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Kallah, from an Educator's Point of View

Posted on 07/22/2011 @ 07:00 AM

Tags: Kallah2011

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Enjoying a meal of pita and falafel on Israeli night

It is unique to wake up every day and work in the company of kind, educated and talented individuals. As a new member of the specialist team at Kallah and a first time BBYO employee, I am thrilled to be here. Week two of KALLAH 2011 started off on an excellent foot with enthusiastic trips to the town of Woodbourne, NY and a visit to Camp Morasha. The teens openly engaged with their orthodox peers, grappling with difficult and relevant issues. This week also marks the beginning of the specialists' specialty series. Each camper can choose three specialty electives in which they'd like to participate. I had a terrific group of kids today who were eager to explore, listen and create theatre. Working within a very specific set of rules, I divided them into smaller groups of five and asked them to create a snapshot montage of a story about Love, Loss and Reunion. The compositions were diverse and compelling. I have no doubt that tomorrow, their longer and more complex compositions will be equally entertaining. At the close of the day I had the opportunity to sit in on a Shabbat planning session. Some of the kids expressed an interest in hosting a more traditional style Torah service, while others were more drawn to an abstract approach. I offered up the medium of Dance midrash as a gateway to exploring the larger ideas in the Parsha without losing the Hebrew text. Whatever the group decides, their commitment will be wholehearted and their experience will be meaningful. These are just some of the wonderful things happening at Kallah today that I have had the occasion to witness. BBYO veterans surround me here and will casually remark that this general 'awesomeness' floating around in the air is nothing new. I still believe that it is unique to wake up every day and work in the company of kind, educated and talented individuals.

By Valerie Issembert, Drama Instructor

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