served after we read from the Torah. Now you can imagine my excitement that I got to do both on a Wednesday night! Sara Beth Berman, Storahtelling's Associate Director, and I drove up to the JCC in Yorktown, New York for a Storah workshop with over 50 high school students from 4 different area synagogues. And it was so much fun! We began, of course, with a traditional Jewish dinner - Bagels, tuna salad, egg salad, and shmoozing. After we ate, we moved into the JCC nursery room where we moved the baby furniture out of the way and began our exploration of the Torah using the tools of the Storahtelling Maven method. The parsha this past week was Lech L'cha and with the help of Naomi Less, I was able to prepare a workshop for the teens that explored a part of the Torah that most kids do not know much about. Over the course of the workshop, the students - split into 6 groups - each took turns creating their own translations and stepping into the maven role to give a fresh perspective on Avram's journey from his family to the land of Canaan where he would begin to build a family and a nation. In Breishit chapter 12 verse 3, God tells Avram, "I will bless those who bless you, and he who curses you, I will curse." And I feel confident when I say the students camp up with the most creative blessings and curses imaginable. One student would come to Avram and curse him, and then God would come by and top that curse with an even more unimaginable fate such as: "You will have to eat sand and only sand for as long as you live - and you can never brush your teeth!" It was good stuff. It was also great to see our old Storahtelling friend (and former Development Director) Nicole Nevarez who is now the Director of Jewish Life at the JCC in Yorktown! When taking Storahtelling on the road, it's always nice to see a member of the storah family. All in all, a great night!

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