Springboard Blog

Springboard Blog

A Window into Diller Teen Fellows: by Abbey Finn

 Permanent link

The Diller Teen Fellows program is a year-long fellowship rooted in six core experiences; leadership, Jewish identity, Israel, Tikkun Olam, pluralism, and Jewish peoplehood. As a fellow this past year, I’ve grown tremendously through the program and have formed invaluable connections to each of these values.  I’ve taken on leadership roles and been involved in multiple Jewish organizations throughout high school, and because of this, I can say with certainty that Diller is amazingly unique. So far this year, we’ve had monthly workshops and two shabbatonim. We’re looking forward to a 10-day experience with our partner region in Israel when they visit Chicago, and to a three-week Israel trip in the summer. Diller is different from other programs in how pluralistic and diverse it is. Our cohort has fellows from different areas, schools, and levels of observance. We’ve used our differences to teach one another about our individual experiences as Jewish teens, and how that has had an influence on us and our community. We’ve been forming friendships with our Israeli counterparts and can’t wait to learn and grow as Jewish leaders with other Diller teens from all over the world. 

          Besides forming incredible friendships and creating lasting memories with the other fellows and staff, I’ve been able to partake in awesome programming. Some of my favorites include bonding as a cohort with a mock bar-mitzvah, giving back to the community by volunteering at the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation, reading about and discussing Jewish culture around the world, and hearing from a Holocaust survivor and a Jewish congressman. Our last shabbaton was based on leadership, and we had the opportunity to split off into different committees and plan the entire weekend. My committee brought in two speakers and led a program focused on our passions. It was a great way to work on leadership skills in preparation for planning a similar week with our Israeli counterparts when we go to Israel. During this shabbaton, we also took time to create an impactful Shabbat experience and get to know one another on a deeper level. While each workshop we have is focused on a different aspect of the program, the workshops all connect to help shape fellows into prominent Jewish intellectuals and role models. 

          The Diller Teen Fellows program has transformed my year. It’s challenged perceptions I thought I knew, given me connections to remarkable Jewish communities around the world, and introduced me to some of my best friends. If you want to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, apply to be a part of Cohort 7! I promise that you won’t regret it. There’s a specific quote that comes to mind when I think of Diller. “From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it”. While I attempted to provide a description, my experiences differ from others. The only way to grasp the wonders of Diller is to experience it for yourself. 

For more information and registration click here


5 Ways to Have the Best Purim Ever

 Permanent link

Purim Mask

Purim is here! The Jewish holiday of Purim (best recognized as the holiday where we dress up and eat delicious triangular cookies called hamentashen) takes place during the Hebrew month of Adar. Did you know that during Adar it’s actually a commandment to be happy?  Below we offer some suggestions to increase your happiness this Purim.

  1. Make a wacky new kind of Hamantaschen this year. While I’m sure many of us have enjoyed some decadent Hamantaschen during one Purim celebration or another, here are some fun unique recipes for you to try this year! Bake them, eat them, share them, however you want to spread the Purim joy is encouraged!
  2. Take your costume to the next level and get some inspiration from last years top Purim costumes
  3. Sick and tired of having the same old Grogger for Purim? Check out this fun article on how to make and decorate your own Grogger this Purim! 
  4. Want to do something nice for your friends or family? Purim is a perfect time to do just that! Mishloach Manot are baskets of food, drinks, or other treats delivered to family or friends on Purim. Take this opportunity to send your loved ones some Mishloach Manot.  
  5. Check out our Instagram story where we ask ‘What Makes You Happy’ and will be sharing your responses throughout the day on Purim/Thursday! 

My Hebrew Story by Glenbrook North Hebrew Ambassador

 Permanent link

Hebrew Word 2

Since starting high school, Hebrew has become a major part of my life. Before freshman year, I was not aware of how much I could enjoy taking a language class. I decided to take Hebrew because I had heard fantastic things about Josh Morrell, the teacher at Glenbrook North and I also heard that it was overall a great class. I can definitely see Hebrew benefiting my future because I plan to visit Israel many times later in my life. Additionally, knowing conversational Hebrew will allow me to communicate easily with the people around me. Learning Hebrew will also impact my future because I plan to take Hebrew in college, therefore I will be well prepared. 

Others should take Hebrew because even though learning a new language can be challenging, it can also be very enjoyable. Hebrew is a class that I always look forward to attending because of the connection I have with my classmates. There is a strong sense of community in the Hebrew classroom that is hard to find in other classes. Taking Hebrew at school has increased my appreciation for the language.  

When I am at Temple or reciting a prayer at home, I have a completely different perspective and understanding because of my experience taking Hebrew. My view of the Hebrew language is significantly more positive now that I have learned more conversational Hebrew.  I am thankful that I decided to take Hebrew. It has been such an enjoyable experience for me and I believe that all students can benefit from taking Hebrew at their high school.