Still catching up… We’ve had three AMAZING shabbats that I haven’t shared with you. The creativity and Kavanah (intention) that campers and staff are putting into Shabbat services, sichot (Shabbat discussions), and music is so impressive! I have to catch you up!
Each Shabbat has a theme and it is tied to the week’s Middah (soul trait). Each Shabbat is planned and led by a specific group of staff or older campers with the assistance of our Chinuch staff – professional Jewish educators as well as college-age staff who are committed to Jewish learning.
– “Identity Shabbat” with the Middah “Bina” (understanding) and led by our Ozrim. The Ozrim did an amazing job leading us and challenging us to think about how our identity is unique to each of us, how we can include and support each other, and how we have to look beyond our public selves to really know someone. Working together as a diverse group they helped all of us to celebrate our differences. These messages are so important as our campers address cliques, bullying, and normal teen development issues that can be hard to navigate in school, online and at camp.
– Mishlachat Shabbat led by our Israeli staff with the Middah Gevurah, which interestingly is the same root word as “hero” and means Discipline and Willpower. Their theme was “Never Give Up!” This Shabbat kicked off with the Israeli staff surprising us Friday morning by cooking all of camp a delicious Israeli breakfast complete with Jerusalem salad and labeneh (fresh cheese). They wove in Hebrew music, language, and led camp in a beautiful Shabbat. My favorite part of this Shabbat was seeing our Israeli staff become leaders within the camp community.
– Fingerprint Shabbat with the Middah ne’emanut (loyalty), which was planned by our staff with Speciality Week campers assigned to led certain activities. For example, the Tasters are too young to plan a Shabbat but they made a BIG contribution to Fingerprint Shabbat when they led us in the Shema in sign language during services.
Wondering what “Fingerprint Shabbat” is? We celebrated our uniqueness! It kicked off a Picnic Lunch with this call and response between Specialty Week campers:
– “I am proud of who I am!” from Teva Adventure
– “I am unique!” from Mitbach Masters
– “I am true to myself!” from HUC
– “My identity is what makes me special!” from Tasters
– “Just like my fingerprint!” from all one-week campers.
Having campers actively plan and lead Shabbat creates a week-long learning journey that brings them directly into the meaning of the text. This process that creates ownership for the campers and staff and that makes the wisdom stick!
This summer’s Jewish learning has been beautiful to see and participate in. I am so proud of the work our staff are doing!