Zman Metzuyan (excellent time) is a time we have every day where chanichim (campers) can learn about Israeli history, culture, politics, and current events. It allows chanichim to explore questions they have about Israel, and begin figuring out what Israel means to them. Yesterday, we had the first zman metzuyan of the session! To introduce our Israel education program, and start kids off thinking about Israel, we had a number of stations that kids could walk around to and participate in.
At one station, chanichim (campers) learned about different places and climates of Israel, including the Negev (desert), Ha Chof (beach), Mt. Heron (mountains), and Ha Ya’ar (forest). The chanichim were then able to dress up in crazy costumes and have a photo shoot at different areas around Israel!
At another station, the chanichim (campers) were able to look at a mini-gallery of Israeli artist’s work. They could explore the different paintings and photographs, and get exposed to a wide variety of types of art in Israel.
There was also a station that allowed chanichim (campers) to answer the prompt “My question about Israel is ________.” Chanichim were able to write down what confused them about Israel, and begin identifying things they wanted to learn about Israel during the summer.
At a different station, chanichim (campers) could color in a map of Israel according to their vision of how it should look. Chanichim could begin to think about Israel critically, and come up with their own ideas as to how Israel should be structured.
At the last station, chanichim (campers) could answer different prompts like “my Israel looks like…” or “my Israel governs like…”. Again, at this station, chanchim were able to identify what Israel was to them, and how they think it should look or structure itself.
After these stations, chanichim (campers) split up by shichvot (age groups) and had conversations about the activities they just did. Chanichim discussed what they had learned, and identified any questions the different activities brought up about Israel. They also described different things they wanted to learn about Israel throughout the summer, and what sort of things they wanted to bring home about Israel after the summer ended.
After the discussions, zman metzuyan ended in a machaneh (camp) wide dance party to Israeli music! Overall, this was a great way for chanichim (campers) to begin exploring Israel and their connection to the Jewish state. We’re all excited to continue this Israel education throughout the summer!