Yesterday afternoon was the Softball World Series, a time-honored tradition in Mosh history. Usually, the two teams have been playing each other all session in Chug (interest group) Softball. However, this year, we didn’t have a Chug Softball, so anyone who wanted to play could play. The rest of the camp came and cheered for their friends. We started off the game with the opening speech by the Commissioner and the National Anthem. However, because it was time for swimming, we could only play 6 innings. Despite that, it was an entertaining and competitive game for all involved.
The sign representing the traditional gender binary was ripped from the wall during the All Gender Bathroom Ceremony.
Yesterday was Mosh’s dedication ceremony of the “All Gender Bathroom”. Now. you may be asking yourself, “wasn’t there a dedication ceremony of the new sherutim (bathrooms) at the start of the summer?” While the answer to that question is yes, we felt that this ceremony did not properly highlight Mosh’s large step in showing our commitment to creating a safer space for all people.
The ceremony began with a rendition of “When I was a Boy“, a song by our beloved Dar Williams. This performance was followed by a speech:
Welcome to the All-Gender Bathroom Dedication. We know you’ve been holding it in all summer, but don’t poop your pants just yet, it’s here! An All-Gender Bathroom is a bathroom for any and everyone. Most of the time when you walk into a bathroom, people read that as you declaring your gender identity and saying “I’m a boy” or “I’m a girl” hear me roar. While people have been telling us which bathroom to go in our whole lives, for many folks it is not such an obvious decision. It is a decision that can cause some anxiety.
Additionally, violence against transgendered people often occurs in bathrooms. There has been a big push across the United States to create more All-Gender Bathrooms. Taking all this in mind, as a loving community dedicated to meeting everyone’s needs, Mosh included an All-Gender Bathroom in their building plan.
Although Mosh is an inclusive community in many ways, we are always striving to do better. It is not always obvious to us how to actualize our commitments. It took the hard work of tzevet in coordination with the board to make this project a reality.
We can’t go anywhere without thanking Avi Edelman and Ethan Miller, two key proponents of this proposal on the board. Jen Silber, our fearless leader who worked with the Riparious contractors throughout the year to make this dream a reality. Wanda, the project manager, who kept the trains running. Butch and Ryan, our foremen, who kept the ship afloat. John Carlino, the best caretaker of this land since haShem. Gene Meyer, president of the board. Rick Glazer, head of the facilities committee, and ALL OUR LOVE – UHH!!!
For health and safety reasons, we have to keep the bathroom locked for the most part, but if for any reason you’d like a key, just let one of your madrichim know and they’ll talk to mazkirut to get one for you.
Following the speech was a ceremonial flush given by Jen Silber, Moshava’s executive director, and two chanichim ripped down the traditional bathroom sign. The ceremony commenced with poems created by some of the chanichim about gender and inclusion.
- Melissa Eisen, madricha, guest blogger
Maya Goren, our shlicha (emissary) from Israel, is nearing the end of her three-year period at Mosh. For our tochnit erev (evening activity) last night, we had a ceremony to appreciate her contributions to Mosh before her return to Israel at the end of the summer. Each ohel (tent) of kids, as well as mazkirut (the leadership team) and tzevet (staff), performed a small act for her.
We sang songs, did slam poetry and presented Maya with a scrapbook full of photos and personal notes. John, our groundskeeper, gave an emotional speech and Tamsy, the nurse, sang a song from the musical Wicked. Jen, the executive director, gave Maya a shmeryl, or short rhyming poem that traditionally cycles from person to person throughout the session. Many members of the board came up to camp for the ceremony and a few of them spoke. To top it all off, dinner earlier that night consisted of all of her favorite foods.
All in all, it was a wonderful ceremony that truly showed the love and appreciation of the Mosh community for Maya and everything she’s brought us. Maya has been such an important and amazing part of Mosh for the past 3 years, and she will be very missed.
I hope everyone had a restful Shabbat – I know we definitely did. Last night was Aliyah Bet. Aliyah Bet refers to the illegal immigration of Jews, fleeing persecution in Europe, to Palestine under the British Mandate from roughly 1934-1948. In Mosh terms, Aliyah Bet is when we wake up the kids in the middle of the night and reenact this journey to Israel, trying to convey the real danger and urgency of the trip and the relief of safe arrival.
This summer, the plot of Aliyah Bet was the break-out from Atlit. In October of 1945, the Palmach (a unit of the underground army fighting the British Mandate) clandestinely broke out 200 Jewish refugees who were being held at the Atlit detention center. Atlit was established as part of the White Papers, a measure taken to limit the number of Jews immigrating to Palestine.
The kids were woken up and told to report for duty for the Palmach for a special mission. After an inspiring speech from Yitzhak Rabin (the Palmach officer who led the mission), the kids split up into units and went through an army-training round robin, where they were briefed on the historical context and learned how to sneak and army-crawl.
Then, the kids reached Atlit detention center, located in the MLC. After avoiding the British patrols, the kids crept in and woke up the sleeping refugees, evacuating them without the British waking up. They taught the refugees the line: “Ani Yehudi B’Eretz Yisrael,” I am a Jew in the land of Israel, so that the British wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the newly arrived Jews and those already living in Israel. Then, they all began a hike to Kibbutz Yagur.
Upon arriving at Kibbutz Yagur, we gathered around the flagpole, raised the Israeli flag and sang Hatikva. We entered the chadar, decorated with Israeli flags and streamers, where the kids had doughnuts and hot apple cider. Then they went to bed, with a long sleep-in today. All the kids got really involved in action and had a great time, while learning a lot.
On Wednesday night, Mosh went to the Friedman’s house in Owings Mills for dinner, then to Pump It Up, a moonbounce
fun-zone, for the Kupa trip. Kupa refers to the system of communal sharing that we use at Mosh. In terms of the Kupa trip, it’s an experience that the whole machaneh (camp) shares together. Everyone bounced, raced through the obstacle course and got lots of energy out. We left exhausted and sweaty, but thoroughly happy.
For the rest of this week, we’ve been getting back into the normal swing of things. The small size of machaneh at the moment has allowed us to change some things up and have a lot of fun. For example, we played a macheneh-wide game of Mafia, and we currently sit and eat all together with the tables in one U-shaped formation. It’s also been very gray and rainy, with intermittent thunderstorms and downpours. Yesterday for Sadnaot (workshops), half the machaneh learned Shabbat Shira songs (songs we sing on Shabbat) and the other half made Kishutim (decorations) for Shabbat to hang in the dining hall for Friday night dinner.
A quick side note – the camera I use is now broken. All photos going up (as well as many photos already up, such as those of Tiyul, Tikkun Olam and Shabbat) are taken by one of our Israeli madrichim (counselors), Shakked. He’s an accomplished photographer, so enjoy! And a Shabbat Shalom l’kulam (to everyone)!
Here is the second issue of the Moshington Post, which some of you may have seen on Visitor’s Day. The kids worked really hard on it and I think they created a great publication. Enjoy the Moshington Post. Issue 2!
We got back last night from a really fun, although rainy Tiyul. On Monday afternoon, we arrived at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Lewisberry, PA. We set up our ohelim (tents) and unpacked our stuff, then hung out and played cards and board games, a favorite Tiyul pastime. After that, we walked to the beautiful lake right next to our campsite, where we went swimming in the warm but shallow water and sunbathed at the beach. Then we returned to the campsite for a dinner of grilled hamburgers. That night, the kids played improv games in front of a bonfire, sang campfire songs and went to sleep.
The next morning, after a breakfast of bagels and cereal, we got ready to go on our hike. As soon as we got into the woods, it began to rain (lightly). We completed the first half our hike, then met up at another point on the lake for lunch. However, as the rain got heavier, we decided to evacuate all the kids back to the campsite, shuttling them back in trips in the Mosh van. We then packed up all our stuff and got ready to leave, as it was expected to continue raining all that night and the rest of today. We arrived back at camp last night in time for a dinner of hot dogs. Then, after all the kids had showered, we watched the Muppet Movie and ended the night with s’mores. Even though it was shorter and damper than expected, it was a really relaxing and fun Tiyul for everyone.