Kupa Asefa

Something unique about Mosh, and Habonim Dror (our parent movement) more generally, is our use of, and fundamental belief in, collective decision-making and kupa. Our camp experience is loosely modeled off of the Israeli Kibbutz, where members of the community share in labor, profits, and decision-making processes. In fact, our tzrifim (cabins) and ohelim (tents) are named after Kibbutzim! Some of the ways this manifests are toranut (where we take turn washing dishes and serving food), avodah (work), and kupa. 

Kupa is our system of sharing here at Mosh that, as one chanicha (camper) put it, “allows us campers to give what they can and take what we need, or even just want!” Part of each camper’s camp tuition is designated for their kupa and at the beginning of each session we, as a camp, decide collectively how we are going to distribute that money and other resources, like treats and toiletries. This decision is made at the kupa asefa (meeting), where two counselors facilitate the process and each tzrif (cabin) or ohel (tent) functions as a caucus that deliberates and votes on the proposals before them. 

This session’s options for kupa were as follows: 

  1. Trickle down (resources start with the oldest kids and trickle down)
  2. Trickle up (resources start with the youngest kids and trickle up)
  3. Trampoline kupa (all our resources are designated to transform the floors of the cabins and tents into trampolines). 
  4. Agam kupa (we utilize our resources to buy/create a giant stick to measure the depth of the agam (lake)). 
  5. Machane kupah (all resources must be distributed to the whole machaneh (camp)).
  6. Machane with option of shikva with option of tzrif/ohel (all resources can be either split among the people you live with, your age group, or the entire camp). 
  7. Rugged individualism a.k.a. capitalism (we return all the money and the campers must fend for themselves and pull themselves up by their Blundstone straps!). 

Some of these options are more realistic and actionable than others; while we almost always choose option 6, the democratic and educational process of the asefa (meeting) is incredibly valuable. Kupa affects the chanechimot’s (campers’) daily lives at camp whether that be getting a new toothbrush, sharing their candy, and just generally creating a welcoming and inclusive machaneh (camp) experience for everyone, largely free of class dynamics.

– Segev (He/Him)

P.S. We on tzevet have our own kupa. We have a kupa asefa during construction and use our kupa to pay for our needs and wants, gas money, snacks, and anything we pay for during our time off. We set aside part of our paychecks and forgo using personal money over the summer. If you would like to contribute to tzevet kupa please venmo @Sidra_Hoff. Any amount is appreciated!   


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s