We have a new name! Eli suggested the Social Justice League!! I think, though, that we are going to stick with the title “The Alliance.” It’s a little less cumbersome than Ezra, B’nai, Hillel... Any time we need to assemble, one of the teachers announces (loudly) “Alliance Assembleeeeeeeee.” It’s working pretty well. The entire group has a counting off system which is working out well, although some students are relatively loud at school and yet very quiet during count off. Go figure.
Just a word about the staff-Lois, Karyn and I are very fortunate that the other staff members are so wonderful. First, Josh Ratner came, and he has been invaluable form chaperoning students on the train to buying pareve popcorn for the movie, he’s been a real trooper. Alas, tomorrow is his last day. Sadly, he has to go back to work. Josh managed to get us in to meet with Rosa DeLauro tomorrow and to get a tour of the Capitol. (More about that tomorrow.) From B’nai Shalom, Margaret and Frank have joined us and from Hillel, David and Ryan. We are collaborating together, and it’s fun!
Tefillah this morning was beautifully led by Emma (B’nai), Eli and Eydan using the new Alliance Siddur.
Today, we spent most of our day outside. We got off at Foggy Bottom Station (I couldn’t resist) and then walked to the Einstein Statue. The kids lounged on the statue while Ms. Murray talked about the incredible contribution that Einstein made to the world. On the way to the Lincoln Memorial, we stopped to talk about Maya Lin and the initial controversy surrounding the memorial. We also emphasized that as we went to the Vietnam and Korean memorials that we had to respect those who were there thinking about the loss of loved ones. Our students were wonderful and asked lots of questions of the park rangers and Vietnam veterans that we met there. Students were very emotional at the Korean Memorial, and Ms. Murray, Mrs. Ravksi and Margaret all explained different aspects of the memorial. We spent quite a while there.
As we climbed up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, students stood in awe marveling at its grandeur and beauty. Ms. Murray asked lots of questions about Lincoln before we arrived so we took this opportunity to reflect on Lincoln’s life and achievements. Down below you will see our group picture as we climbed down the steps of the memorial.
We visited the World War II memorial, and Ryan spoke about his great grandfather’s experiences, and I spoke about my mother-in-law’s evacuation out of London. We talked for a while about the considerable impact that WWII had on the world and also touched on the Holocaust. We went from there to the memorial to the nurses’ memorial and paid homage to the incredible contribution nurses made for the warring soldiers.
Right outside the American History Museum, we ate lunch and then toured the museum. The most popular exhibit for all the students seemed to be the one on the first ladies and their inaugural dresses! By this point in the day, all of the students were tired, so they also watched a lot of the History Channel’s short videos. I am guessing that was more about sitting down than anything else!
Currently, students are downstairs in the lobby watching a movie that David downloaded, a Spiderman movie that the students seemed excited about. We decided going out was not going to work. We are all just too tired!
For those of you who are used to last year’s blog written by students, we had anticipated them doing the same thing, but we are walking around 16,000 steps each day and are not in buses! That means our time to sit and write with students is limited, so at least for today, Rabbi Amanda is writing. Hopefully, that will change, but we have an ambitious itinerary, so no promises.
Rabbi Amanda, Ms. Murray and Mrs. Ravski
If you would like to see David's pictures, you can also follow this link: