What is Veida?
Veida is HDNA’s democratic decision-making structure. The Veida makes changes to the Constitution, sets educational and ideological stances of the movement, suggests changes to our programs, and more!
What is Winter Seminar?
Winter Seminar is the name for the educational programming run alongside Veida. Some years Winter Seminar takes place entirely before the Veida, while in other years blocks of seminar and Veida are interspersed. Winter Seminar, which also happens during years when there is no Veida, is a chance for movement members to discuss the big issues facing the movement and their generation of Jews in an experiential, educational setting.
What kinds of proposals come to the Veida?
Veidot are organized into different plenaries, when different kinds of proposals are discussed. Plenaries usually include constitutional changes, ideological/educational stances, and proposals related to movement programs (MBI, Kadima, Workshop, Madatz, or new programs suggested by the Veida).
How is the discussion moderated at Veida?
Typically, Veidot use Robert’s Rules, a system for organizing meetings created in the late 1800s. The Robert’s Rules system is intended to be both efficient and fair, allowing participants multiple ways to comment on a proposal, pause the discussion, and (in the HDNA version of Robert’s Rules) even call for a dance party! Over the years HDNA has created its own traditions and jokes associated with Veida. For example, when a proposal is obviously friendly to the entire Veida, we acclaim it, and the entire room makes a hand gesture that looks like a clam!
How are decisions of the Veida carried out?
It depends on the decision! Constitutional changes are incorporated into the HDNA Constitution following the Veida. Changes to our programs (MBI, Kadima, and Workshop) are implemented by the Mazkirut Artzit and our partners in Israel. Educational and ideological stances demand the participation of movement members in implementing the decisions of the Veida. Everyone at the Veida is responsible for ensuring the decisions made there are meaningful.
Is Veida the only way to make changes in HDNA?
No! Lots of changes in HDNA start with cultural shifts or educational decisions made by small groups of madrichimot and chanichimot that spread organically to the rest of the movement, by emails to our listserv, or through the work of movement vaadot (committees) to plan seminars and create tochniot (curricula). The most successful Veida proposals are often the ones that give a name to changes that are already in motion. For example, the Veida proposal in 2015 that created gender-inclusive endings for Hebrew words (“Revolutionizing the Hebrew Language,”) came after a summer in which many madrichimot has already begun using the alternative language. The proposal made this ongoing cultural change an official stance of the movement and gave madrichimot a clear way to explain it at their machanot the following summer. The proposal also got attention in the press, bringing the conversation about gender-inclusivity at Jewish camp and beyond to more audiences outside of HDNA.
How does travel to and from Veida work?
The price of travel to Veida is included in the tuition, so that movement members coming from near and far share the cost of flights. The Central Office books flights or arranges bus pick ups for the vast majority of participants. Participants arriving before the seminar or extending their stay on the East Coast past the seminar travel dates are responsible for booking their own travel, and will be reimbursed up to prices determined on October 30. Buses will pick up from the following locations on the day of the seminar: Silver Spring, Maryland, the PHL airport, Gratz College in Philadelphia, and the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Get in touch with email@example.com with more detailed questions, or read our travel policy.
How does supervision work during travel?
As we book participant travel, we do our best to ensure that all high school participants are booked in groups and on the same flight as at least one college-aged participant. There may be situations when this is not possible (for example, if only one participant is travelling from a certain location). If supervision during travel is a concern, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. All participants arriving on flights to the seminar will be greeted at the PHL airport by a college-aged counselor in Habonim Dror wearing a chultza tnua (movement shirt).
How does supervision and programming work during Veida?
The Veida and Winter Seminar are supervised and run by a staff including college-aged HDNA members, shlichimot, Bonimot Tzedek rakazimot, and the Mazkirut Artzit. Additionally, college-aged movement members, all of whom work as counselors at our summer camps, sign up for supervision rotations throughout the seminar. A member of the staff who is first aid certified is the designated medic, who handles medication disbursement for high school participants, ensures hygiene at the seminar, and coordinates care for participants should they become ill. Area park rangers, who regularly patrol the area surrounding the seminar center, are trained as first responders. A member of staff who has previous experience in emotional care serves as participant care coordinator for emotional and mental health needs that surface during the seminar. A social worker offsite is on call throughout the seminar.
How do payment and scholarship work?
HDNA has a scholarship fund for seminars, and encourages all participants for whom finances are an obstacle to attendance to fill out our scholarship form. We understand that a multitude of situations may make the seminar financially out of reach, and so do not require intensive documentation of participants’ financial situation in our scholarship application. We work hard to ensure that all who want to attend are able.