On Monday, April 4, 2022, Ellen Renee Adams, Sara Rosenbaum and I head to Poland as part of a fly-in with the Jewish Federations of North America. It’s a quick trip — we arrive in Warsaw at about 11:45am local time Tuesday and depart at 6am Thursday. My goal is to blog about what we see and learn in as real-time as I can, sharing our journey and thoughts with you.
We will join 25 others from around the USA. There are folks from New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, and New Haven (but not New Mexico or New Hampshire — see what I did there?). I see a few from Omaha, Flint, Utah, and Oklahoma. I’m looking forward to meeting all these people and sharing this experience with them.
We received the itinerary a few days ago. I don’t think I’m supposed to post the entire thing verbatim on the internet, but trust me — it’s packed. We’ll meet with refugees on their way to Israel, hear from the Israeli Ambassador to Poland, the Chief Rabbi of Poland, and the Executive Director of Hillel Warsaw. On Wednesday we’ll travel to the Ukraine border. It looks like professionals from the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel will be with us almost every step of the way.
Friends have been asking me if I’m excited to be on this trip. I am, but it’s a different kind of excitement. It’s not like how excited I get when I’m going to a sporting event or a concert or a family vacation. I’m “excited” — if that’s even the right word, and it’s probably not — to see first-hand the circumstances and injustices Ukrainians are facing through no fault of their own. I’m “excited” to learn up close about the courageous relief efforts of those who are committed to helping others who desperately need it. I am hoping to see and hear enough during our short stay that I can help tell their story, and make a difference, when I return home.
Finally, I fully recognize that the purpose and substance of this trip is as serious as they come. That said, I may go off on tangents in some posts because, like, have you met me? 😃 Anyhooo, please check back periodically for more posts, and thanks for allowing me to share my trip with you.