Beyachad: A Celebration of Israeli and Filippino Culture

Beyachad.

It's a hebrew word, meaning "together" in Hebrew. Relationship Building is about bringing people together to find common ground while appreciating shared values. At the University of Southern California, that's just what our interns accomplished. In partnership with USC Hillel, SC Students For Israel, and Troy Philippines, David Project interns were successful in bringing the Jewish and Filipino communities together to learn about each other's cultures. 

Keziah Hidalgo, a student at the University of Southern California, spoke about why they chose the name Beyachad for this event. "We chose this name because it represents the essence of what we wanted this event to be; a way for us to celebrate our different cultures together. Although our cultures may be extremely different, containing different traditions, values, and practices, we as individuals are very similar because our cultures are an important part of our identity and lifestyles."

 Students who attended Beyachad experienced elements of both Israeli and Filipino culture. 

Students who attended Beyachad experienced elements of both Israeli and Filipino culture. 

Keziah mentioned that her personal connection and experiences with these cultures was a motivating factor for this event. "I, for one, am extremely proud to be a Filipino. I am very passionate about serving the Filipino community, both locally and internationally, and I love being able to share this passion with others." said Keziah. " By experiencing Israeli culture through The David Project's Israel Uncovered trip, I was able to see all the similarities between the two seemingly different cultures, and not only did it enhance what I love the most about Filipino culture, but also it helped develop a new appreciation and respect for Israelis."

Beyond simply bringing cultures together, Keziah saw how all the organizations sought to better the campus community by building genuine relationships. "Because these organizations have mutual goals, a cultural exchange between the two only made sense. They’re excited to celebrate their culture, we’re excited to celebrate our culture, and by coming together in this cultural immersion we can really see what each other has to offer." 

 Keziah hopes that future events like Beyachad will continue to strengthen relationships between both communities. 

Keziah hopes that future events like Beyachad will continue to strengthen relationships between both communities. 

As a former participant on Israel Uncovered, Keziah's biggest takeaway was a deep appreciation for the Israeli culture. In planning the event, she says her goal was to show just how similar both Israelis and Filipinos are when it comes to shared values. " I believe the main focus of the event is to provide members of both communities a glimpse of each culture and hopefully plant small seeds of the same mutual appreciation for the other culture. There are so many unique things that both the Philippines and Israel have to offer, and so much of it other cultures don’t really even know about."

Looking ahead, Keziah is certain that this exchange of cultures has had a tremendous impact. As she looks at relationships between these communities have progressed, she is confident that their genuine partnership will continue in the future."Prior to this event, very few Troy Philippines members were familiar with Judaism and Israel, and vice versa, which made it difficult to establish these relationships in the first place." Keziah said. "By learning more about each community, we can come to appreciate each other more and be more knowlegeable about all the cool things the other is doing on campus."

 

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