Today’s blog post was written by Matt Perzow, a Yahel Social Change Fellow living, learning and volunteering for 9 months in Lod, Israel.
Matt at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem
I am very fortunate that I have the chance to explore what it means to be a Yahel Social Change Fellow.
This past spring my friend suggested I look into applying because in his eyes it seemed to be the kind of thing I would be interested in. He was right. After some investigation, it seemed to me that the fellowship was well thought out, worked with impressive non-profits on the ground, and offered me a chance to challenge and grow. I thought, and still do, that the fellowship would do me good and allow me to do good for others with all my limitations. Now I am where I wanted to be, in Lod, a city of 8000 years, and I am allowed to question without compelling myself to answer.
Where am I?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Matt moderating a panel of experts at Yahel's screening of 'City of Ghosts,' run in collaboration with the Lod Social Film Festival
1) What is Israel? Is it Tel Aviv? Is it the Holy City? The Holy Sites? Is it The Occupation? Is it Our 2000 year old hope? Is it Lod? Is it trite to say it is all those things? Is it more some things than others? If so, which and for whom? What are the fault lines?
2) Am I at fault? Am I a man among women? Am I white? Am I a Jew? From Russia and Germany? Or from Vancouver, Canada? Am I healthy or am I ill? Am I at home, among friends, or a stranger in a stranger land? Am I a friend or an enemy? Am I wicked or holy? If I am sometimes wicked and sometimes holy, what right do I have to impose my will on others? What right do others have to impose their wills on me? Do I want to be envied or loved? Am I desired, if so, in what ways? By whom? Am I a sinner? Do I contain multitudes? Do I say one thing and do another? Do I repeat myself? Am I growing?
3) Am I here to learn? To help? To serve? To evade? To move or be moved? To make Aliyah or to return? Am I here to colonize and impose? Do I have any use at all? Will I be in conflict, solve conflicts, or watch as The Conflict goes on and on? Am I here to make manifest my destiny or to be free on an open winding road?
God only knows...
Matt with the Lod based Yahel Fellows