MOTL 2017 appeal

October 31, 2016 by Sam Koslowski
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The March of the Living has launched its 2017 appeal and a madrich who participated in the 2016 MOTL writes of next year’s march and what it means…

MOTL 2016

MOTL 2016

Sam Koslowski writes: “Jewish ‘millennials’ are faced with a troubling future. It is troubling not because of the number of socio-political conditions that face Europe, and worryingly remind many of the same historical conditions that led to the outbreak of World War II in 1939. It is troubling because of one word in Rabbi Sacks’ quote above – living. Soon, it will be the primary responsibility of today’s teenagers to shape, protect and preserve Jewish contemporary history.

This is ultimately, why March of the Living is as important a program now than it has been at any other point in the program’s young history. MOTL is a 16 day trip that has two core components: 1) to take 16-17 year old students to Poland to participate in the Yom HaShoah memorial ceremony, and engage in a comprehensive study of pre-war Jewry, the Holocaust, and the resurgence of Jewish life in Poland today; 2) to travel to Israel to experience Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmauut, as well as feel and understand the magnificence of Israel today.

Together, these two components form the most incredible, irreplaceable narrative. We constantly challenge the students to think about the plethora of humanist dilemmas that emerge from the lessons and events of the Shoah. They come back not only as young Jewish adults that carry the flame of memory of the Shoah, but as wiser leaders, more compassionate community members, and philosophically enriched individuals.

MOTL is an empowering experience for Jewish youth that sets the tone for increased community activity, Israel advocacy and anti-defamation activity back home for years to come. March of the Living alumni have also made important social contributions to the community at large, such as assisting the homeless, combating the ongoing genocide in Darfur, volunteering at home or abroad in various worthy humanitarian efforts, and working diligently to combat prejudice and hatred of every kind.

March of the Living is a journey filled with substantially profound moments. Moments in which we engage all our senses. Moments in which we feel unknown sorrow, compassion, anger, hope, joy and pride. Moments of unique connection to history, family, religion, culture and consciousness. Once the dust settles on those moments and feelings, they become an indispensable membership to, as Rabbi Sacks discusses, the living memory of the Shoah and the commitment to trying to make a difference.

On the 6th of November, March of the Living – “Feeling the Jewish Journey” will be appealing to the community for donations in order to make this unique educational experience more financially accessible for students and their families.

Our campaign aims to raise $150,000!! Thanks to extremely generous matching donors, every donation goes 4 times as far – yes, each individual donation will be quadrupled! However, the campaign only lasts 24 hours; it’s All or Nothing. If the goal is not reached in the 24 hr timeframe, all donations will be returned.

I strongly urge you to get behind this campaign (follow the link – and help us reach our goal. Please assist us in continuing to educate and enrich our teenagers as to our shared heritage; our communal bonds and our challenges. Assist us in enabling our younger generation to ‘feel the Jewish journey’. It’s our story. It’s our living story.

“If there is one thing I and my contemporaries did not expect, it was that antisemitism would reappear in Europe within living memory of the Holocaust.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, October 6, 2016.

Sam Koslowski, MOTL 2016 Madrich

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