Masa Poland - מסע פולין

“I know no other movement, other than the chalutzic movement, that had the courage to see things the way they are, the Jewish reality as it is. That was how we were educated in the Diaspora, in the Hechalutz chapter, in the youth movement – to strive to bring about change in the existing world order, both universal and Jewish.” ― Antek Zuckerman

In March, Workshop participants will embark on a week-long trip to Poland, where they learn about and visit many important historical sites from the Shoah. A large portion of this time is spent on learning about Jewish youth resistance and the role of youth movements during the Shoah. Both before and after their journey, seminars are run for the participants to prepare and gain historical background for what they will see, as well as to process the trip. Below is a sample schedule of the trip.

"...How did the world sit by and let this happen? How did these individuals get swept up in propaganda and hate, and how could so many other people turn their backs? This human tendency, to be bystanders, to only look out for ourselves, scares me so much. Because it wasn’t just a few people who tossed aside morality, who took our human ability to have choices and chose evil, or just didn’t choose anything; it was seemingly everyone. So the questions are: in a world that tells us we should be alone and independent, and encourages us not to look out for others, how do we fight the apathy within ourselves? 

During this whole journey in Poland, and today in Majdanek, it’s hard to come face to face with the evils that exist within humanity. I know it’s hard for me to accept that. What gives me hope and comfort, though, is the knowledge that it doesn’t have to be this way- it didn’t have to be this way. Because in addition to the tendency to be bystanders, we have something more powerful. We have the power to be active agents in or lives and to care deeply about others. And that’s what I think we’re building in our kvutzot this year."

-  Workshop 66 Participant

Closing Tekes (Ceremony) in Majdanak 

Closing Tekes (Ceremony) at the Warsaw Ghetto

"Something else that means a lot to me, especially this week in Poland, is the history of the movement. Dror was born out of the rebellion of young Jews who had a vision for society and had the power to act on it. This movement was conceived by young Jewish fighters who did not succumb to the racism, dehumanization, and cruelty of the Nazis. When people like Tzivia (Lubetkin) and Antek (Zuckerman)  were rounded up into ghettos, they did not let their movement die, but rather turned it into the fuel for a mass burning resistance – the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. These youth refused to be led like sheep to the slaughter. They held on to who they were and their vision for the world, finding strength in their kvutzah, finding humanity in Dror. In the words of Tzivia Lubetkin, “The movement’s goal had always been to educate a new kind of man, capable of enduring the most adverse conditions and difficult times while standing up for the emancipation of our people, of the Jew, of mankind. It was our movement education which gave us the strength to endure.”

-Workshop 66 Participant

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