Contributed by Danny Charney
Bright and early, the Diller Teen Fellows Cohort 20 gathered back in the city for workshop #6, but with a twist! A new location, a bright and sun centered loft in the middle of Potrero Hill. We were all a little sleepy, because of the early start time of the workshop, but we were excited to get things rolling (literally- as in sushi rolling!).
We started off by having a check in about our week, to reconnect and to breathe a little bit on this peaceful Sunday morning. Lara then proceeded to ask us a question to wake us up and to get our brains to start moving.
She asked, “How do our values translate into goals, and how can goals shape our lives?” I was perplexed by this question, and really thought about my values and how they relate to my goals. After a thoughtful discussion, Lara led us into a talk on a statement by a prominent Israeli Politician, Yair Lapid. We talked all about the current political climate here in the USA, and why dialogue is necessary for a balanced view. After both of those thoughtful conversations, Lara and Aaron gave us some time to work in our Self-Management Shabbaton committees, and reminded us that later in the workshop, we would be having an influential guest speaker, and a spectacular cooking demonstration. I for one was super excited!
After the productive work in our committees, we gathered back together, and Lara introduced our guest speaker for today, Alex Sandrovosky from L’chaim foods. He introduced himself and told us a little tidbit about his life and his idea for his catering/sushi company. He explained to us his mission and goal for his company, “to sustain a kosher catering business, while taking meat out of the equation, in order to make a larger impact in the Bay Area community.” He then gave us some advice that he said to take with open ears. He said, in his opinion, “Even if you are very successful in life, you may also have some sadness.” A lot of the members in the cohort had differing opinions on his view. I for one, thought this was a very difficult view to comprehend. I look at the meaning of success as different for each individual person and for some, sadness was not part of that journey, so I somewhat disagreed with his opinion. After some deep conversation we had a surprise, we were making sushi! We all went into the kitchen, and Alex and his assistant showed us the art of making sushi. It was super exciting and I can now say, I somewhat am a sushi master!
After making the sushi, we all went back and thanked Alex for the insightful lesson. We then processed all the information we just learned and debriefed. Lara then talked about how this relates to our Shabbaton that was coming up later in the month, and how we should all have a goal, vision, and mission, to make this Shabbaton meaningful and empowering.
Afterwards, we took some time to write in our journals about this wonderful experience we just had. Before it was time to part ways, and get some sleep, Lara had an announcement. She was unfortunately leaving the Diller program as a coordinator. We were all devastated, but we ultimately knew that the friendships we made with her are going to be kept for life. She promised us that a new coordinator, who is just as amazing as her would be filling her shoes. We all then hurried over to her and gave her the biggest hugs. Fundamentally this was a profound workshop that was influential in our Diller journey, to help us become better leaders, and to get us fellows to start thinking about our life's mission, vision, and goal.
I for one am excited to continue this journey and make the most of our time left with Lara as meaningful and joyous!