יום חמישי 10 אוגוסט 2017
Over the past month, Noar Telem, the IMPJ youth movement, had its highlight of the year –Camps Havayah (the word for experience in Hebrew, but also an acronym for freedom and Judaism). 270 campers, from 3rd to 9th grade, participated in an incredible variety of activities – sports, creative prayers, volunteering in the community and hiking to name just a few. Through these activities, which were led by our youth counselors (high-schoolers who grew up in the movement), the campers established and strengthened their relationship with Reform Judaism and its values, whilst having a great time and making new friendships.
One of the experiences many campers marked as an important part of their summer was the involvement of a group of youth with special needs in the camp, part of a unit called Hamula. Through joint activities and daily interactions, the campers familiarized themselves with a part of society which they might not have been exposed to in the past. Meanwhile, the Hamula campers got to enjoy hanging out with other campers and being a part of the Havayah.
Another favorite experience is Shabbat. It begins with camp-wide Kabbalat Shabbat with campers, counselors, staff and faculty enjoying prayers, using both classic and new tunes. After dinner the campers split back into their age groups (Eidot) for Oneg Shabbat. On Saturday morning the camp splits into our young camp (grades 3-6) and big camp (grades 7-9, including CIT), for Shacharit, Saturday morning services, but come back together for the Torah Reading. Saturday continues with activities on various subjects focusing on Jewish values and texts. The whole camp then comes back together for Havdalah.
Another major event in our summer was the famous “Color War”. A tradition borrowed from American summer camps, during these 24 hours the entire camp is split into 2 colors which compete against each other in a wide variety of competitions, from games of chess to a camp-wide tug-of-war. This year's theme was Vikings and our two clans fought bravely, when the red ending up victorious.