Shalom Chaverim V’Mishpachot,
Shalom Friends and Families,
It’s a beautiful day here in Ottsville, PA! After a few days of camping trips, berry picking, and rafting, the older half of machaneh (camp) has returned to join their younger chaverim (friends) in resuming normal activity of Galil. In the morning, machaneh ate breakfast together in the cheder ochel (dining hall) and cleaned together to make sure the day is set up for fun and success.
The Amelimot (post-3rd and 4th grade) spent the first half of their peula shikvah (age group activity) continuing their activities from yesterday about their Jewish Identity. Some of them attend Hebrew School during the year, while some do not. These spaces allow them to learn together to explore what Judaism can mean to them in both a machaneh setting and a home setting. After their discussion, they headed down to the creek for some splashy fun! They were joined by the Chotrimot (post-5th grade) and the Sayarimot (post-6th grade) at the creek. On a beautiful day, I could argue that the creek is the most beautiful place at machaneh.
Up at camp, the Tzophimot (post-7th grade) had a discussion about social justice and youth activism. They learned about the #MeToo movement on sexual harassment, #BlackLivesMatter on police brutality, and #NeverAgain on gun violence in schools. They discussed how they want to be involved in creating social change around these issues and bringing them home to their communities through our new program for local Jewish high school students called Bonimot Tzedek that launches this fall. The Bonimot (post-8th grade) discussed privilege and race as American youth. They explored how privilege helps some in life and discourages others, and how they can keep this in mind as they enter into high school and make relationships with those who come from different racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Both the Tzophimot and Bonimot engaged in important and interesting discussions that they will take home with them after machaneh.
The Bogrimot (post-9th grade) learned about being machaneh leaders! They even helped make shira (singing) at lunch especially spirited. For tonight, the machaneh will have “ZAP” as the tochnit erev (evening activity). This Galil tradition is a nighttime game where the kids must race from one end of machaneh to the other without getting “zapped” by a madrichol (counselor) with a flashlight as they chant “ZAP GO BACK!” It will be so much fun, I can’t wait!!
Peace out homies!!