Perlman Leadership Council takes on Washington, DC!

Blog post contributed by Cary Block, Tulane Student; Assistant Athletics Director; Member: Perlman Leadership Council

Last month Annika Seiden, Kayla Sullivan, Jess Beris, Debra Feldman and I gathered in Washington D.C. to meet with Perlman’s full-time team for a weekend of reflection and fun while discussing ways we could positively impact camp this summer as the Perlman Leadership Council (PLC). The weekend started on a familiar note as the five of us, along with Rachel, Jason, Candice and Abe headed over to Sixth and I Historic Synagogue for a Friday night Shabbat service and dinner. A non-denominational, non-membership, non-traditional Jewish synagogue, Sixth and I was welcoming toward everyone at the service, encouraging audience participation and lightening the mood by asking the out-of-towners to talk about where they were from and why they came to Sixth and I. It was a wonderful service that everyone seemed to enjoy. It was a good model for how to strongly unite a congregation. After, we walked around D.C. discussing what it means to be a Jewish role model and how we can be Jewish role models at camp.

Saturday began with breakfast in downtown D.C. before a day full of walking and exploring the city. We went to the Hirshhorn Museum where we spent some time reflecting on the transformative moments of our life, pertaining both to Judaism and not, while taking in the magnificent artwork displayed throughout the museum. After a brief snack right by the White House, we went on a guided tour of Arlington National Cemetery in nearby Northern Virginia. We visited graves of brave Jews who courageously served the U.S. Learning the stories of these brave people, including Moses Ezekiel and Judith Resnick was inspiring and further highlighted the importance of being a Jewish role model in our everyday lives. The valiance displayed by the heroes resting at Arlington Cemetery served as a reminder that we, as Jewish role models, can positively impact the lives of those around us with effort and motivation. We then gathered at Candice’s house for dinner that night, followed by a campfire and s’mores where we discussed our goals for the summer and how we can effectively go about achieving said goals.

The last stop of the weekend was at Rachel’s house for Sunday morning bagels. Perlman parent Rebecca Kotok helped us to become multicultural navigators; a skill that will allow us to relate to others, especially campers. Perlman is a VERY special place for all of us in the PLC. We are going to go above and beyond this summer so everyone we work with leaves with smiles on their face, wanting to come back to camp every summer!

On a personal note, knowing my time at Perlman is nearing an end after a decade of making irreplaceable friends and memories, there is nothing I want more than to leave camp knowing next summer is going to be the best yet. After our transformative weekend, we feel confident in helping camp as it continues to be a special place for so many campers and staff.