Mind, Body and Soul

October 7, 2013 by Lana Lachyani
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Young Jewish adults and Israel Programs alumni have participated in the inaugural Mind, Body, Soul series in Melbourne.

Sasha Klyachkina, Gary Samowitz, Bram Presser and Manny Waks

Sasha Klyachkina, Gary Samowitz, Bram Presser and Manny Waks

Presented by ZFA Israel Programs as an alternative form of reflection during the high holy days, the series presented three different events for young adults.

The first session, “Mind” presented a thought-provoking panel discussion on ‘Who is the Jew in You?’ The panel featured Gary Samowitz (CEO of Jewish Aid Australia), Bram Presser (Yidcore’s ex-Punk rocker), Manny Waks (CEO of Tzeddek) and Sasha Klyachkina (ZFA Shlicha for the Russian Speaking Community).



Each panellist shared their own personal Jewish journey and ever-evolving understanding of their Jewish identity. The sentiments were followed by an intimate conversation as audience members shared their own stories and unique backgrounds.

AUJS Birthright alumna Gabriella Oberman said: “The event was great because it presented mixed Jewish voices which appealed to a non-traditional and non-conservative crowd. It was good to have something beyond the mainstream.”

The second session ‘Body” was hugely popular with Avi Yemeni and his team at IDF Training Krav Maga teaching the basics of Krav Maga. The participants were also treated to a real-life experience with laser lights.

Rebecca Davis, Israel Programs Follow-Up Coordinator said: “It was great to see the same people who were so deeply pondering all aspects of the Jewishness in the last session, let loose and release some of their frustrations on the punching bag!”

The final component of the series, ‘Soul’ was a discussion about Kabbalah and Meditation, hosted by Rabbi Daniel Rabin. Held at the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia, young adults lounged on beanbags and enjoyed chocolates as they reflected upon the spiritual side of their Jewish identity.

AUJS Achshav alumna Louise Goldwater said, “It made me think about the different aspects of Judaism and realise that you can’t just be satisfied with the status quo, you should always be searching for something more.”

The series attracted over 60 attendees, and was followed by a very successful Sukkot Party on Tuesday 24 September.

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