Wow! It’s amazing how fast the year came and went! It seems like we were just pulling out our sweaters, and now the promise of summer break is upon us.

But to be honest, “summer break” has never made much sense to me. Yeah, it’s a break from all the work and stress of the academic year — but sometimes all the work of the school year feels like a break from the “real work” we accomplish during the warm months.

You know what work I’m talking about — all the travels, adventures, swimming and campfires — the good times. Summertime is when we do the deep work of friendship. The deep work of sleep. The deep work of reading cheap novels beside the ocean.

This summer, many of us are headed to big cities and important internships, and many to exciting research facilities. We’ll take advantage of the coming months to add bold lines to our growing resumes.

But let’s not forget that “getting ahead” is a function of creativity just as much as it is a function of the right internships. And creativity, according to recent studies, is the product of long showers, walks and free time.

The summertime is an extended Shabbat — a time to look inward, to nourish the soul, to watch the sunset and to toast our skin in the sunshine.

In the great scheme of life, the work of summertime can seem like the most essential, inspirational work. Summer is a more expansive time, best suited for discovering our deepest beliefs and getting in touch with our core values.

So we at the Jewish Renaissance Project present the JRP Summertime Challenge: For every line you add to your resume in the category of “Internships and Work Experience,” try and add a line in that other, most important of resume categories: “Adventure and Self-Exploration.” Don’t let this summer go by without living through a story you’ll tell for the rest of your life. Don’t let this summer go by without discovery. Don’t let this summer go by without getting a glimpse of your soul!

Over the coming months, don’t get too far ahead. Veer off the path a bit, get lost, head in a direction you’ve always wondered about. We’ll be here when you get back, and we’re excited to hear your stories!

Josh Bolton is a rabbi and the Senior Jewish Educator for the Jewish Renaissance Project. His email address is

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.