July 31, 2014 / 4th of Av, 5774
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12/29/2011
My Initiation into Prozdor

created at: 2011-12-28Hello, my name is David Micley and I am the new Director of Recruitment and Admissions at Prozdor. This past weekend I chaperoned the Pirkei Dorot trip to New York City with twenty-nine Prozdor students and thirty-seven of their peers from the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa, the perfect opportunity for me to meet Prozdor students and get a feel for what Prozdor is all about. 

The experience did not disappoint. With a great group of kids and a jam-packed itinerary, I had an incredible weekend. From cracking jokes in the Central Park Zoo to sharing the incredible view from the top of Rockefeller Center, I thoroughly enjoyed spending my weekend with this group of Jewish teens that I just met. At times, I was having so much fun, I couldn’t believe I was actually on the job. 

But it was on the bus ride home that I truly discovered the incredible character of these Prozdor kids. With only fifty miles to go to Hebrew College, on a cold and windy Christmas evening, our bus broke down, forcing us to pull over and stop in an abandoned lot on the side of the Massachusetts Turnpike. Rather than instigating panic and despair, the bus breakdown was actually one of those fortunate misfortunes that brought about a spontaneous bonding experience.  Indeed, the kids on the bus could have reacted to this predicament in a variety of ways. They could have complained about the cold weather. They could have whined about being stuck in an abandoned parking lot with no bathrooms. They could have protested that it was late and all we had available to eat was MORE bagels. But they didn’t do any of that. Rather, these Prozdor kids made the impressive decision to turn this setback into one of the most memorable and exciting parts of the whole weekend. Instead of kvetching about the cold, they ran laps in packs together around the parking lot to stay warm. Rather than grumbling about the lack of bathrooms, they ventured out to the woods to relieve themselves in an intimate setting with Mother Nature. As opposed to making a fuss about how they would miss dinner, they proactively organized carpools amongst themselves so that with the help of a few key parents willing to make the trip to Exit 11, all the kids got home as safely and quickly as possible. Going above and beyond the call of duty, these kids made sure the bus was extra clean, said a special thank you to Dennis the Driver, and took a group picture in which they were literally cheering the words: “Bus Breakdown 2011.”

Circumstances of challenge and discomfort often bring out one’s true colors, and the excellence of these Prozdor students revealed by this bus breakdown was nothing short of extraordinary. In short, through this opportune accident, I was introduced to who these Prozdor kids really are, and I discovered a crew of responsible, pro-active, creative, energetic, and hilarious Jewish teenagers. I gotta say, I’m thrilled to be on board. 

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