Thursday, October 28, 2010

The First Encounter and Impression

Shalom all beautiful people. My name is Breny Aceituno, I am the newest addition to the Ethiopian National Project and I am thrilled to be part of this project. Though my enthusiasm about interning for such an organization was apparent before, it was not until I had my first encounter with the community that really allowed me to see what a great project this is and how much I will learn from it. I was given the opportunity to visit the ENP youth Outreach Center in Petach Tikva
together with participants on the Jewish Federations of North America
"Mission Possible" trip to Israel here and there was no way I was going, and there was no way I was going to pass such an opportunity up, so as soon as I received the most pleasant email of invitation I contained my excitement and got ready for my new adventure.
Meeting Grace was my first impression of the whole project and it was a pleasure within itself. But it was while on the road to the outskirts of Jerusalem that I was able to hear about the organization’s aims and development so far. I will call this the theory of ENP. This theory basically states that a partnership with the Ethiopian communities will not only aid future generations of the Ethiopian communities to success in Israel but also aid Israel to gain success as a nation of many faces. A theory of mutual aid, perhaps. The practice of ENP, however, was getting to the site and seeing the community alive and moving; truly the beauty of the project. Kids running around, dancing, playing, singing, learning and simply being the beautiful Israel that the future holds. Both the theory and practice are gracefully executed by people like Grace and the rest of the ENP family and what’s more amazing is that the theory and practice of ENP do not seem to stray away or come into conflict, rather they are intertwined and cannot function with out one another. This became very clear to me when I spoke to the kids of Petach Tikva. All of them are very bright and according to the theory of ENP can achieve great success in Israel if given the right opportunities. Yet, their consciousness to the realities of Israel and its affect on the Ethiopian community is beyond amazing and it is what is most encouraged by the practice of ENP. From talks about sports to talks about racism and Politics around the world, the kids are very knowledgable and aware of their surroundings. And still, when they did not know of something, they were not afraid to ask and learn. This alone is enough to get such a project like ENP to develop and excell but the partnership that ENP has established with the Ethiopian communities is what will propel the Ethiopian community to become successful in Israel. I have no doubt in my mind that the children will be able to succeed if the opportunities are given to them and I am so happy to know that organizations like ENP are willing interact and partner with such communities so that this can be made possible. This visit was one that I will not forget and moreover it has truly left me with the feeling of great admiration. I look forward to the time I will spend interacting and working with such communities and I also hope I can learn to sing and dance like them too. :)