Goldman Union Camp Institute
August 1, 2013
Cabin 7: Where Judaism Can Take Me
The Barchu is the beginning and preparation for services. Judaism has prepared me for living a good, Jewish life. From the very first day of camp my first year to now, I have changed into a different person. A better person, who would be way different without Judaism and camp in my life. Judaism could’ve and still can take me anywhere I want to go, and I’m so glad that Judaism brought me here, to my home away from home. – Izzy S.
Imagine getting into a car with a full tank of gas and no destination. With no set location, you can drive aimlessly, taking in the sights that usually appear to be just frivolous little details. Suddenly, the sunset is a miracle and the sound of chirping birds becomes more than just another part of nature. Judaism is a car ride. It’s a journey without a designated end. Sometimes, we don’t know where Judaism is going to take us, but regardless of where our paths come to an end, we learn to appreciate our final destination and all of its little miraculous details. – Emma D.
My Judaism has taken me and will take me to many places. It has brought me to an amazing synagogue, the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. with my Sunday school class, NFTY, lifelong friends, and an understanding of how it feels to be blessed. My Judaism has also taken me to GUCI, which I am probably most grateful for. I have become part of a Kehillah Kedoshah, a holy community. The Ahavat Olam is about God’s love for the people Israel, and I don’t think I would have ever realized God’s love for me in such a strong way if my Judaism hadn’t taken me to GUCI. – Izzy S.
Our theme relates to Judaism because Judaism is everywhere and a tree house can go everywhere. You can take Judaism anywhere you want to. To school, home, or even GUCI. So far, GUCI is the best place I have taken my Judaism. Here I am accepted for my religion. Everyone here is Jewish and I feel good about showing that I am Jewish. In a tree house, you can choose where you want to go and if I had to choose, I would pick GUCI because that is where I am most accepted for my Judaism. – Nina G.
The Mi Chamocha is about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and towards Israel. Judaism took Moses and the Israelites to a place where they could be free and help each other to create a peaceful, loving community. When I sing Mi Chamocha, Judaism takes me to a place where all the drama melts away, where there isn’t such a thing as status or boundaries, and where we can sing and dance and rejoice in the song of freedom. – Rebecca J.
Judaism, in my opinion, can take you anywhere. For me, it takes me to peace. In the Hashkiveinu, we thank God for allowing us to fall asleep each night, for protection, and peace. Peace can be different for everyone. When I find peace, I am sitting in the Beit T’fillah looking up into trees. When I do this, I am not only looking at the trees, but trying to look past them. This may sound odd, but when I do this, I try imagining peace. I think everyone has the chance to find peace. I find it in the Hashkiveinu and my Judaism. Maybe you will too. – Sydney G.
My Judaism has taken me to GUCI. If I hadn’t come to GUCI for the first time four years ago, I would not be the person I am today. Had my Judaism not led me to GUCI, I would not have realized that I wanted to play guitar, I also would have never had the amazing friends that I have now. And that is where my Judaism has led me. [Name redacted by wish of camper]
Your Judaism can take you anywhere you want as long as you let it. My Judaism takes me to a place of peace and wholeness, just like the Shalom Rav talks about. Whether I am here at camp, or back home in my synagogue, the feeling of acceptance and support from my peers, counselors, and Rabbis never fails to make me feel a sense of wholeness and peace. I would be a different person today without my religion. I am so happy to be Jewish. – Hannah R.
One thing that often pops into my head when I think of Judaism, or religion at all, is hope. We hope that we shall receive those things that the sick will heal, the hungry will be fed, that our family and friends will be safe, and so on. Hope brings people together; it makes them feel protected and safe. During silent prayer, it’s your personal time to talk to G-d. When I was younger, I realized I could pray for things I was worried about, or just wanted to say. I prayed, and I feel protected, safe, and hopeful. – Hanna K.
Judaism has taken me so many different places. It took me to GUCI three years ago, and to my Bat Mitzvah on April 20. I’m forever grateful for where Judaism has taken me. The Aleinu talks about the future and how it makes us unique. The future itself holds so much. Judaism, I believe, will take me soaring toward the future. I look forward to visiting Israel with GUCI with all my camp friends. I look forward to my Hebrew School friends’ Bat Mitzvahs in the near future. Judaism has taken me so far. I can’t wait to see what else it holds. – Madison C.
“So Hanukkah is like Jewish Christmas, right?” “Do you speak Jewish?” Coming from a town with a pretty small Jewish population, I hear things like this a lot. Most of my friends had never heard of a Bat Mitzvah, let alone been to one before mine. Being the only Jew in my grade does have its perks, like having any Bat Mitzvah date I wanted, but it can also be difficult. Mostly, it has made me stronger. I know that I don’t need to be surrounded by other Jews to be Jewish myself, and that I can find Judaism everywhere, not just in Jewish places. Most importantly, Judaism has taken me and set me apart from all of my friends. Judaism has made me unique. – Raya A.
Judaism can take you anywhere! It can take you to Israel, your synagogue, or maybe even camp, but it is important to see where Judaism has already brought you! For me, Judaism has brought me an amazing family, the best synagogue, and most importantly, camp! Judaism has taken me so far in my life, and I am looking forward to where it will take me in the future! – Marcelle L.