By Ari Kalfus
The first day of Kallah Aleph has started off in full swing! This morning every unit participated in an all-camp shiur (Jewish educational program); there will be three total all-camp shiurim this session. Sam Pollak, our Judaic Studies Director, introduced the session’s overall shiur educational theme: Shabbat. In their own shiur programs, each unit will cover the topic of Shabbat through individual vehicles (for example, Shoresh’s vehicle is Finding Nemo), but we begin and end our learning together, as one camp.
This all-camp shiur stressed the uniqueness of Shabbat, distinct from the regular, “good” week, as a “holy” day. As campers entered the Mircaz Tarbut, our performing arts center, Sabbath music played over the sound system, representing the traditional welcoming of Shabbat with song. Then came a slideshow presentation of the seven days of Creation, ending with Shabbat. During each day, a voiceover (performed by our wonderful Garin Unit Head Emily Langowitz) read excerpts from Genesis that detailed the creation of each day. The slideshow illustrated that the first six days of Creation were deemed “good” by God, but only Shabbat was deemed “holy.”
During the program, campers split off into three areas of camp and participated in two stations. At the first station, campers arranged themselves in cabin circles around two pieces of butcher paper and were handed paper cards. Each card had an item, place, person, idea, group, or time on it. The pieces of butcher paper were labeled “good” and “holy.” Campers had to categorize the items on their cards as either “good” or “holy.” After this, cabins held a sicha (discussion) on why items were in each category. The goal of the activity was to understand the concept of holiness as being distinct from simple goodness.
At the second station, cabins were given another set of cards, and were told to develop skits that involve whatever was written on the card. The catch? In each skit, the concept of holiness had to be present. The goal of this activity was to understand how holiness can be present in normal interactions and through relating one thing to another.
Campers had a great time during the program (as you can see from the photos!). Our educational programs are off to a great start!