Check out pictures and videos from the Olami Mentorship Summit 2023 in Spain!
See what happens when 1000 people tour around spain
Day 1: Opening
Mentees began to arrive at the mega Beatriz hotel in Toledo. For close to five hours there was a steady stream of delegates arriving to upbeat music and our warm and welcoming staff. It was incredible to hear the disparity of cultures as delegates communicated in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian and of course Hebrew! Delegates then headed to the massive dining room for an internationally themed dinner complete with cuisine representing the many different participant locales.
They then headed to the hotel theater for the Opening Ceremony. This was followed by keynote welcome speeches, among them a powerful charge by Chassidic acting NY Supreme Court judge; Ruchie Freier. The theme for the Summit was then introduced by a professional play replete with world-class actors and live music. Finally, students were divided into smaller pods and sat in circles on the terrace encircling the pool to discuss their personal Summit goals.
Day 2: Segovia
After a massive breakfast, delegates headed to the theater for their daily framing, led by world-renowned British historian R. Aubrey Hersh. He gave them the background to Spanish Jewish history and Segovia, where they would visit later that day.
They then headed directly into workshops and discussions with world-class educators such as Charlie Harary, R. Akiva Tatz, Adina Stilerman, Yoni Eliztur and R. Michael Bengio. As soon as the education concluded, delegates all headed to Old Segovia. As they walked off the buses they were immediately struck by the thousand year old aqueduct above their heads. They then visited the home of Avraham Senor, a 15th century Spanish Jewish leader and Rabbi and they were treated to a live skit discussion between the Abarbanel and Avraham Senor about conversion vs. expulsion. Students then had the opportunity to learn with R. Aubrey Hirsch in the courtyard of the Ababanel’s Synagogue, experience a delegate-led skit in the Plaza Mayor and finally digest and discuss what they had seen in their own pods.
Delegates then headed back to the hotel for dinner and a late-night team building activity.
Day 3: Madrid
Breakfast, morning orientation with R.Hersh, powerful learning sessions and then once again onto buses for a Madrid experience; the Royal Palace, student-run skits about the tension of the inquisition, singing in the magnificent Madrid Plaza Mayor whose cobblestones are soaked with Jewish blood and whose walls echo the cries of shema yisrael.
Finally students experienced a live reenactment of a Converso’s conviction and walked in silence in the very path that martyrs were taken to be burnt.
The day was not nearly over as the guys were shuttled to a massive sports complex for a barbecue dinner, swimming, an Olami world cup, ziplining and much more. Meanwhile girls returned to the hotel for a ladies spa night with an original “kululam” song experience.
Day 4: Mentorship day
Another massive breakfast and morning theater pump-up. Then directly to an expanded morning of learning, lunch, keynotes with Israeli Members of Parliament and global business leaders.
This was followed by global shark-tank presentations on upgrading local mentorship all competing for a $25k prize to be used to build mentorship locally. 30 chapters from around the world took part.
Then off to an outdoor session in Old Toledo overlooking breathtaking scenery. Close to 1200 people in all sat and learnt in groups in what was arguably the largest gathering of Jews studying Torah in Spain in over 500 years! Then all students had to do was turn around to see a massive T-shaped stage with a huge live band and none other than music legend Yaakov Shwekey who pulled off the concert of a lifetime!! The day concluded with a second late-night poolside dinner.