Summer 2020 is a unique one in Habonim Dror North America history, with machanot meeting virtually or for day camps during the coronavirus pandemic. We’re asking our dedicated madrichimot what it’s been like to continue to #LeadTheHaboWay during this unprecedented time.
Why did you choose to be a madrichol this summer?
I chose to be a madricha during the summer because it felt to me like it would be a really meaningful time where things were happening. It felt like a moment in which we actually got to choose if we want to engage in a radical process of living by our values, or in this time of hardship, are we going to say it’s hard and give up. For me, giving up didn’t seem like an option. It felt way more vital that now is a time to step up and demonstrate the power of the movement.
We talk about youth autonomy and youth empowerment and this summer we got to build camp entirely from scratch and fully take ownership over it in ways that we don’t usually get to in summers and so it especially felt like a time to advocate for youth autonomy.
How does it feel to meet chanichimot during this specific summer?
It feels hard a lot of the time because we can’t interact with our chanichimot and we don’t know exactly what all of their needs are, we only get what they tell us explicitly, but it also feels really meaningful and rewarding to see them engage in a program and know that there aren’t a lot of spaces in their lives that are actively trying to create a space like this for them during this time and it feels really necessary to be doing that.
Describe a peula you ran where you felt like you were making a difference for the chanichimot.
There was one peula that I ran, it was before the summer started, it was a Zman kvutza and it was on the subject of Black Lives Matter around when all of the protests were happening and we talked about different ways that chanichimot that could get involved during quarantine, looking at sharing info on instagram or going to protests if they were able to and if it was safe. We also talked about what the pros and cons were all of these things and ways that they met the needs of the movement and ways they didn’t. It was supposed to be an hour long peula but it ended up being two hours because the chanichimot were so invested in it and had so much to say about each thing. I left the peula feeling like they had more ways to take action and also a sense that if they couldn’t take action in certain ways, then that would be okay too.