Tuesday July 25 – FIRST DAY: Opening Tochnit
Welcome Second Session, Summer 2023 Parents! We could NOT be happier to have your children here with us for the next 4 weeks. Our noseh (topic/subject) for the month is Moshevet HaTenuot – the word tenuot means “movements” and is a bit of a play on words. We will be studying the wanderings of the Jewish People from the 1492 expulsion from Spain all the way until 1882. We will also be learning about all of the intellectual and religious movements that began during these fascinating centuries – enlightenment and chasidut to name two.
Once chanichim came off their buses this afternoon, met their counselors and gathered as a bunk, they were treated to a very dramatic reenactment of the expulsion by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella – convincingly played by our Roshei Moshava this session: Yossi Nadel and Adina Falk!!
Each Eidah went on to watch and participate in three skits:
1) Portugal – Jews in Portugal had to keep their Judaism a secret. Everyone received a haggadah and we all started singing “kadesh, urchatz” but when the soldiers came we stopped. The Jews on stage agreed to convert but continued to learn and practice mitzvot in basements and in the dark.
2) Amsterdam – We watched the ashkenazim (from Holland) and the sefardim (from Spain) fight about which culture was better – they had a cook off to decide and we got to be the taste- tasters: Yerushalmi Kugel with a healthy bit of pepper OR potato kugel?? We all cheered and voted. In the end, the Jews on the stage admitted that the other “new” food was actually yummy and they shared the trophy 🙂
3) Venice – Jews had to travel the sea in boats (see pictures! It was so cute and funny to see kids walking, like the Flintstones in their car, in boats “to get to Venice”…) and when they arrived, the government was stressed out about trouble on their spice route. Don Yitzchak Abarbanel was there – the Jewish accountant from the court of the King and Queen who voluntarily left with his people – and he helped them figure out some political troubles, which resulted in the Jews finding favor in the Venetian offcials’ eyes.
4) And then, as a fourth station, each eidah met in a big circle on the grass and played a get-to-know-you-game 🙂
The weather was beautiful and the energy level was high! A great opening, so yasher koach to all of the tzevet and hadracha who created this dramatic, creative and impressive introduction to this month’s theme. The chanichim proceeded to the outdoor beit knesset for mincha and then had some nice quieter bunk time before dinner. We had a yummy dinner of comfort food (homemade crunchy-on-the-top mac & cheese!!), followed by maariv and unpacking. We are all so excited for our first morning at Machane, and this blog will continue to share each day’s shiur topic, activities, inspiration, fun and shtick. The blog is written late each night, so look for it each morning!
KAYTANA also began with some drama and fun: the chanichim were taken on a wagon ride to “Terach’s house” where they met Avraham Avinu who was debating the power of idols with his father. Avraham smashed the idols – lucky for us, the idols were pinatas full of candy!!! The young chanichim were surprised but so so happy and cheered on Avraham. They too had dinner and time to unpack and get settled, with some quiet time to sit in a circle and introduce themselves. This blog will follow their adventures this summer as they make their two-week journey from stories of Sefer Bereshit through the beginning of Sefer Yehoshua with the entry into Eretz Canaan!
MACHAL began with lots of cheering and hugs and excitement – Yonatan Weiss, Noa Berkowitz and Isaac Abouddi (last session’s Rosh Mosh) will lead this group through our special program, focused on leadership, travel and community-building. Shevet Kaveh began their summer with a שלשלת אש – their name “KAVEH” (in hebrew) lit in fire to “kick off” this month-long journey (old Moshava custom). Due to the no-eating-meat rule of The Nine Days, Machal had mac & cheese, instead of a BBQ. Over the next four weeks, they will have many campfires and cookouts with their fair share of burgers and hot dogs – but not just yet. They went on a short night-hike, just to get them in practice and then unpacked and went to sleep.
We are so blessed to be here in Sugar Grove, PA and can’t wait to get started bright and early with our first – of many – “BOKER TOV SUGAR GROVE” wake-up announcements in a few hours…Layla Tov and Welcome Home 🙂