My name is Sofie Tepperman. I am a junior at Randolph High School in Randolph, New Jersey.
Last month, the Diller communities from Baltimore, Boston, Greater MetroWest and Philadelphia came together for a Shabbaton at Camp Zeke. Normally, we would share an experience with the fellows from our partnership city in Rishon LeZion, but they weren’t able to visit us due to the pandemic. Instead, our Diller coordinators planned an alternative experience for us. Our cohort in GMW is such a fun and close-knit community and I was very excited to spread that New Jersey energy to the other cohorts.
We participated in icebreakers and activities during our first night together and I immediately bonded with a few fellows from the other Diller communities. The staff was very warm and welcoming, which helped create a positive and inclusive atmosphere. On Friday, we participated in various community service projects. We spent the weekend engaged in activities and conversations that helped us explore our Jewish identities and learn about Jewish life and practice in other communities.
I think that this experience was valuable because it provided us with connections to other Diller communities that are closer to home. Knowing that these other cohorts are going to be in Israel with us makes me even more excited to take our journey abroad and explore Israel together.