Retreat at OSRUI: Good for the Soul

by Vanessa Ehrlich, OSRUI Faculty Member and Director of Education at Lakeside Congregation, Highland Park IL

Last weekend Lakeside and Or Shalom [in Vernon Hills, IL] went on their annual Fall retreat to OSRUI with 5th and 6th graders.  (Or Shalom also had an adult retreat there at the same time).  We had 32 students, 5 Madrichim and 2 Educators and we had a wonderful time.  We started Friday night with a delicious Shabbat dinner, followed by T’filot and then a fun game of Human bingo (you would be surprised by the number of students who had been to Israel and/or could do the splits) and finished with a game of Gaga.

Gaga or Ga-ga (lit. “touch-touch”) is a variant of dodgeball. The game combines dodging, striking, running and jumping with the object of hitting opponents with a ball below the knee while avoiding being hit. The game can be played by groups of individual players, teams and in one-on-one matches. The game may sometimes be referred to as “Israeli dodge-ball”.

Shabbat morning we had a fun Torah study and continued to learn about Israel’s geography with giant maps, icing, candy and an Israel Jew-pardy game.  There was more Gaga in the afternoon and even though it rained and we had to scuttle a few outdoor activities we had a fun weekend.  What I really enjoy about the weekend is talking with my students and just hanging out.  I enjoy reading young adult books and we always have time on Retreat to talk about what books everyone is reading and what movies are the hottest.  There is no substitute for eating, playing, and praying together for 48 hours …

Finish reading this article on Vanessa’s blog.

Enjoy some highlights of the retreat:

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