By Kallah 2010 Bloggers on 07/25/2010 @ 05:05 PM
“Our 101 rotations are very influential”- Ryan Blake, Eastern-NCC
“The amount of knowledge each educator possesses creates a meaningful and relatable experience for every participant.”-Talia Katz, NRE-DC
“My favorite part of Kallah has been making connections through Judaism with teens from all over the country”- Emily McCready, SJR
“I’m having a great time!” –Joey Ben-Ami, NSR
“Every morning I wake up looking forward to finding more of my Jewish identity”-Hillary Blank, GCR
“La la la la la”-Kallahcapella group
“Kallah has made me think of things that I’ve never thought of before”- Deb Silver, NRE-Baltimore
“Kallah allows me to be one with the spiritual side of myself that I can’t experience back home”-Joey Notowich, CSR
“Kallah has opened my eyes not only to Judaism in general but to who I am”-Josh Morof, Michigan
“My favorite thing about Kallah is meeting people from all over and connecting to Judaism”-Yarden Arber, NRE-DC
Shabbat Shalom from Tel Aviv
Posted on 07/24/2010 @ 07:10 PM
By Jocelyn Orloff, St. Louis BBYO Program Director
As our first Shabbat together ascended the idea of finding respite in the sleepless city of Tel aviv (the New York of Israel) seemed paradoxical. However, the remarkable site of hundreds of people lining the beach proved to be relaxing in addition to creating separation between our packed days and the sabbath. Given the opportunity of a free day many members of our group took to leisurely mornings and enjoying the beach culture while others attended services and explored the coffee shops of the city (with a nap or two thrown in).
Following a group discussion and learning session, we ate a quick dinner and got on the bus to attend an Idan Reichel concert in a large amphitheater outside of Tel Aviv. For those who are unfamiliar, Idan Reichel, he is an Israeli singer, songwriter and musician. He is most famously known for the Idan Reichel Project, that blends music, culture, and a variety of talented performers to create a musical experience that is unique and profound. For more information check out http://www.idanraichelproject.com/en. The setting of the concert combined with the incredible energy from the packed venue was an amazing back drop for a wonderful Israeli night
Check out the following link to watch one of my favorite songs from the concert:
Kallah Blog Group Part II
By Kallah 2010 Bloggers on 07/24/2010 @ 11:05 AM
Meet our Kallah bloggers:
Gabby Lewis, Jaime Maxwell, Yarden Arber, Peri Novick, Sam Schatzman, Joey Ben-Ami, Renee Fredrick, Paige Freeman, Sammie Hershorn, and Talia Katz.
They like to express their creative sides and salute Kallah in various ways...
Top Ten Top Things To Do In The Rain
10. Wear Rainboots
9. Wear raincoats
8. Get soaking wet
7. Play Frisbee
6. Stay inside
5. Use your water-proof camera
4. Jump in puddles
3. Trek mud inside
1. Act like it has never happened before
Top Ten Reasons why We love Shabbat
10. Eat cinnamon rolls and challah
9. 3.5 hours of chofesh (free time)
8. Sleeping late
7. So much protein
6. Pictures for facebook!
5. Experiencing new kinds of services (especially with eric and zach)
4. Shabbat programming groups teach us leadership skills
3. Getting dressed up is fun
2. Chance to RELAX!
1. The atmosphere of Shabbat is so welcoming and exciting
Keeping it real
Always on time
Laxin’ in the large quad
Lots of laughs
Hot hot hot (lol jk the weather changes all the time)
Arts and Culture in Tel Aviv
Posted on 07/23/2010 @ 07:10 PM
By Steven Baker, Mountain Region Program Director
The day started with a lively walking tour of the "beginnings of Tel Aviv." Our guide, Abraham Silver (originally from Brooklyn which was nice to hear a familiar accent!), started us off right where the first settlers did in 1909. Over the hills from Jafa, the founders sought to create the "New York City of the Middle East." Their optimism has certainly come and stayed true to its original hopes as Tel Aviv has emerged as a conglomeration of cultures, beliefs, lifestyles and religions of history and modernism.
Through perseverance that is still an Israeli mindset today, Tel Aviv quickly began to emerge as a cultural and artistic hub. Our walk took us through vibrant colored streets with locals sipping cafe under umbrellas to a well known dance center that still stands and is in use today. As we stopped to discuss the meaning behind our location, we heard Hebrew choreography being applied to modern American music - a true statement of the multiculturalism of Tel Aviv.
Further along our walk we came upon the mansion of the first "mayor" of Tel Aviv. While currently being restored, the spot still sparks a sense of power and artistic justice as it is entwined with stories of love, anger, art and nobel prize winning poetry.
Our tour concluded with a discussion of the purpose of the architectural design of the city as it relates to the intentionality of the founders of the first Hebrew city. Two interesting facts include:
Tel Aviv is the largest remaining site of Bauhaus architecture. Bauhaus is a famous artist from Europe and when the Nazi's were busy conquering and destroying as much history as they could, this included art and architecture that would keep "the old" alive. As such, when Tel Aviv kept growing after it became an independent state, Bauhaus style was made sure to be present.
Even down to the streets, instead of a grid, which closely represents a cross, were designed in the shape of a menorah to portray that this is a Jewish and Hebrew city.
Next, we enjoyed time at the entertaining (and expensive!) Nahalat Benyamin, which in Tuesday and Friday holds an artists shuk. Dozens of different artists selling everything from Judaica to childrens toys to belts to jewelry line the streets alongside another shuk solely focused on fresh breads and fruits that people buy for Shabbat. What was nice about both shuks is that they were not only tourist destinations as hundreds of locals were intermingling and bargaining right alongside us!
As if all of this stimulation was not enough, we ventured back to our hotel where we broke up into two groups, lead by Ian Kandel and Emily Frank where we shared our thoughts on how we can be applying what we are doing and learning about to enhance Israel education with our BBYO programs back home. The discussion brought out good points to ponder including the intentionality and focus of our teachings and how to bring everyone onto the same level at the beginning as everyone has different backgrounds when it comes to Jewish and Israel history and knowledge.
For Kabbalat Shabbat, we had several different options of types of services to attend, including a traditional "Israeli" Orthodox service and a more secular/spiritual service on the beach. I, along with most of my colleagues and Matt Grossman, BBYO's Executive Director, strolled through the heat on the beach until we came upon several hundred Jews on the boardwalk overlooking a breathtaking sunset. The service was an incredible mix of people, and in my opinion, the epitome of Israeli society. There were people paying very close attention and praying intently, there were children running around, dogs all over, cigarettes being smoked, many different languages being overheard loudly and people paying attention only to the important parts. It was the first time I have ever celebrated Shabbat like this and on the beach and I am grateful for the new and meaningful Jewish experience. Make sure to check out the videos of this experience below:
After services, we all gathered back at the hotel for Shabbat dinner. Each ritual was lead by a different person with an introduction about their own traditions for that ritual back home. It was relaxing and a great way to start Shabbat in Eretz Yisrael!
Working Hard in the Southwest
Posted on 07/23/2010 @ 04:23 PM
We have certainly been accomplishing a lot on our trip and making the most of our days. We have helped and done much with the Hopi village of Hotevilla in many ways. Finishing preparation for the Homedance (which is Saturday), cleaning the spring, collecting trash, and working with the youth of the village on projects, just to name a few. There were even pick-up games of basketball that allowed us to get to know the Hopi kids better. Our participants and the Hopi kids mixed up into teams and shared a friendly competition that helped everyone understand that some things are just universal when it comes to being young. It was a fun time and all involved felt a connection when the games were over.
We have had many educational and meaningful interactions and lessons. Dan, our Judaic educator, has guided the participants in daily learning sessions called Limud. In Limud we have had discussions around the numerous names Judaism uses to describe God, the connection to the desert the Jewish people have and taking our time to appreciate the food we have to eat and where it comes from. All participants have been fully engaged and all have shared some incredible insight and understanding. It is enjoyable to see our group exchange their beliefs in this way and many are now thinking about things they had not thought of before.
Our host Kenny has had our group working hard. During water breaks and downtime Kenny is able to teach the participants about the Hopi culture and history of the village. The similarities between the Hopi and the Jews are many. A deep connection to their homeland and the sad facts that assimilation brings when it comes to preserving tradition. The Hopi are a fascinating group who have endured much throughout time. They struggle with keeping tradition alive in many of the same ways our Jewish communities do. Kenny also took us to the Hopi Cultural Museum where we learned even more and looked at art and studied the past.
In camp, the participants take turns preparing and cooking meals for the whole group. Watching our teens cook and bake is fun, and many are learning how to be more resourceful and independent through this process. We sit in circles and have great discussion, play games, laugh, sing, and just enjoy each other’s company. We have split into Shabbat preparation committees; everyone has a responsibility. The committees are: Shabbat Atmosphere and Decoration, Challah Making, Friday Night Services, Friday Night Shabbat Dinner, Saturday Morning Services, and an Eruv Setup Team . Shabbat in our camp is going to be a special time for much needed rest and reflection.
We can see results and we feel accomplished. There is still a lot to be done but we can see that we have made a difference. We leave the Hopi Sunday and head for the Mountains. We will be in Southern Colorado in the La Plata Mountains for two nights. There we will be hiking and trekking through the range; challenging ourselves in nature and doing things we thought we could not do before this trip. Then, it is back to Base Camp for showers, wrap ups and unfortunately goodbyes. Watching this group come together as community has been very rewarding for the staff . As well, we are extremely proud of how they handled themselves and impressed with the hard work they all are putting in. Their parents have much to be proud of too.