by Kareem, American Participant
After breakfast we played some name games so everyone would get to know each other better because it was the first day for the Jerusalem kids in camp. The games that we played were the real facebook which is a spoken version of what would typically go on a facebook profile. We then played the group juggle which has someone throwing the ball to someone and then other balls or stuffed animals come into play and there will be about five items going at once. After the games local high school students came from their churches and synagogues to join us in what we would be talking about today.
A Pakistani woman named Yasmin spoke about the gender roles in Islam by using her grandmother’s life story. In the story Yasmin spoke about what her grandmother had done to support Yasmin’s father, she said that her grandmother had to make a sacrifice that would end up being the best decision for the family. The grandmother being a widow at a young age had to take control of the finances so the family could stay together. Yasmin’s story just strengthened what I already thought about Muslim woman and how they are such a big piece of the family. Following Yasmin’s story we ate lunch.
After that the Muslims of the groups prayed the Friday prayer while members of the other faith groups observed. After the prayer our guests from the church and synagogue departed along with Yasmin and her husband Javed. We then had a dialogue on prejudice where we spoke about where we were affected by prejudice and how it felt. The group thought of examples of private places like home all the way to public places like the streets, and one of the biggest emotions that was felt was loneliness.
After a short break we then had a discussion on how to be a good leader in terms of their morals, habits, and identity. We brainstormed as a group some good examples of morals and we realized how closely linked our morals are to our culture and religion. With habits we figured out how there is a cue then a reaction and ended by a reward for good and bad habits. We also discussed the definition of identity and how it is made up of our morals and habits. Because sunset of Friday was approaching it meant that it was time to welcome in shabbat so a Rabi from a Brattleboro synagogue to welcome in shabbat with us.
After our service we all talked about what Jerusalem means to us whether it is a home for the international campers or a place that has not been visited by some of the American campers. We spoke on what our favorite places were if we have been there and what we expect it to be like if we have not. At the end of the conversation we wished our friend Nicole a happy birthday by eating cake.