Teens Learn from Gvanim Fellow

On March 25, the North Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation’s (NPJTF) Leadership Council met with Gvanim fellow Lior Gross during the recent Gvanim trip to the Bay Area. Lior is a commander in the IDF, serving for the past 22 years. In the last four years he has been the commander of the Junior Command Preparatory School at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa, and has had a direct and encouraging approach to teen development.

Lior’s message at the meeting was less about his work with Gvanim, the Federation’s groundbreaking pluralism program, and more about giving. It was the depth of the message he delivered in less than 45 minutes that left a lasting impression on our teens and staff. He opened the discussion by asking our council members to explore why they give, what it means to them, and what they feel as a result of giving. He didn’t just ask our teens to reach inside to answer these questions, he gave of himself too. Lior talked about his own fears as he shared stories of jumping out of airplanes as a person with a fear of heights, saying “Get inside your fears, confront them, and solve them.”

What stood out the most was Lior’s message to our teen leaders about self-confidence and faith in their instincts. “If there is something you should do, and you know it’s your destiny…just believe you will do it, and you will do it!,” he said. This advice comes at a very special time in our board year, as teens gain momentum in their fundraising campaigns and begin to realize that they can change the world through their dedication and passion. “The only thing that makes you really happy is doing something your soul knows is the right thing to do,” Lior added.

As our guest closed his talk with the teens, he reminded us all that we cannot always be on the giving end of things. Inevitably there will always come a time in our lives when we will be on the receiving end of giving, and learning to accept is a gift to the giver too. “When you give, you are in control,” he explained. “When you get…you put your ego down and learn how to receive a kindness.” The truth is, our ability to accept help, kindnesses, and support opens up the opportunity for the giver to feel valuable, loved, and needed. Our NPJTF Leadership Council is so appreciative of this impactful visit, and the wisdom our guest shared will surely inspire us in the future.

Lior with the teens

To learn more about the North Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation, visit www.jewishteenfoundations.org or contact Caroline Poland at 650.349.1523 ext. 8303.

Categories: Community, Grantees, Israel, Teens


April 08, 2014