Reflections on Senior Journey: New Orleans

Shoshana Edelman '14
While on the senior journey to New Orleans I had the opportunity to hear many people share their stories and discuss with us their history and views on the world.
Each person we talked to was genuine and passionate and had a unique story to tell. This experience culminated for me when we did our oral histories. My group was interviewing Mama Jamila who told us about growing up in New Orleans with her close-knit extended family. As the matriarch of the family she does her best to preserve these bonds and ensure family unity in the future. She then discussed with us her views on race and racism in America. It was fascinating to hear from her as someone who grew up in the segregated south. She said that while she is happy with advancements in race relations she cautions against forgetting the past; only when we remember the past can we hope to make any progress. I really enjoyed the experience because it allowed me to see the world from the perspective of someone with a radically different set of experiences than me, a value that extended into other aspects of our journey. Aside from the oral histories we also toured the lower ninth ward, volunteered with various organizations, walked through the bayous and explored the French quarter. 
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The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.