First Day of Impact Chicago is Here!!
Posted on 07/22/2012 @ 09:38 PM
Impact Chicago is ready to Rock n’ Roll!!
The staff is here, and we are officially ready to welcome Impact teens to an amazing twelve days! Do follow us on the Impact Blog, and track our many journeys as we do amazing service all throughout the Chicago area.
Please feel free to post a link to our blog on your Facebook or Twitter wall! We welcome all visitors!
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” – Carl Jung
Gaining New Perspectives
Posted on 07/22/2012 @ 04:00 PM
Whether they're Orthodox or Reform, they're probably friends with someone in BBYO! Last week the Kallah teens completely embodied pluralist Judaism by doing two different exchange programs with other Jewish summer programs in the Northeast. First, the teens visited nearby Camp Morasha to get a taste of what Orthodox teens do at summer camp - Moshava and Mesora Camps also joined in on the adventure. Later in the week, Kallah had Maccabiah with the Reform teens at NFTY's Camp Kutz in New York. And finally, our Orthodox friends came to visit camp Perlman to get a taste of what Kallah looks like on its own turf!
The campers really enjoyed the learning experiences they had as well as the social connections they made. Aaron Salz was enthusiastic about the Morasha exchange: "I loved it. It gave me a chance to connect with orthodox kids my age and to learn about their traditions." He grinned, and then added, "Also, I loved dancing with them!" The teens did get a chance to dance with their Orthodox counterparts--an interesting moment, considering the fact that many of the Morasha campers are shomer n'giah and do not touch the opposite sex before marriage. Kallah campers learned a lot during the exchange, including how being shomer n'giah doesn't stop Orthodox kids from dancing and singing and having fun.
Some of our campers are more experienced with observant Judaism. Jennie Neuman described her perspective: "I go to a Jewish day school, so it wasn't really anything new for me, but it was interesting to see how orthodox kids go to camp. " Many BBYO girls were particularly interested in ways Morasha campers maintained codes of modesty in dress while dealing with the heat and humidity at summer camp - a particularly relevant challenge this year. As it turns out, denim skirts are surprisingly cool on hot summer days!
Our exchange with NFTY was a big moment for both organizations, as both sides are looking to forge more of an alliance in future years. All the teens were excited for Maccabiah and despite the challenges around the weather, the Kallah teens participated happily in the biggest Maccabiah ever, and many made new friends in the process.
The day was full of excitement, as there were races, dance offs, and Jewish knowledge competitions planned. While the rain that afternoon cancelled the swimming pool activities, there were still plenty of indoor competitions and activities--including a new line dance everyone learned called "The Wobble." (Ask your teen to demonstrate for you at home, or check out the video online!)
Jessica Baar enjoyed connecting with her Reform counterparts. She explained,"It reminded me of convention back home--I learned a lot about NFTY. I come from a Reform background, so that was interesting for me."
Lindsey Block shared her sentiment, adding, "It was a very long day, but it was great that we got to be exposed to a new organization."
Kallah's new connections were forged all week long, from Orthodox to Reform and back again. By Shabbat it was clear that the teens really understood the benefits of being pluralist and being able to have meaningful Jewish discussions with all different kinds of people. Another jam packed week of Jewish learning lies ahead!
Shabbat Shalom from CLTC 6
Posted on 07/20/2012 @ 04:12 PM
Shalom from the beautiful woods of Bethany, WV!
CLTC 6 2012 is well under way and we couldn’t be happier to be here with 100 of BBYO’s finest future leaders. It is amazing to see how far we’ve all already come to form a united team of boys and girls. The chapters are cooperating, song sessions are booming, and we’re glad to see everyone exhausted at the end of the day as a result of their extra efforts to make the most out of the short period that we all have together. Wednesday, the Alephs and BBGs built up the past 90 years of history in the form of graham cracker houses to symbolize the strong foundation that BBYO provides for young Jewish leaders. Yesterday, the six chapters held elections to learn the ins and outs of the process. Congratulations again to everyone that participated! As Shabbat is just around the corner, we anticipate joining in prayers, songs and the programs that our chapters are working hard to plan. We can’t wait to continue building this community here at Bethany as we further learn about one another as the days go on. Check back soon for more updates from the largest CLTC to ever hit Bethany.
Jordan Schack and Allie Laps
Kallah in the News!
Posted on 07/20/2012 @ 11:25 AM
Check out this article from eJewish Philanthropy about our Maccabiah Games with URJ Kutz Camp on Wednesday. Way to go everyone on a successful collboration!
Impact Boston 2012 Session 2
Posted on 07/18/2012 @ 11:00 PM
What we did at the Hebrew Senior Life site was exactly as expected - we spent time with the Jewish elderly. Yet, it was the unexpected moments that really molded and enhanced our incredible experiences. Whether we participated in beading, current events discussions, or singing along to Broadway songs, we could always spark up some interesting conversations and receive sweet smiles from the residents that made all the difference. Even when faced with the difficult task of attempting to effectively communicate with the patients suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia, the nine of us worked through it and happily reintroduced ourselves to restart the conversation. Strong connections formed between us and the residents, which not only benefited the residents but also deeply impacted each of us. We walked in with open minds and hearts waiting to help others and walked out with the satisfaction of knowing that we had made a difference for someone, even if only for a moment. The memories we have made at Hebrew Senior Life will forever remain with us, but more than that, this experience has laid the foundation for us to grow and embrace life. Thanks to Alex, our Group Educator, and the staff and residents of Hebrew Senior Life, we will continue to use the skills we have acquired to pick up and put together the world's broken pieces, and better ourselves as a Jewish people. Jess Wasserman, Great Neck, NY