Bozmon IKEA

Hallå! After weeks of planning, the bogrimot finally got to see all their hard work come to fruition today in a fun-filled day of IKEA themed activities! After revolting over the lack of Swedish fish and ready-to-build flat pack furniture, the bogrimot successfully kicked out all of the madrichim and madatz and began the festivities!

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The bogrimot anxiously awaiting their Bozmon call!

Chanichimot cycled through a round-robin where each activity was modeled after IKEA. Signs were in Swedish (with English translations), “employees” wore blue shirts and khakis, and activities were themed around everyone’s favorite minimalist Scandinavian furniture. 

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A station led by Jonah incorporating beds and mattresses into a game!
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Chanichimot loved trying to get through the inner-tube course in the pool!
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In a station simulating a warehouse, chanichimot had to push each other in mop buckets in a race!
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Chanichimot cheering each other on through the IKEA obstacle course!

The event ended with a pool party where the madrichimot and madatz came back to take over, and chanichimot sang a song they learned during the day.

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The bogrimot, though exhausted from their feat, are now equipped with skills to be able to run machaneh. They did an amazing job today, and we are so proud of them!

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Moshly yours,

Simone

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Yom Tzedek pt. 2

While the amelimot and the madatz spent Yom Tzedek (Day of Justice) helping the butterfly conservation effort, the chotrimot, solelimot, bonimot and bogrimot spent the day learning about and taking action for migrant justice in the United States.

The chotrimot and solelimot spent the day at Mosh. After an opening ceremony explaining the day, chanichimot split up by shichva for a peula about the issues facing asylum seekers, including Trump’s family separation policy. Chotrimot put themselves in the shoes of asylum seekers, thinking about which few items they would take with them if they had time to grab only a few things, while solelimot read and discussed different pieces of Jewish wisdom about loving the stranger. After the peula, the chotrimot and solelimot met back together for a themed song-learning session. We learned two of Woody Guthrie’s songs about how America ought to treat its residents of all colors: “This Land is Your Land” and “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos.”)

After lunch, chotrimot and solelimot participated in a round robin of different actions to help promote justice for migrants and asylum seekers. Chanichimot wrote letters urging their representatives to take action, took photos for a social media campaign, and worked together to sew stuffed animals to send to children living in refugee camps.

While the chotrimot and solelimot were learning about migrant justice at Mosh, the bonimot and bogrimot were lucky enough to travel to the Baltimore offices of Jews United for Justice. JUFJ is a DC-based organization that mobilizes Jews to organize for issues of social, racial, and economic justice. JUFJ is the organization that we are partnering with in the coming year for the Bonimot Tzedek program – a year round social justice education program for high schoolers that develops leaderships and community organizing skills. Throughout the coming year they will be participating in activities and movement building like they did during Yom Tzedek. It was really amazing to be able to start this partnership off in the summer about such an important issue knowing that it is going to be something that continues throughout the school year. If you are interested in registering for Bonimot Tzedek the registration is now up at this link: tinyurl.com/moshtzedek

JUFJ’S organizers ran workshops for the bonimot and bogrimot about the history of migrant justice in the US and different organizing tactics. After chanichimot had learned about the background, the organizers told us about a pressing situation of a long-term undocumented immigrant mother who was facing imminent deportation. Chanichimot split into small groups to call different representatives and demand action from them to stop her deportation.

After the bonimot and bogrimot returned from Baltimore, they joined with the chotrimot and solelimot to participate in special chugim themed around migrant justice. Some chanichimot learned about Trump’s travel ban or the refugee crisis in Israel while others learned about celebrities whose refugee status they might not have known, like Albert Einstein or M.I.A.

We ended the day together with a ceremony. As we hummed the tune to “Olam Chesed Yibaneh (We Will Build This World With Love,)” chanichimot stepped forward to share something they were taking away from the day. Some chanichimot expressed feelings of anger and fear about the situation in America right now, but chanichimot shared a sense of empowerment to respond to our current reality.

Moshly yours,

Simone

Yom Tzedek – Amelimot & Madatz

Each session, chanichimot participate in a Yom Tzedek, or Tikkun Olam activity. The goal of this activity is to foster change and progress in the world, and help to repair the world around us. This session, I tagged along with the Amelimot and Madatz as they volunteered at the Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills. The goal of the Irvine Nature Center is to educate and inspire the protection, exploration, and respect of the outdoors. The chanichimot volunteered by catching butterflies and releasing them into a butterfly habitat at the nature center. There, the butterflies are safe to breed and multiply and repopulate the land as one of the key players in the pollination cycle!

Chanichimot especially loved learning more about the butterflies they caught once inside the butterfly habitat. There, they learned information about butterflies’ lifespans, habitat, diet, and more.

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Everyone had a ton of fun exploring the vast meadows and forests!
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Our guide, Ben, knew just how to finesse the butterfly from the net into the enclosure.
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Inside the butterfly habitat, chanichimot learned about the different types of butterflies they caught and released all fourteen of them into the habitat!

Overall, the Madatz and Amelimot Yom Tzedek was a very successful one, and they came back with a newfound appreciation for nature around them, as well as a goal to become even more passionate stewards of the land they live on!

Moshly yours,

Simone

P.S. Stay tuned for an update on the other activities that we did for Yom Tzedek!

Tiyul

The day after Visitors’ Day, chanichimot packed their bags for tiyul! This camping trip takes place on Mosh property, so we don’t have to go far. Plus, the chanichimot love seeing the wilderness in their own backyard! The younger kids (amelimot and chotrimot) went on an easy hike to the camping spot, while the older kids (solelimot, bonimot, and bogrimot) went on a more challenging hike through the Serpentine to get to the camping spot. After everyone met up, chanichimot set up tents with the help of madrichimot, and settled in for the night. Overall, tiyul was a fun and relaxing experience where chanichimot got to be closer to nature. Kids enjoyed playing card games and teaching card games to new chanichimot, as well as building forts with logs and sticks. After some more hiking that catered to everyone’s skill levels, everyone relaxed in the cool river and sang songs by the campfire. When tiyul ended, everyone hiked back up to Mosh to start another week of fun-filled activities! Check the CampMinder for more photos of tiyul.

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Baseball Game!

Yesterday afternoon, we travelled by bus to York, Pennsylvania to see a minor league baseball game for the Fourth of July! It was the renowned York Revolution versus the famous Sugar Land Skeeters from Texas. However, their heated rivalry went unresolved due to a thunderstorm. But before the rain, we had an amazing time cheering on both teams! The mitbach (kitchen) brought us sandwiches, chips, and apples to eat at the game. The energy the chanichimot and madatz brought to the game was astounding, and they were especially good sports even when it began to drizzle! When it began to thunder, the busses picked us up near the stadium and drove us back to Mosh. When we got back, the youngest chanichimot went to bed while everyone else sat in the MLC to watch The Sandlot; a Mosh classic! Overall, even in spite of the weather, the chanichimot had a wonderful time being out and about in York, PA and thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of both the lightning and the fireworks!

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We had a section of the stadium pretty much to ourselves!
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Even as we were leaving, the kids were in great spirits!
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When K-Man struck out, the crowd went wild, and so did we!

Moshly yours,

Simone

Special Day: Monopoly

Each session, the madrichimot plan a special day with an underlying educational theme. The special day this session was Monopoly themed with the goal of teaching chanichimot about gentrification in prominent cities and neighborhoods in the US today. In focusing on Chicago, H Street, Fishtown, Minneapolis, Seattle, Harlem, Williamsburg, and New Orleans, the chanichimot learned about the process of gentrification and why it happens, as well as ways to work against gentrification and support local communities.

Special day began as a tochnit erev – evening activity – the night before that was a life-sized game of Monopoly. Madrichimot and Madatz played characters that included Mr. Monopoly and game pieces, and groups of chanichimot completed different challenges to advance their pieces on the board. Chanichimot were suprised the next morning to find the Monopoly characters still at play, as well as to see decorations all around machaneh. Throughout the day, groups of chanichimot went around to different stations that represented the different locations. They learned about the gentrified versions of each place, and were given realistic accounts of local narratives. Later, they went around to those same places to learn about why this gentrification process is so problematic. Then, each shichva had a peula (discussion) about what they gleaned from the day and to process the information. We were then planning on “liquidating” Mr. Monopoly’s assets by throwing him into the pool and having a Mesibah (party), but weather had other plans for us and threw a thunderstorm our way. Despite the alternate ending to the special day, chanichimot had a ton of fun “buying into” the Monopoly theme all while learning valuable information about gentrification.

Moshly yours,

Simone

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One of the groups led by Shula on special day!
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One of the groups led by Solly, Henry, and Allison for the Monopoly tochnit erev!
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A sign hanging at the Chicago station for special day.

Saturday – Musicale, Havdallah, and Medurah

For Hebrew help, check out the glossary page!

Shabbat continued on a hot Saturday morning that began with a sleep in until 10:30! At 11, chanichimot went to the MLC for Rejuvenation – a time to relax and think back on their weeks at machaneh. This includes singing songs, breathing exercises, guided mediations, and more. Saturdays are very relaxed days perfect for resting and reflecting. However, the break in the schedule does not last too long.

After dinner, chanichimot are invited to sign up for Musicale – this is an event where anyone can perform songs and musical numbers. Whether acapella, with a guitar, or with a trumpet, chanichimot love to display their musical talents in front of machaneh!

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Musicale is followed by Havdallah. It is with these blessings that Shabbat officially wraps up. This is an especially peaceful time when chanichimot can reflect on their days while looking at the beautiful sunset.

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After Havdallah comes Medurah, which is a bonfire combined with a talent show that kids sign up to perform at. Yesterday, it was far too hot to have a bonfire, so we had “Indoor-ah” (portmanteau of “indoor” and “medurah”). Chanichimot perform all kinds of acts, including poem recitations, sing-alongs, naming every state’s capital, stand-up comedy, skits, and more!

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Once all of the acts wrap up, songbooks are handed out to the chanichimot and we all sing folk songs together. This activity is called “Kumzitz,” which is Yiddish for “come sit.” A group of madrichimot grab their guitars and sit on the stage, leading a relaxed sing-along of songs such as “Country Roads,” “Friend of the Devil,” “Angel From Montgomery,” “Wagon Wheel,” and other classics. After Kumzitz, the tired chanichimot go to bed, weary after a long Shabbat.

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Don’t forget to check out CampMinder for more photos!

Moshly yours,

 

Simone