Hey Galil families, we began this morning like any other day with hitkansut boker (morning flag raising) at the toren (flagpole) and a short ivrit shimushit (practical Hebrew) skit that the lovely madatz (CITs) took part in before going to get some breakfast of eggs and yogurt with granola. We then transitioned into avoda (work), which was efficiently completed as the chanichimot (campers) are now proficient in their work skills with the summer creeping to a close. Of course, we then had nikayon tzrif (cabin cleaning) and zman madatz (madatz time). During zman madatz, the chanichimot had many different options of stations to go to. The most popular of which was board games where the chanichimot learned how to play Settlers of Catan—a very popular game invented by a Jewish man (the more you know). Once zman madatz came to an end, the chanichimot were split up into their shichvot (age groups) and had their final peula (activity) of the summer run for them by their madrichimot (counselors). It was bittersweet to go around and see how much the chanichimot have grown this summer, let alone the session, as they completed their peulot and went to get some lunch of chicken nuggets and veggies!
After everybody finished grubbing, hodaot (announcements) were being made, however, they were interrupted by two members of tzevet (staff) who made the special announcement that the second half of the day would be the first Yom Habo we are having at machaneh (camp)! To kick it off, we ran a round robin where every kvutzah went to different stations and learned about the all of the machanot that are a part of Habonim Dror North America. Some fun facts about some of the machanot are that Gesher in Ontario has a lake they conduct water sports on such as waterskiing, Miriam in Vancouver is on an island, and when they go on tiyul (a camping trip), they kayak to different islands around them, and Gilboa is where the movie The Parent Trap was filmed. On top of learning about the different machanot, chanichimot were taught about the history of Habonim and Dror—which used to be two separate youth movement. When hearing about Dror’s history in the Warsaw ghetto, chanichimot got very excited as they were told about how members of Dror who were 15 years old at the time successfully fought off Nazi’s to the point that they had to call in reinforcements even though they were fighting oppressed civilians with tanks. Those same people of our youth movement were the same age as our bogrimot (graduates)—our oldest chanichimot—which got them feeling very inspired.
After becoming more knowledgable members of the movement, the chanichimot were sent to sports, which also happened to have culture from the other machanot tied into them. As usual, there was swimming, but there was also rikkud (dancing) and basketball with a twist. For rikkud, chanichimot learned dances taught at other machanot, and for basketball, there is a tradition at other machanot that madrichimot play against chanichimot once a week. During basketball especially, even though it was so hectic due to so many people being on the court, everyone had loads of fun. To wrap up the afternoon, we all met at the toren for hitkansut erev, but even that was different. Our friends from Habonim Dror Mexico ran their own version of hitkansut erev and we were happy to have them share their traditions. We then went to dinner, which was a pasta bar, before starting our tochnit erev (evening activity). For the tochnit erev, we learned about the five pillars of Habonim Dror—Social Justice, Actualization, Judaism, Zionism, and Socialism—and were then told that and evildoer was trying to steal the pillars. The chanichimot had to go to different stations and get back the pillars. With the pillars successfully taken back, everyone was finally able to drift off to sleep safe and sound…
EXCEPT TONIGHT WAS ALIYAH BET!!!!!
Aliyah Bet is a program run at Galil that is meant to teach about different groups of people making aliyah (moving to Israel) and their struggles. Often times, they would have to leave their houses in the middle of the night and walk miles upon miles before finally making it to Israel. This occurred due to a plethora of reasons, however, the most prominent one was anti-semitism in different communities around the world. As Habonim Dror is a youth movement and we want to empower our youth, the bonimot (builders)—our rising high schoolers—planned and ran the night. They had chanichimot forge passports for themselves so that they could pass security to start on the trail to “Israel”. They then went on a trail around machaneh before finally finishing in the promised land, which had food and drink. After that, they went to bed for real this time, but little did they know that tomorrow they would still be in “Israel”.
Stay tuned for that, Amos