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16000 students on their feet dancing and shouting at WE DAY
photo by Rhonda Spivak

photo by Rhonda Spivak

Dov Corne with members of the band Down with Webster in the press room at the MTS Centre
photo by rhonda Spivak

David the guitarist form Hedley who gave Dov his guitar pick
photo by Rhonda Spivak


by Dov Corne, with Editorial Comment by Rhonda Spivak, November 25, 2011

[Editor’s note: Dov Corne, a grade 7 student at the Gray Academy of Jewish Education was the youngest reporter (hands down) at We Day on Nov 23. That is a result of his own initiative. His mother, the Editor had never heard of such a thing as We Day,  but Dov came home and said he had not been chosen by his school to go (there were only a few students selected by each school) and he had to get there. He asked “Mom can I go as press”—can “you get me a ticket that way ?” He took me to the We Day website,, and began teaching me what it was all about. I can’t thank him enough for having done that—it was one of the most inspiring events I have ever been to---no exaggeration.  I said he could go as press if he agreed to write and the look on his face when he heard we got press passes was something else. To witness my child being inspired at We Day was an experience I will always treasure. We Day is at its very core an expression of the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam.  I will add a few observations to what Dov has written at the end of his report]
By Dov Corne, age 12,
We Day was an event held at the MTS Centre put on by Free The Children for 16000 kids from all over Manitoba.
It was an event where speakers, singers, entertainers, politicians, and activists  shared stories to convince  you to help out  to make the  world better.  It is an event that takes place in only five places in Canada. The five were Vancouver, Waterloo, Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal.
We Day is about realizing that anyone can make a change no matter how young and how small. We Day is to inspire the kids who one day will make  changes to reduce poverty,  build schools and give clean water to people  in the world who do not have it.  
Like we day on Facebook every like  equals a dollar.[Every time someone  likes  We Day on facebook a dollar will be donated by a sponsor  to Free The Children up to $1 million dollars]
One of the speakers was Spencer West. Spencer West is a man with no legs that said he would climb to the top of Mount Kilamanjaro using his hands only.  He talked about redefining the impossible. Many people would say it is impossible for a man with no legs to walk but it is possible.  If Spencer can climb Mount Everest, we can all do things we think are impossible.
Before Spencer Rick Hansen, who is in a wheel chair, spoke on the stage. As a child his dream was to be an athlete and participate in the Olympics. He talked about how when he became paralyzed from a spinal cord injury he never thought that he would be able to live his dream but he participated in the Paralympics in Holland.
Another speaker was Michel Chikwanine. He held up Posters with words to communicate with the crowd. He struggled through the Great War of Africa. He was forced into being a refugee at the age of 11.They abused him and forced him to shoot his best friend. We must make a change and stop kids from experiencing what he did.
At 12 years old Craig Keilburger founded Free the Children, an organization to raise money for less fortunate people. When he tried to get people to join him to make a change everyone said you are one person what can you do? He told us that even one person can make a change because if one joins him it makes two and the number will keep getting bigger. That was in 1996 and he has made a difference because just last year Free the Children raised millions of dollars to support children without education or clean water etc.
A story I remember was when Al Gore, who was Vice President of the United States of America,  spoke and he said that there was one game when basketball player Michael Jordan scored 67 points in one game. When the reporters interviewed the rookie player in the game he said he will remember this as the game where he and Michael Jordan scored 68 points combined.
We are the generation to make a change. 
The night before We Day I spoke to Bob Silver, Jewish community leader and co- owner of the Winnipeg Free Press and told him that the Winnipeg Jewish Review was going to report about WE DAY and that my son had made sure I got him a press pass so he could go. I was merely following his lead.
Silver  laughed at my son’s ingenuity (if you can’t get in through the front door, try the back door) and told me that it would be one of the most important events I would ever attend and once I saw the power of it, I would understand it.  Silver was speaking with excitement –with more than I have seen him ever before. And his analysis and observations were absolutely correct . Silver,Hartley Richardson and Mark Chipman correctly  understood that the best thing they could for their city’s future was to sponsor We DaY.
For three and a half solid hours, I was in a sea  awash with enthusiastic children with unbridled energy who were on their feet, clapping, dancing, cheering, electrified  by the idea of going out in the world to volunteer to make a positive change in their communities—both local and global.
The power of the WE, the collective working for the greater good, was contagious.  I think it was the equivalent of going to Tahrir Square, with all of the emotion and empowerment to effect social change to repair the world, but it had no violence , no excesses—all of the energy was harnessed towards positive purposes only. We Day is revolutionary  in the fullest sense of the world—it unleashes a social revolution for change, justice, equality.
When you see We Day up close, you can understand how it is that these children leave with the motivation to go out into their communities and volunteer and fundraise for causes to repair the world—The statistic I left with is that the effect of investing 3.5 hours with 16000 children at We Day will result in 1.7 million hours of volunteer work.
Is We Day something a Jewish community newspaper should report on? Yes. Not only because one of the leading three philanthropists who sponsored the event here is a leader of the Jewish community but because We Day is a manifestation of Jewish values at its very core.
There are few values that We Day rests on that accord fully wi
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.