Jewish Identity and Camp

There is an old story that I love, about a boy who gets a few dollars for his birthday. With that money, he runs to buy a brand new kite. He unfurls the kite to sky and spends the afternoon holding it tight as it flies high.  At one point in the afternoon, a man in a suit comes by and asks the boy what he is doing.  The boy explains that he is fly-ing a kite, but the kite has been un-furled so far, you can’t even see it through the clouds. How does he know it is still there, the man asks?  The boy answers, “I can feel the tug.”  We want our kids to feel the tug of Jewish identity, connection with our Jewish tradition, people, a connection with the wider Jewish world.  We want them to feel that tug, wherever they are.  That is why, even though it is February, and the weather is chilly, I am thinking about summer. I serve as a camp rabbi each summer not only because I find that it helps me to energize and refresh my teaching skills,but mostly because I believe it its power. Jewish camps gives young people a strong sense of Jewish identity. It allows them to feel that tug.

And while I think that camp is important for all, because we have a one day a week Hebrew school at Beth Chaim, few weeks spent at camp living completely in Jewish time is the perfect summer complement to our program. Please join us for our Camp Shabbat and Mini Camp Fair on the evening ofFebruary 10th.  Young families will gather for a fun in-door ‘campfire’ service at 6pm, and this will be followed with a congregational potluck dinner organized by Sarah Caroll. Our main "campfire’ service will begin at 7:30 and our 3rd and 4th graders will be featured leaders.  At the oneg, we will sponsor a mini camp fair and be joined by representatives from Camp Harlam (Day Camp and Overnight), Galil, and Camps Airy, and Louise. Wear your camp shirts and bring your ruach (spirit!).  We will also have info on the great $1000 One Happy CamperGrants available to families through the Foundation for Jewish Camping and Jewish Federation.  Still feel the tug?  Want your young person to establish a lifelong connection? THINK