By Britt Banaszynski, Hagshama Coordinator
This summer the Kutz Leadership Team is proud to launch our all-camp Hagshama program—a daily practice that engages our teens with the core leadership competencies that build resilience.
For the past few years Kutz has offered a major in Hagshama, ‘fulfillment’ in Hebrew, which I have had the pleasure of teaching for the past two summers. I designed the major to nurture the necessary skills in our teens to take on stress and develop self-efficacy as they cope with the pressures of school, NFTY, and preparing for college. Holding degrees in Dance and Psychology, and as a student in The Feldenkrais Method®, I was able to prepare a skill-building curriculum that engaged teens in self-discovery in the body, mind and soul.
During this year’s rearranging of the majors into the four Kutz Academies an opportunity arose to expand the Hagshama major into an all-camp program and refocus the curriculum to emphasize the development of skills and habits that directly enhance our teens’ leadership capabilities.
Now the daily, all-camp Hagshama program provides every Kutz participant opportunities to identify and develop personal values, build self-esteem, and learn the processes for coping with stress through interactive programming led by myself and the wide range of Jewish professionals who are our visiting faculty. In Hagshama our teens will practice yoga, study Jewish text, ask tough questions, and discuss ethics with an emphasis on understanding how his or her identity is shaped by the amalgamation of these practices.
Our goal is that every participant at Kutz is provided the space and time to reflect, understand and, ultimately, build the personal skills that prepare them to be effective leaders and resilient human beings.
I am so excited to watch our teens fully embrace the Kutz experience while strengthening their Jewish identities.