BBYO Summer Blog
Our Time At Kallah
Posted on 07/21/2011 @ 07:00 AM
Here at Kallah we’re learning to appreciate a lot of the things we take for granted in our daily home lives. For instance we love pasta; So much so that we’ve eaten it every day for the past five. We’d like to take this opportunity to tell all of our mothers how much we appreciate their cooking as well as the kitchen staff here at Perlman. What else does Perlman make us appreciate? Here’s the short list: Rain boots, air conditioning, the importance of waking up an hour early to pray, the importance of sleeping an extra hour to not get sick, mouse traps, cracking eggs to make scrambled eggs, and carbs. Lots and lots of carbs.
We’ve been encountering lots of new experiences thanks to Kallah. Yesterday we had the chance to meet kids from two orthodox camps in the area. It was a really enriching field trip for both sides because we got to learn firsthand about each other’s lives. One of the highlights for the Kallah kids was hearing the orthodox kids talk about their choice to be shomer ngiya. Imagine a life where the only person of the opposite gender you ever touched was your spouse! Yeah… we thought so.
So that’s what’s up in PA. If you’d like to respond to this post please give us a call or shoot us an email during chofesh. Just kidding we don’t really have any, but that’s okay. We love our classes, chugim and creative arts electives! That’s all for now folks!
Submitted with Undying Love for Ka11ah, Zach Singer, Kolbo, Katz, 3, ½, Library, Big tree, PA, Large Quad, Small Quad, Ampitheater, Leadership Village, A lodge, Canteen, and dorms 1-9 (except 6 ‘cause there’s a tree growing in there), You, me, and Sam and Bobby
Judith Ilana Cohen, Eastern Region, North Carolina Council
Alana Calen Ben-Zeev, North Florida Region
Jaclyn Nicole Pavlofksy, Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region
My Kallah Experience, by Alli G.
Posted on 07/19/2011 @ 07:00 AM
We're on the second week of Kallah, and I already know that I'm not going to be ready to go home by the 31st. Kallah is an amazing environment – it's the only place I know where people make friends by talking about their religious beliefs, and thinking doesn't make you weird. The backdrop is incredible – even when it's raining, it's beautiful. I was placed in a class here about spirituality and nature, and this morning we talked about the Jewish beliefs on plants and animals. Because this is one of the ways I personally connect to my Judaism, these discussions are really interesting to me.
But the best part of Kallah for me is the opportunities I've been given to participate in the activities I already love. I'm in a group here called Kallahcapella, and we'll be performing at Cafe Kallah at the end of the session! We're talking about doing 4 songs, but I can't tell you what they are – it's a secret! I am very active in choir at home and am creating the a capella arrangement for one of the songs here, and could not be more excited. I also did a theater elective today, and discussed working with Valerie, the drama director, on getting ready for college auditions in some of my free time. Kallah is amazing because I can get these experiences that I would be having at home, but in a great place and with a Jewish perspective. Relating theater and music back to my personal spirituality makes this program great for me.
I'm looking forward to everything I will learn in the next two weeks. Yesterday, I was asked when I've felt most at peace with myself and connected to G-d. Without a doubt, it is here at Kallah.
By Alli G, Mid-America Region St. Louis Council
First Week Reflections, by Ariel A.
Posted on 07/18/2011 @ 07:00 AM
Shalom! As we reflect on the first week of Kallah, we think of great memories, new friends and a variety of new Jewish understandings. On the first day of Kallah, we jumped right into programming. The first program was focused around how we define ourselves as Jews, a program which we all were able to gain something from. Through out the week, leading up to Shabbat we've been studying hard in our 101 classes. We've learned about traditions, holidays, the Jewish life cycle, Israel, relationships, community involvement and several other topics. After the hard work throught the week, we had a peaceful Shabbat service which everyone dressed in their best for. Saturday, we prayed and had a well deserved four hour chofesh (free time), where we were able to spend time with our newly made friends here at Perlman. About half way through chofesh, a staff vs. participant water fight broke out, leaving several people soaked from head to toe. It was also a great time for self reflections as well. We ended the week with a large Havdallah as a whole community, which really signified the way we had all bonded together as a group.
This week has been amazing, full of learning, fun, and friendships, and I look forward to what the next two have in store!
By Ariel A., Central Region West
Kallah Kicks Into Full Gear
Posted on 07/17/2011 @ 07:00 AM
Everything here at Kallah has begun to get into order and routine has begun to emerge. Thursday morning began with a service based on the concept of "What If G-d Was One Of Us?", where participants not only did the traditional morning prayers, but also were able to engage in some religious philosophy. 101 Sessions have begun, and our educators have been hard at work teaching about varying topics of Judaism. Topics of discussion include philosophy, Jewish beliefs on nature and life, and other specialty topics on verses from the Torah. Thursday evening included a life cycle program, where participants went to different stations to represent different stages of their Jewish lives (for example, at one station, a mock Jewish wedding was held). The night then concluded with a song and dance session before bed.
Friday began with 101 session rotations again, followed by the first family group meeting. Within these family sessions, participants meet with their dorms to discuss what they have learned thus far and to express the effects that the experience here has had on them. They then were presented with all of the Chugim (creative arts) options, which vary from 3D art to acapella to video making. After filling out their top choices, they went back to their dorms to begin getting ready for Shabbat services.
Tonight, we will have our first Shabbat service with all of the Kallah participants. Several services will be offered, including traditional services, creative services, and musical services. Participants will get to choose which best suits their taste, or will be able to branch out and try something they may not have ever experienced before.
Arrival and Day One
Posted on 07/15/2011 @ 07:00 AM
Kallah 2011 has officially begun! Participants began arriving yesterday and were welcomed eagerly by staff, coordinators, and fellow participants who had continued their stay at Perlman from ILTC. Everyone was soon reunited with old friends and quickly began meeting new people. The evening began with nightly Mincha, dinner and icebreakers to get to know everyone a little better. After a small snack, everyone returned to their dorms to get acquainted with the people they would be living with.
The first full day kicked off with a breakfast of pancakes and cereal, followed by a Shacharit service. After the service had ended, each dorm was guided through camp by their assigned staff member to get them acquainted with the facilities and where everything would be taking place. They then split up into groups where educators and specialists went around to introduce themselves and to give the teens an idea of their role at camp was.
The afternoon continued with the first meeting of Shabbat planning groups, where the participants are given the opportunity to put their own spin on how Shabbat services and the overall Shabbat experience is run. Next, the teens were again split into different groups for more introductory activities to get acquainted more with fellow participants. The final program of the day was an evening activity centered around pluralism. Each group was given a different denomination of Judaism, either orthodox, conservative or reform. They then were given issues which face Judaism as a whole and had to look at the issue from each denomination to learn about how people of the same religion can view the same topic differently.
Overall, it has been a great first day here at Perlman and we all look forward to an amazing few weeks!