As a Fishel fellow, I was placed in India with JDC Entwine Multi-Week Global Jewish Service Corps with Gabriel Project Mumbai, and I am now working in Berlin as a JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps fellow.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Purim + Pesach in Berlin!

I've been terrible at updating this blog while I've been in Berlin, and so much has happened that I don't know what to write about first! So I thought I could start with Purim and Passover because both holidays were packed with events.


Young Adult Purim Party- I teamed up with a local Jewish group for young adults called Jung und Judisch to organize a huge Purim party for young adults in Berlin.  Think hundreds of young people in costumes, a DJ, dancing, singing, and a costume contest in a Berlin bar.  It was a really great night.

We also decided to include the German-Israeli Society, a local group comprised of young adults, most of whom are not Jewish.  Two girls from the group helped organize the party with us, and both are studying Hebrew and Jewish Studies in university, which is really interesting considering neither of them are Jewish.  When I asked one of the girls where her motivation to learn about Judaism comes from, she seemed flustered by the question.  I tried to clarify, explaining that at UCLA, where I studied, the Jewish Studies department is dominated by Jewish students.  However, in German universities, Jewish Studies students are usually not Jewish.  When I asked her why she thinks that is, she shrugged and said, “It’s probably because of our history.”  

Purim at Bambinim- We had several events at Bambinim for Purim including one at our center in the West where I made hamantaschen with the kids (thanks for the recipe, Mom!) and silver crowns out of tin foil.  One of the kids who was dressed as Spider-man decided that I should also be Spider-man, so he painted my face to match his.

At another event at our center in the East, we had dancing, face painting, and different stations where the kids could do arts and crafts and make mishloach manot, gift baskets people give each other on Purim.


Young Adult Seder-  For Pesach, I teamed up again with Jung und Judisch to organize a seder for young adults.  It was a great experience because just two friends and I led the entire seder.  We had around thirty people at the seder from Germany and all over Europe, Russia, Israel, and the U.S., and everybody had different traditions and ways of singing songs that we tried to integrate. We did the seder mostly in German, but each person could read in whatever language they felt comfortable with.  It was a lot of fun, and it was nice to have such a wide variety of people from different organizations and groups.  The next night, I had seder #2 at my apartment, but it was much more low key after such a big event.

Family Seder at Bambinim- I helped organize a family seder with two other women at Bambinim.  We decided to project the hagaddah onto the wall, and we sang a lot of songs and told the story of Pesach using props and the kids as actors.  I made decorations with the kids beforehand that I put up on the walls and we set up cushions on the floor, so the atmosphere was very nice.

Pesach Camp-  We had three days of Pesach camp at Bambinim because of school vacation.  The weather was nice, so we got to take the kids to the park every day.  We also did some gardening in the backyard, which the kids loved, and I led a few arts and crafts activities including making afikomen holders and frogs with party blowers for tongues, which my mom did for us every year at home.  Of course that was a big hit for the kids and not so much for their quickly annoyed parents haha

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