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Forming a Community at CLTC 2

Posted on 06/28/2010 @ 11:57 AM

CLTC 2

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Shabbat Shalom Everyone,

As we begin our third full day at CLTC, it is apparent that we have a terrific group of teens and staff and we are well on our way to forming a thriving community. In this email I am going to provide you with a sneak peek into the activities that have taken place since Tuesday night as well as introduce you to my fantastic staff.

The teens arrived on Tuesday and we got settled into our dorms and took a tour of this beautiful facility. After dinner the teens watched a clever video made by our fantastic youth coordinators Arielle Braude and Alec Reifer which introduced our staff and went over the rules. Alec and Arielle led the group in icebreakers and then everyone attended their first chapter meeting.

Each morning, Shacharit services are led by Rebecca Ungerman, our Judaic educator and song leader. This year we are holding morning services on the boat dock at the lake – what a beautiful setting. Rebecca has worked at CLTC for the past 12 summers and has a unique way of bringing Judaism into our community. The first two days Shacharit is mandatory but today was our first optional service. Forty five teens chose to wake up early to begin their day with prayer!

Chapter leadership sessions included reviewing election procedures and parliamentary procedure on Wednesday and the teens elected chapter officers in their chapters yesterday. There are only a few elected positions in the chapters at CLTC, but, there are many opportunities for everyone to lead - planning programs, Shabbat services and programs, fundraisers, tee shirt creations, song and banner committees, etc. Additional leadership sessions focused on "Starting a New Chapter" and "What is a Leader.” We also introduced the "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - written by Sean Covey. These habits correlate very well with character development, another aspect of our skill building at CLTC. Chapter leadership sessions are led by our team of leadership staff which include Jared Rothman, Laura Fendrick, Ben Kozberg, Aaron Bach who are all BBYO professional staff from around the country and Danielle Aaronson, a BBYO alum who works at AHA during the year. Leadership Director Rachel Frydman, from Wisconsin Region BBYO, supervises the CLTC leadership staff and helps me keep the program running smoothly.

In addition to leadership training, we have rotation sessions most days - Jewish Experience (exploring Judaism) Shirim (singing), Rikudim (Israeli dancing) and workshops on an array of topics. So far we have covered conduct/perceptions, public speaking and problem solving. Roxanne Rahamim a recent college graduate on her way to law school, is back for her second summer as Rikudim instructor.

Wednesday evening’s program included team building activities and last night we participated in our CLTC Stand up program. You will be receiving a separate email about the program, BBYO’s Stand Up Campaign and service opportunities for your child in BBYO.

We're very excited about our first Shabbat together - a very special time at CLTC. Each chapter is assigned the task of planning and leading one of the following each week: creating Shabbat atmosphere, Friday night services, a Friday night program, Saturday morning services, and Havdallah. Our goal is to excite the teens about Shabbat and to demonstrate to them that creativity and inspiration can enhance a traditional Shabbat service or program.

As you can tell, our days are long and very busy. Nadav Ashner, a recent college graduate and soon to be law school student, serves as my administrative staff and Nancy Yudell, a good friend and school nurse keeps us healthy. I could not ask for a better staff – they are working so hard to make this the best experience for your teen.

We have uploaded lots of pictures on our summer program website: http://bbyo.smugmug.com; I hope you enjoy them!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Have a wonderful Shabbat.

Ellen Goldstein CLTC Site Director American Hebrew Academy 336-217-7109

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