Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teaching, living Israel Summer 2014

I am passionate about Jewish education, Israel education and Jewish camp.  I always love being at OSRUI and teaching all topics in an experiential format.  This summer is my favorite topic of all for my eidah, unit, Israel.  It has been a bittersweet experience, for me as I lead fun, innovative programs every morning and teach Hebrew with more games and creativity and come back into my room and read the news and current events.  Our chanichim, campers are having the time of their lives.  We have done  wonderful programs and I want to mention a few here.

Rotem, Israeli Chef during our program

We have hosted Holywood Squares at  camp with our counselors as famous Israeli celebrities including Tal Brody, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and the hip hop band Hadag Nahash.  We have also hosted a cooking show and our guest chef (a real Israeli) taught us not only how to make a delicious mishmash recipe but taught us about the different aliyot, immigrations to Israel.  The mishmash recipe showed us that Israel has people from many nations.  At the end of that program we shared different customs in our own personal families and made web as we saw how similar we all are whether from Israel, Chicago, Boulder or Minneapolis.

We are very fortunate to have 2 members of the Mishlachat, madrichim, counselors from Israel in Kallah this year.  They are wonderful and have added so much to our eidah.  This has not been an easy time for them or the rest of the mishlachat at OSRUI.  We are fortunate to have over 30  Israelis at camp helping us not just in the Merkaz Ivrit, Hebrew center but in every eidah in camp, as well as being specialists in our arts program, Tiferet and helping with sailing, and other sports programs.  We have given the mishlachat time to process their feelings and all the news from Israel.  In 2014 when you live with live television, calling Israel whenever you want, and seeing everyone's opinions on Facebook, it is not easy to process all of this information.

Because Kallah is the youngest unit we are not dealing directly with the Matzav, situation in Israel.  We have added to our Shabbat t'filah the prayer for the State of Israel found in Mishkan T'filah as well as the prayer for the soldiers in the IDF.  We will continue to answer any questions our campers may have and reassure them at the same time.  I am looking forward to next week and am praying with all of our campers, counselors and faculty for peace in Israel.  I am glad to be at camp to have a chevre, friends and colleagues with whom I can talk, discuss and just share feelings together.  I am glad to be here as always and I know this summer will remind me not just about studying Israel but living Israel.