The Gilinski Hillel Ambassadors took on New York at the NCSY Jump Leadership Training Conference
Written by Justin Rok Moskovitz, Grade 10
The Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassadors just returned from an exciting and transformative trip to New York City to attend a seminar, along with other Jewish schools from across the country. It included several impactful and exciting speakers and videos, and was divided into four different tasks that each school must accomplish over the coming year. These topics included:
1. Fundraising for a worthy cause
2. Poverty awareness
3. The dangers of texting while driving
4. Raising awareness of the lives of Israeli soldiers “under the helmet”
We were privileged to hear from several inspiring young activists who have accomplished amazing feats of fundraising. They shared their secrets to success and guided us through the process of identifying needs and strategizing for [inancial success. Each team must now go home, create a plan, and make it happen.
Next, we heard an inspiring speech by the founder of Masbiah, a New York network of kosher soup kitchens, who spoke about his experiences starting the company. His take-home message was that “you need to be inspired by what you do,” and that you must love what you’re doing in order to achieve your goals. Each team was tasked with creating an original program to educate the public and work toward alleviating local poverty in some way.
Next, we learned the importance of avoiding texting while driving. For this task, each team must create an awareness campaign to explain the dangers of distracted driving, with the goal of encouraging those around us to avoid this risky behavior.
To introduce the last task, we watched a new movie called “Beneath the Helmet,” which is a documentary about [ive soldiers who just began basic training in the Israeli army. These kids are only a few years older than us, and while we plan for college and beyond, they are risking their lives every second just to keep their home land safe. After the video one of the soldiers (Aviv Regev) spoke to the group to explain three different lessons. First, he explained that knowledge is power. Even though there is a physical war to protect our country, there is also a war of knowledge and perception on the world scale. Second, you don’t need a uniform to protect Israel. Everyone can make a change by not only [ighting but donating time and money, and by spreading knowledge. Finally, he powerfully reminded us that “a lie left unchallenged becomes the truth.” We have the opportunity to educate others about Israel, and the responsibility to get the truth out. We were tasked with creating a pro-Israel campaign that highlights the lives of Israeli soldiers.
Aside from this conferences, we had a blast touring New York and doing some amazing things. We can’t thank the school enough for sponsoring our trip, which was an amazing experience that we are so glad we were able to be part of. We hope to make our school and community proud through our various upcoming initiatives, and look forward to sharing our plans with you soon.