Bringing a Taste of Israel to Camp

By: Karen Kollins, Associate Director

With the exception of camp, there is no other place in the world besides Israel where you can be so far away yet feel so at home. Still jetlagged from my 13 hour journey home on Monday , I am so excited to share with you the details of my amazing week and the phenomenal 2013 Mishlachat (Israeli staff) that will be joining us at Camp this summer.

Associate Director Karen Kollins

Associate Director Karen Kollins

This summer’s Mishlachat is made up for fourteen amazing individuals, each coming to camp with a passion for working with children, amazing skills they can’t wait to share and a love of Israel. Four of these fourteen (Ben, Mor, Gal and Gefen) have spent the entire year in Toronto working in our community including our own Reform congregations and at the Leo Baeck Day School. Many of you have spent time learning from them throughout the year. In addition to these four, Yoni is joining us as a counselor after being a camper at Camp George many years ago. Along with this group are nine other Schlichim who I had the chance to spend a inspiring week with at Shefayim, a Kibbutz conference centre just near Herziliyah.

Tomer (Ropes), Aviv (Teva/Gan Matan), Amit (Tripping), Savyon (Photography), Ofir (Pottery), Nor (Dance), Ellen (Counselor), and Rotem (Head of Arts) will all be joining our team led by our veteran Rosh Mishlachat Lior Olinik who will also serve as our Nitzotzot Rosh Edah (Unit Head).

Back row, from left to right: Noy, Sayvon, Amit, Offir and Aviv. Bottom row: Yoni and Tomer.

Back row, from left to right: Noy, Sayvon, Amit, Offir and Aviv. Bottom row: Yoni and Tomer.

Throughout the week we were engaged in various programs and discussions. I taught them about what working in a Jewish summer camp in North America is all about and they taught me about how they feel about Israel as their home, what life is like growing up in Israel and how they hope to bring a taste of Israel to camp this summer. They learned about the traditions of Camp George like our morning “Boker Tov” song, our favourite lights out programs, the tune for our Havdallah blessings, and what it’s like sleeping under the stars during an Island Adventure. Together we shared and together we learned – about our countries, about each other, and about our shared love for making Israel come to life at camp.

I am always amazed when I go to Israel every few years at how special a country it is. I find that my memories and feelings about Israel fade as I am more removed from my last visit. It is for this reason that I am so grateful that we have such an amazing Mishlachat join us each summer to help bring a little bit of Israel to our camp community. I know that you will enjoy getting know each and every one of our Mishlachat this summer at camp as much as I have!

L’hitraot for now…and bruchim habaim to our fourteen Mishlachat. We can’t wait to see you at camp!

- KK

 

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