By Elana Nemitoff
Shoresh Unit Head
Shalom, greater GUCI community! My name is Elana Nemitoff and I will be the Shoresh Unit Head at GUCI this summer! The opportunity to return to camp and help bring the beauty of Judaism to life for another group of campers is an honor for me and I cannot wait to step out of my car at 9349 Moor Road, because I will be coming home.
It’s interesting, that in Parshat Lech-Lecha, God tells Avram to leave his house, his father’s home, the land that he knows, and go to a place that God chose. Avram goes, ending up in Cana’an among strangers. That is how I felt, the first time I left home to go to camp. I was being told to leave, that I was going to attend camp and that I would have a blast. I didn’t believe my parents and told them that they couldn’t just leave me at camp. Well, they did, and now, over ten years later, I am returning as a unit head. I have discovered that GUCI is a home, a community; one that we create by praying, living, eating and sleeping together.
So now I am coming home. Having spent the past year of my life in the first year of rabbinical school in Jerusalem, Israel, I am excited to be returning to a place that I love. Rabbinical school was an adventure of personal growth and struggle, and I am ready to bring some of that knowledge to camp. As GUCI was the place where my passion for Judaism was first cultivated, I hope to help my campers learn and experience the beauty of Judaism first hand.
The best part of coming home is knowing that I am working with my favorite age group. Having taught Sunday school and Hebrew school for fourth through sixth graders, I recognized that I loved this group of kids. Even more so, I then got to spend time working with this age at a school for kids with autism (in St Louis, where I attended Washington University). These kids have so much passion and excitement, full of adventure and curiosity! They are intelligent and beginning to explore who they are. I see so much potential in Shoresh this summer!
My head counselors and I are busy dreaming up interesting ways to bring Judaism alive for Shoresh. We want to implement Hebrew on a daily basis and use it as much as possible. A goal we have set is challenging the campers to ask big questions and therefore be curious. In addition, head counselors Casey Wright and Dan Bram and I love having fun! Shoresh will be a unit full of fun, singing, wonderful conversation and, of course, adventure! We cannot wait to welcome you aboard!!