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Jewish Life and Learning

Jewish life and learning at Genesis revolves around a three-part course designed to focus on group dynamics, community building, reflective learning, and personal expression.  In this part of the program, you will have opportunities to actively encounter the people in your diverse community of peers and staff, explore familiar and new ideas together from multiple perspectives, as well as challenge yourself to examine your beliefs,  express your values, and begin or continue to clarify who you are and who you want to be, at Genesis and beyond.





I. Creating an Intentional Community

At Genesis we believe that creating intentional community includes learning about the individuals who have come to Genesis, as well as their potential of coming together as a community. We won’t simply ‘break the ice.’  We will dive in to form relationships, explore our community and the potential we have together, and prepare to expand our horizons over the four weeks.  Creating community does not end in the first week, rather continues as the community grows, develops, lives together, and engages together in Jewish life and celebration, service work beyond our campus community, recreational and social activities, and continued learning. 

Explore what it means to be part of a dynamic, diverse Jewish community. Genesis sets aside time to ask questions and deepen your awareness of what "community" is all about, as well as engaging with your peers around different ways each person connects with Judaism.  In this way, you can learn more about your own beliefs and practices as you encounter others.

Ask yourself:  

  • What does it mean to be a diverse community?
  • Who are we as a community of diverse teens and educators?
  • What is involved in building a community of Jews from different places and perspectives?
  • What is my place in the Genesis community? In the larger Jewish community? In society?
  • How can I take what we discover this summer at Genesis back to our homes?

II: Expeditions

Everything we do is a mirror of who we are. Expeditions we will examine our own reflections in action, as we learn, envision and create together. We will focus on the beliefs and commitments of the members of the Genesis community, which will serve as our context for learning about individual identity, all kinds of diversity, and relationships at Genesis and in the wider society.  The learning and direction of the expedition will reflect your questions and interests, together with the guidance and preparation of the educators.  The expeditions will culminate in the creation of a project based in an authentic real-world experience.  These will be shared with others at Genesis and perhaps beyond.  Topics and descriptions of the specific expeditions offered this summer will be sent to the participants in June as topics change summer to summer.  You will get to choose which expedition appeals to you most.  Each participant will experience one expedition.

III: Individual Exploration

During the last week or so of Genesis, the focus of our exploration is on the individual participants themselves.  Each member of the community will have an opportunity to raise a question, seek out an answer, and share it with the others in a supportive and collaborative environment.