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Celebrating Israel

Posted on 07/16/2012 @ 12:40 AM

Tags: Kallah2011

"I love Israel!"
"I love Israel MORE!"

Tyler Zuckerman and Liam Murray were excited about this evening's Israel narratives program, and while their debate during dinner was somewhat lacking in nuance, it was definitely full of enthusiasm.

Other teens were slightly more articulate when discussing their expectations for the evening's program.

"I'm excited to better my knowledge of Israel--and possibly to become persuaded to visit!" Michael Vivier looked forward to hearing the staff members' positive memories of Israel.

There were dozens of stations around camp where staff members walked the teens through their personal experiences on Israel trips, from spiritual moments at the Wall to more secular fun at the Shouk and in Tel Aviv.

The program was designed specifically to demonstrate moments teens might have on a journey to Israel, and while it did not attempt to cover up current Palestinian political entanglements, it avoided becoming mired in political debate by focusing on actual experiences staff members have had (rather than the staff's political analysis of their experiences.)

There was a station wherein curriculum director Suzie Schwartz discussed her experience at a checkpoint in Israel, and some of the teens were especially keen on learning the on the ground consequences of Middle Eastern conflict policies.

Bianca Levy explained her interest succintly: "I'm excited to better my education about Israel and the Israeli conflict."

The entire program went well, and at the end of the evening there was a cheerful bonfire as the teens finished their rotations.

They discussed some of the day's activities, including the beginning of their specialist chugim. "I liked the chug!" Kayla Berlinberg exclaimed to her friends.

"Me too!" Laura Gorenshtein agreed,

"Eric Hunker is really cool." Talia Hoffman nodded her enthusiastic agreement and then turned to a nearby staff member and explained, "We're in Kallah-capella."

When asked for a comment on his popularity with the girls, songleader Eric Hunker grinned and exclaimed, "Awesome!" He then modestly--and hilariously--began a mock award acceptance speech, "I'd like to thank my parents..."

Thanks, Moms and Dads. It was another great day at Kallah 2012.

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