HaboZine feature: Pish at Mosh

Communications Specialist Note: We’ll be featuring articles, poems, and drawings by chanichim (kids) from the HaboZine sa’adnah (workshop) on the blog. Here’s an article written by a Chotrim girl.

Pish at Mosh

By: Elizabeth Tesler


Pish (peulat shichvah, activity with age group) is a special time in the day in which everyone at Mosh gathers in their kvutzah (or age group) and discusses matters. Sometimes it can be about nationwide issues or about thoughts and feelings you have throughout your time at Moshava as well as in your everyday life.

My sister, who is in Bogrim, which is an age group here at Moshava, tells me the older people in camp, the Solelim, Bonim and Bogrim, talk about more national topics, such as problems in the world and disagreements. As for me, being in Chotrim, we usually talk about feelings and events in our lives.

Today, we discussed identity and not judging others. I admit, I’m excited to speak about more news-related topics, but you’ve got to love just speaking out about your life. I also love that in my age group we play interesting games to teach us lessons. I hope they have activities like those in the older age groups, because it really gets through to me.

In conclusion, that is some basic information about Pish at Camp Moshava in Maryland. It is one of my favorite times of day!

Goodbye, Mosh!

After a summer full of learning, creating and maintaining friendships,
self-discovery, and an inconceivable amount of fun, it is finally time to say goodbye to Mosh until next summer. Although this is a bittersweet time for most, the values of Mosh and the good times we had with stay with everyone much longer than this summer.

Thank you to each and everyone of you for following the blog. Having watched the amount of blog views increase exponentially each day has been fullfilling. It is so great to know that are so many attentive and loving parents. Thank you for sending your son/daughter to Mosh and we are all so excited to see you again next summer!

Keep in touch with Moshniks and stay involved in the Habonim Dror movement throughout the year by coming to the Eizor events!

–Sarah Joelson

Tisha B’av

Discussions about the meaning of Tisha B'av and reflections about the holiday are discussed in small groups. Photo by Sarah Joelson

Meaning the 9th of Av (a month in the Jewish calendar), Tisha B’av is a Jewish day of mourning to remember the destruction of first and second temples. Chanachim (campers) who were of bar/bat mitzvah age and up were given the option to fast for the day to appreciate and reflect on the tragedies of the past.

Erev Tisha B’av (the night before), the chanachim were divided into groups and then went on to discuss the meaning of the holiday. Then, the groups were led around machaneh (camp) to different stations, each of which consisted of a skit that addressed a  specific event in Jewish history. After returning from the stations, the chanachim analyzed what they had just observed and read a number memoirs relating to Jewish oppression.

The next day, chanachim participated in a round robin where they “met” famous Jewish activists and philosophers (acted out by madrachim) and pondered what their Jewish identity meant to them and in what ways they would like to utilize their Jewish values and beliefs to create change. As the day continued, the chanachim had opportunities to learn new Hebrew songs, make and decorate picture frames, and participate in discussions that sought out ways in which to make the day meaningful and beneficial.

Making picture frames. Photo by Sarah Joelson

After the sun set, the break-fast took place and the campers enjoyed a delicious dinner consisting of blintzes, peas, carrots, hash browns, bagels, and more!

–Sarah Joelson

Meet the Madrichim: Marlena Chertock

Marlena Chertock

University of Maryland, Major: Journalism, Minors: International Development and Conflict Management, Creative Writing

  • Why do you think Mosh is special?

Mosh is special because it is more than just having fun at a summer camp. Within my first year (Chotrim 2002) I found that we care about deeper things here, about the world, social justice, injustice, Tikkun O’lam (healing the world), about those who don’t have power or access or a voice, we learn about difficult topics and truth and discuss problems in the world and possible solutions. Mosh was the first place I learned about many problems with society, corporations and systemic issues. The education I received from Mosh greatly complemented my formal school education because I feel that I was aware of much more through Habonim and Camp Moshava, before learning about such topics in school. A lot of Habo and Mosh alumni go on to study humanities, sociology, psychology, philosophy, social work, Jewish studies, as well as completely different areas of study. I think what we teach and how we interact with chanichim (kids) is so important. We offer kids a voice, encourage them to have their own opinions and share them, to work with the rest of their shikvah (age group), to believe in the collective and the strength of a group, to work for equality.

  • Why do you come back to be on tzevet?

I came back to be on tzevet this year because Habonim Dror and Camp Moshava is an important part of my life that I want to continue to be a part of and give to. I have learned so much, been given alternative systems to think about, had leadership training, made friends, these kinds of lists for machaneh don’t have an ending. I wanted to be able to translate my passion and belief in Habonim values into working on tzevet. I wanted to be able to share my love of writing, documenting what happens and sharing events with machaneh and chanichim. I wanted to be able to spread the ideals and values of Mosh and Habo to parents and a wider audience. This year on tzevet I feel I was really able to do that as Communications Specialist, through this blog, taking photos and video of chanichim, interviewing other tzevet members about why they think Mosh is special and why they come back to be on tzevet, being in touch with parents, running a chug (special interest group) on creative writing and reading. There are so many ways to share your interests and talents with machaneh. For me, writing and journalism is such an important aspect of my life — it is intertwined with who I am. Writing is the best way I have to express myself, to help me understand events in my life and the world and to share stories with others. I love being able to share my writing and love of writing with others and being able to do that at Mosh this summer has been such an amazing experience.

Toranut … making kids love washing dishes

Toranut refills food and washes dishes after every meal. Photo by Sarah Joelson.

You know those bumper stickers you all put on the back of your cars when your kids do something good, get straight A’s or make the Honor Roll? Well, now there’s another reason to collect stickers like little kids do and sticker up your car. If your kids go to Mosh they’ve probably been a Toranut All-Star!

Toranut is how we wash the dishes here at Mosh. Everyone does toranut at least once or twice, which plays into equality, socialism and helping to keep camp running. Just how avodah (work groups) is done by everyone in the morning to ensure machaneh gets cleaned and taken care of, toranut must be done during and after each meal to clean the dishes we use.

This year there is a new toranut cheer:

Hey, toranut, you’ve got a nice dishrag.

Clap, clap, clap,

Clap, clap, clap, clap,

Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap,

Soap, soap, soap, soap, soap,

Rinse, sanitizer,

Wipe it down now,

Repeat the claps.

Hey, toranut, smash it then bang it (with a special handshake).

The boombox blasts and dishes clatter in the shtifa (dishwashing area) as about 10 chanichim (and multiple madrichim) collaborate efforts to wash dishes from dinner as they sing along to the music. An assembly line of cups, plates and silverware form by the sinks and racks are filled with clean dishes at a rapid rate.  Toranut not only cleans up for dinner but they arrive at the Chadar Ochel (dining hall) early to eat and set out dishes and bowls of food at each table. During the meal they walk around the Chadar attending to the needs of the rest of machaneh (camp). They retrieve empty bowls and water pitchers from the tables and replace them with new food and water. They also serve the vegetarian/vegan meals. At the end of the meal, once the dishes are clean, the floors are swept and the tables are washed and sanitized.

Although Toranut seems like a lot of work, most chanichim (kids) enjoy it because they all put forth a great effort (even if they don’t always jump up to do the dishes at home). This is another example of how Mosh’s environment and culture can encourage kids to engage in activities they never thought they would enjoy, but end up having fun and loving it.

–Marlena Chertock & Sarah Joelson

Hey Chug Softball, take me out to the ballgame

Maytal runs to first base during the Chug Softball World Series game. Photo by Marlena Chertock.

Lemonade, chips, bats, gloves and balls. The popping sound of a ball being forced back into momentum in the opposite direction is heard and one bat cracks. This can only be softball.

The World Series for Chug Softball was on Friday. The World Series is a great tradition where the chug splits into two teams and plays their final, seventh game with the entire machaneh as an audience. The teams this year were PlayDoh and For Real Doh.

Baryl holds up a sign for Play-Doh. Other signs said: 'Someone win!' Photo by Marlena Chertock.

T-shirts with team names and nicknames were made, lunch was served outside and machaneh gathered around the softball field to watch an intense game. High fives were given to everyone on the teams, machaneh cheered for both teams and softball at Mosh continues to be fun, engaging and one of the many traditions.

For Real Doh won the game, but in Habo we don’t stress competition.

Take me out to the ballgame,

Take me out to the crowd,

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks,

I don’t care if I ever get back,

For it’s root, root, root for the (insert preferred team here),

If they don’t win it’s a shame,

For it’s one, two, three, four, five strikes you’re out if you’re Amelim.

View more photos from the game here.

–Marlena Chertock

Quidditch … Color War Style

Danny as the snitch runs away from kids as they try to catch him during the Quidditch match. Photo by Marlena Chertock.

Red … green … blue … and yellow. Four teams … one field … two simultaneous games … two snitches … these unrelated words could only mean one thing: machaneh played Quidditch.

Brooms, mops, squeegees and baseball bats were tucked between kids’ legs and they held onto them while they ran. Some had to get a ball away from the other team, run the length of the field and throw the ball in one of three hula hoops. Other kids had to ride on their pseudo-brooms and catch the snitch, who tried to evade being touched. Others had to avoid being hit by bouncy balls by madrichim.

The snitches, Danny and Jeremy, sprinted down the field and into the forest, jumping or sliding to avoid kids touching them and winning the game.

This game is definitely for Harry Potter enthusiasts, lovers of color as well as those who always choose comedy movies to watch, for the game was hilarious and fun for everyone.

View more photos from today’s Quidditch match here.

–Marlena Chertock

Meet the Madrichim: David Kanter

David Kanter

Ithaca College, Major: Drama

  • Why do you think Mosh is special?

It’s a place where people can feel comfortable with themselves. A place where they can explore thoughts and ideas in new and different ways. And it’s a comfortable environment to explore who and what you want to be. People accept you for what you are and don’t expect you to be a certain way. It’s an atmosphere where that is encouraged. You can be out of your element and do things you wouldn’t do normally. And the way we integrate education into what we do — we have peulot, we have times to plan out what we want our kids to come out of the summer with, we integrate structures of informal informal education and everyone contributes to a certain goal. It’s not school but you’re still getting a lot out of that from informal education.

  • Why do you come back to be on tzevet?

Tzevet is a cool new way to challenge myself in different ways. I also really enjoy being around kids and teaching them and interacting with them and having a positive and meaningful influence on their lives. This is a community that I’ve spent a lot of time taking from and learning from and I want to create that experience for a new generation.

Meet the Madrichim: Ethan Miller

Ethan Miller

American University, Major: Economics and Gender Studies

  • Why do you think Mosh is special?

Mosh is special because it’s a place where everyone can be who they are and they don’t have to be a different person in order to feel accepted and loved for who they are. And it’s the single most important place in my life in the last ten years and has ultimately changed me so much for the better.

  • Why do you come back to be on tzevet?

I want to be able to create the experiences for today’s chanichim that I experienced when I was a chanich. I want to be able to make their experience here at camp the best possible and make sure that they’re learning while having fun.

Meet the Madrichim: Jenna Turow

Meet: Jenna Turow

University of Maryland, Major: English and Education

  • Why do you think Mosh is special?

Mosh is special because it’s hard to find out why it’s so special. There are a lot of things at this camp that are offered at other camps but there’s a sentiment and atmosphere that you don’t feel at other camps. The people here truly care about each other and it’s a truly collective experience. Not only do we work and play together, but we also process and develop together.

  • Why do you come back to be on tzevet?

I came back to be on tzevet because I knew it would be just as fun as being a chanicha. I want to be a Jewish educator, so there’s no better way to spend my summer. The question is why work at any Jewish summer camp when I could work where I’ve grown up. I come back to give back, and bring to Machaneh what it brought for me as a chanicha.