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The HakPatsa

November 9, 2010

A HaKpasa is an open dialogue between the teenagers in order to get to the bottom of a problem that affects the entire group.  the problem here, 2 teenagers started an underground mafia with ‘soldiers’.  think of it like being someones ‘b****’ in prison.  and some of the teenagers did not feel safe anymore.

we brought all the kids together in the Common Room and told them that the HaKapsa has started. The rules were that if one disturbed the proceedings or left the room before the recess one would have to spend the weekend in Nirim and not be allowed to go home. pretty strict rules were enforced to ensure order and respect.

we started sunday evening but didnt go as long as i had thought or hoped. we had 2 sessions of about an hour or so each with a 15 minutes break in between. the first session was slow, laborous, without much cooperation. basically, in this session the moderators asked all the kids if they felt like they contributed or detracted from the group. most didnt care, but there were instances of openess amoung the answers.

the second session was much more productive. It was as if the kids wanted to talk! waiting to share their thoughts on what a group is and how they wanted to shape this group. but after about an hour, the principal of the boarding school, Boaz, (who was the one who really facilitated my emancipation to Nirim) decided that the group has matured enough for today and ended the sessions for sunday evening. when we got back to the staff room, the room was very divided and there was a heated (yet respectful) argument as to whether Boaz made the right call. Should he have seized the moment, rode the momentum and progressed forward because the kids were really starting to open up and participate/ contribute. Or did he make the right call, play it safe and keep the bigger picture in mind. this was a big achievement for the kids. to talk openly to one another really challenges their concept of friendship and with the bigger picture in mind… its a step in the right direction. I voiced my opinion that we really passed over an important opportunity and compromised critical momentum that we may not achieve the next day.

as well, and most importantly, we were afraid that the one kid that everyone else is afraid of will imtimidate the other teenagers and that will also kill the positive momentum. he did and we sort of lost it. Monday morning was ok… but not great… until one of the other teenagers arrived, late. during the conclusion discussion, we asked if he had anything to add. He said, that hes not afriad to stand up for himself, and that if he gets in over his head he will tell the staff on another teenager. Our white steed had arrived! the dissenter within the group had arrived and almost instantly, other people hopped on his bandwaggen and started pointing out wrongdoings that other teenagers had done.

was it a success… hard to tell.  with a ‘bigger picture perspective’ it was a great success.  but in terms of immediate impact, i’m not too sure.

What else is new here?  still hate soccer and im forced to play it once a week with the kids, kids still smoke like chimmneys, and instead of cold cuts everyday for lunch and sometimes dinner, its shnitzil!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    November 9, 2010 8:22 pm

    Hi Justin! Great pics!

    Shnitzil eh? Perhaps, you could get them to try pork schnitzel, german schnitzel , chicken schnitzel, veal schnitzeland! Who knew there were so many types of schnitzel? Not to be confused with Schviessensteak!

    Hope all is well!

    Love you!


    P.S. I finally got my “stuff” from Germay! 🙂

  2. Ann Sharpe permalink
    November 10, 2010 1:30 am

    Hi Justin,
    PHEW!!!!! Thanks for the update. I was almost holding my breath wondering what was going to happen. I agree with you, Boaz should have seized the moment, but maybe he is more experienced and knows better than to push the kids. Is there going to be another session?? What an experience!!!! Have things calmed down because of this session?
    Loved the pictures!!! Thanks for keeping us posted. We miss you lots but it still is an amazing opportunity for you!!!
    What foods are you missing the most. I guess by this time you have had enough shnitzil.
    Wishing you well, please keep us posted.
    Lots of love and hugs, Bubby Ann

  3. Tyler permalink
    November 10, 2010 3:10 pm

    Great pictures and cool story!

    Idea to solve the kids problem – check your facebook wall…

    Really enjoying all the posts Justin – keep on going!!!

  4. Auntee Sandee permalink
    November 14, 2010 9:35 pm

    Hmm – sounds like a teachable moment was passed by.
    Keep the snorkelling glasses and nose – might come in handy at a spontaneous costume party! Love the photos. Hugs, Mee

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