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B’Nai Jeshurun in the DR

 

School Group Returns for Fifth Program with VISIONS

B’Nai Jeshurun in the DR

 

School Group Returns for Fifth Program with VISIONS

A B’nai Jeshurun group consisting of 21 teenagers and four adults recently returned from a VISIONS Custom Program in the Dominican Republic. They completed 25 hours of community service within a 7-day adventure in the community of Naranjo.

Wielding pickaxes, shovels, buckets and wheelbarrows, the B’nai Jeshurun helped with renovations of the Paconi Preschool. They leveled floors, built entrance columns and applied a smooth exterior finish to the recent additions. This expanded on the work of a VISIONS trip last summer and allowed the new rooms to be used by the overflowing high school immediately. In the free time, they took in cultural sites, engaged with the local community and reflected on what each day meant to them. The B’nai Jeshurun culminated their time in the DR by painting a 1 by 2 meter mural for the preschool, a symbol of cross-cultural connection.

“Moving outside the normal rhythm of our daily existence and comforts, doing the physical work, building relationships with the local community and creating the space and time to process the experience, gain insight, and confront our own sense of agency, I believe, woke this incredible group of 21 teenagers up in new ways,” Rabbi Felicia Sol wrote in her weekly community correspondence. “Their hearts opened. They felt the pain and the injustice; they felt gratitude, agitation, and empathy. Their portals were open.”

Since 2010, VISIONS has organized Custom Programs for the B’nai Jeshurun of New York City, a synagogue with a proud history of social justice. In addition to summer programs, VISIONS runs high quality, customized volunteer travel programs for schools, clubs and other groups of people who want to travel with the spirit of community service, cultural immersion and adventure. The Custom Programs can take place at any VISIONS program location, any time of year and are open to all ages and groups.

Explore the Dominican Republic with VISIONS

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