As usual the sessions are flying by: somehow this is the last Shabbat of Aleph Sheini and Bet. Your children are growing into passionate and caring people committed to their friends, this camp, and to making the world a better place.
Aleph Sheini campers (most here for the first time) have quickly adapted to the pace of life at camp, and they have enjoyed a cookie-making contest, farmers market, and meeting new friends. This week we celebrated Yom Tevanut(a day of art, Judaism, and nature) which featured a Tu B’shvat Seder and Israel Day, with Israeli food and activities, was mitzuyan(excellent)! Popular Chuggim (activities) this summer are gardening, cooking, hippie chug, swimming, and boating, and our sports tournaments (soccer, basketball, and capture the flag) have been thrilling. Our Odedim went on a canoeing trip and to Wild Waves, in addition to organizing a carnival for all of camp. They are an integral part of Schechter and the staff have all remarked on their growth and usefulness!
Hachnasat Orchim(Welcoming guests)
Schechter is a community camp, and our community partners truly understand the importance of Schechter in developing their own futures. It was fantastic to have so many visitors this week: Rabbi Infeld and Rabbi Bluman, from Beth Israel; Religious School Education Directors Rachel Wachtel and Eliyahu Krigel from Congregation Beth Shalom and Herzl-Ner Tamid respectively; and Steve Albert, from Portland Jewish Academy and the Mitleman JCC. We also had Jeff, a nature photographer from Port Townsend, helping the campers become inspired to use a camera as an instrument of art. We have another artist this summer, Chris Julian, that is making a special shedwe are calling a Hakhel; this will also hold our Torah, chumashim, talitot, and trillion, and is made possible through a grant from the SAMIS foundation of Seattle.
Judaism and Joy are One!
Teva(nature), limmud (Jewish study), and t’fillot(prayers) all have a profound impact on campers, and traditional Judaism continues to be a rock of inspiration and common ground here. It’s amazing to watch campers strive to be good people, do mitzvot (good deeds), and random acts of kindness; campers genuinely want to help in creating our wonderful, caring community. Once again, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful children with us. Camp is beautiful, safe, and joyous, and both chanichim (campers) and madrichim (staff) are doing an excellent job of providing an immersive Jewish experience! Your choice to send you child to camp was a wise one! Kol Hakavod and Toda Raba!
A Shabbat of peace to all of you.