May 2011 Stint in Yeshiva High Schools

11 05 2011

Last night, I spent hours reviewing and logging over 300 Faces of Israel yeshiva high school surveys. The survey was brief (only 4 questions long) and I would like to share with you my three favorite responses to the question “If you learned something new in today’s Faces of Israel program, what did you find most interesting?”:

1- That Israel is trying to figure out what it wants to be and we should think about what a Jewish state means.  (The thoughtful answer)

2- That the director lives in an RV.  (The amusing answer)

3- You BORE me. I want my weekend already.  (The classic answer – You can’t fault this 10th grader for honesty)

Oh, high school. 🙂

Separately, two of the high school principals gave me the same feedback after my presentation.  They first told me that they were very happy with the content of the Faces of Israel program, and then recommended that I tell students more about our RV adventure in order to encourage and inspire them to “take risks” and “live unconventionally”.  One of them further explained that “most of our students just go through the system and don’t know that there are other options out there.  They should be exposed to more people like you.”

Woa!  I was expecting to tone down our adventure or omit it altogether for this audience.  Hearing the yeshivot‘s enthusiasm about our story was both surprising and refreshing.

Finally, an anecdote:  After my presentation yesterday at a Westchester area high school, two teachers walked to the front of the room where I stood and initiated a conversation.  They commended me on a job well done.  They then paused for a moment.  Following the pause, the teachers darted a quick look in each other’s direction.  One continued a bit hesitantly.  Can we ask you a question?  Sure, I said having no idea what would come next.  Another brief pause and then:  Were you on the Price is Right a couple of months ago?  We’re positive that we saw you on TV.

Amazing.  🙂

posted by ayo

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