Hello everyone and Shabbat Shalom! Today’s blog will highlight some of the mosh’s unsung heroes, our mitbach (kitchen) and especially our Roshe Mitbach (heads of kitchen), Abby Svetlik and Matt Koppel. Today’s post is written with Matt and Abby, and of course, your second-session communications host, Segev Berner-Kadish.
Mosh’s mitbach (kitchen) is unique among North America’s Jewish summer camps, even within our larger youth movement, Habonim Dror. The tzevet mitbach (kitchen staff) are all members of the mosh community and we use no outside labor. For the chanechimot (campers), knowing that some of the same madrechimot (counselors) who worked with them are now cooking their food gives them a greater appreciation for their food and the labor that was put into making it.
Cooking for upwards of 150 people is no easy feat but the life of a mitbach member is mixed with hard work, fun, and an awesome community. Each member is on about 2 meals a day. Each meal involves a variety of responsibilities. The tzevet mitbach arrive 2.5 hours before the meal to start prepping (chopping, boiling, marinating, making food for those with dietary restrictions, and you know, cooking), an hour of serving the meal itself (refilling dishes and keeping everyone fed), and clean-up takes about 45 minutes. All the while, music is blasting (the new Lizzo album is bumping right now!).
Tzevet mitbach loves their jobs. Shula Bronner, pointed out that “it’s important that we’re doing our own labor for our community. Just like the chanechimot (campers) do avodah (work like taking out the trash and cleaning the bathrooms) this is how we contribute. It feels good to know our labor is just as valuable as any of the other counselors’, even if it looks very different. Also, I love this Lizzo album!” It’s a real community. Some of the tzevet (staff) has been working in the mitbach for much of their mosh career, while this is others’ first experience cooking at all. But as Abby appreciates, “you don’t need any cooking skills to do it! The only requirement is that you love mosh :).”
— Segev Berner-Kadish (He/Him)