Sophie Maurer, 12, from Indianapolis, writes to us:
"When I was very young my parents joined a Partnership Program called Same Moon. That program connected us with an Israeli family that we are still in touch with today. When Efrat mentioned another opportunity, this time with One Family, I was very excited. Efrat facilitated our first conversation with Orit and her daughter, Choshen. Choshen and I found so much in common that we looked forward to chatting again. Now, we talk every day! I had the opportunity to meet her friends when she was walking around, or on the bus going to school. I really enjoyed talking to her friends, so I thought that it would be fun if I introduced my friends to her. I started with my camp friend, Risa. Choshen and Risa enjoyed each other from the start. The next day Risa shared that she talked to Choshen for twenty minutes-without me orchestrating it! I had the sense that I created a community between the three of us. I decided to expand our circle and introduced other friends on our next call and asked Choshen to do the same. Through Choshen’s friends I get a sense of what it’s like to grow up in Israel and I really appreciate the feeling of having friends in Israel. It is important to create a community in the diaspora and to be connected to Jews in Israel. We can learn about the differences in our respective homes and to feel connected to people you don’t see every day. Choshen and I plan to meet in Israel one summer. We’d like to create a program that makes the world a better place and connect different cultures in order to learn more about each other. Learning more about one another decreases anti-Semitism, bigotry, hate and judgement in general. Rather than perpetuating the bias of those around us, kids can form their own beliefs and observations by meeting kids whose experiences are different from their own."