Our Last Hurrah

Sadly, this was our last week together at Mosh B’Yachad, but it was still an amazing week. The week began with an exciting Revolution, which is when the Madatz (counselors-in-training) take over Mosh. This year’s theme was getting the band back together. The madatz were all bandmembers of a musical group that needed help from the chanichimot (campers) to start making music again together. In the end, with the help of the chanichimot, the band got back together.

Chanichimot made posters for the band.

Yesterday was another classic Mosh surprise: Special Day!! It was dreams themed. The day began with a boring speech from Rosh Ben. It was so boring that everyone fell asleep! But once they were sleeping, their dream lives began. Chanichimot (campers) travelled through different dreams, met different characters, and did challenges. But in the second part of the day, they were trapped in a nightmare. They did a scavenger hunt to escape the nightmare and all made it back to being awake!

There were lots of fun characters populating the dreams.

In addition to these special events, every kvutza (age-group) had their last activities together where they talked about looking forward to the future of coming to ken events (year-round programming) together and hopefully seeing one another at Mosh next summer.

This summer, while unexpected, was full of fun and new experiences. Together we learned that even without the physical machaneh (camp), we are still one big Mosh community that cares for one another. We can still come together for fun, love, support, and learning. We look forward to what the ken will offer and everyone should stay tuned for updates.

Moshly yours,

Ben and Talia R

A Dog Bat-Mitzvah, A Wedding, What Didn’t Happen This Week at Mosh?!

By Yoad Merin.

Yoad is A Maryland-based journalist who has worked with the Moshington Post for over 24 hours. He has won no awards, but is the author of the best-selling article by the title “A Dog Bat-Mitzvah, A Wedding, What Didn’t Happen This Week at Mosh?!” He is also a decorated photographer, with many noticeable images such as the one you can find below.

Maggie, the Bat-Mitzvah gal, and her pal Aaron at this week’s celebration! (Photo by Yoad Merin)

This week we had plenty of life-cycle events in the Mosh community. The Bonimot celebrated the bat-mitzvah of Maggie (Also known as Madrich Aaron’s sweet pup) in traditional Mosh-style. The event was very well attended, with celebrities Hannah Montana and Bernie Sanders in attendence (played by our fabulous chanichimot!) After introductions and an exploration of the venue, it was time to dance! Everybody got their groove on to fan-favorites such as the Black-Eyed Peas and more. The eventful night came to a close with a moving speech by the bat-mitzvah pup herself: “Woof!”

Later in the week we saw a surprise wedding! After arriving to what they thought would be a regular Chotrimot peula, chanichimot were given a quick half-hour to get in character and had to write a speech, toast, or objection. These characters included a crazy uncle, a grandma with a secret matzo-ball soup recipe (the secret is onions!), and even a jealous ex-boyfriend! Jokes were told, moving speeches were made, tears of joy were shed, and objections were (unsuccessfully) declared, but at the end, it was time to dance the night away!

Other chanichimot had peulot of diverse topics. The Amelimot for example had a peula about Jewish heritage discussing their family origins, favorite traditions, and memories. They also learned about Jews around the world. As for the rising 11th graders, while they were not able to embark on their MBI trip this summer in Israel, they have been able to keep the community alive by meeting every week to check-in, play games, and have fun!

In this week’s Black Lives Matter/ Anti-Racism chug, Chanichimot (Campers) continued watching “13th,” A documentary about racism, mass-incarceration, and justice (or lack thereof) in the United States. The discussion, which consisted of definitions, historical background, and processing the film collectively, saw chanichimot and madrichimot (Counselors) alike coming to new realizations and learning together. Later in the week, our weekly Mosh-wide activity consisted of remembering our favorites parts of Mosh with an arts and crafts activity. They even drew what they imagined Mosh would currently look like and listened some One Direction!

Next week is the final week of Mosh B’yachad (Mosh Together!), and although we are just as sad as you are, we are getting ready to go out with a bang! A few times a week wasn’t enough? Our final week will feature programming EVERY DAY! There will be more Kvutzah time (time with age groups), and some blow-out camp-wide activities. Without revealing too much, we’ve even heard rumors of some civil unrest brewing among our Madatz (Counselors-in-training)…

Take Action with Mosh!

By Ellie, a Bonimot Tzedek participant in 9th grade

Over the past few months, Bonimot Tzedek has had meetings on zoom instead of in person. On Zoom we have mostly focused on the Black Lives Matter Movement and what we can do to help support it. We have discussed different statistics about police brutality and how much money Montgomery County spends on its policing system.

We have also talked about what it means to be good allies. Just from the discussions, you can tell that everyone cares deeply about Tikkun Olam and making the world a better place. We all want to make a difference and that makes our conversations so much more meaningful.

We recently split up into two working groups. The first is working on planning a discussion about police brutality and defunding the police. The second group has been working on a phone bank to release people who are being detained at a detention center in Virginia. I have been working with the first group, spreading the word and making sure that people know about it. I worked with my friend on sending emails to different synagogues to let as many people know as possible.

We want to invite members of our community to attend the two events that we are planning!

1. A conversation for Jewish teens about police violence and defunding the police — Monday August 3rd at 4pm. This will be run by Bonimot Tzedek teens and is intended for teens ages 12 and up! We’ll be discussing police violence, exploring what it means to defund the police, and learning how these issues affect our local community. Teens can RSVP here

2. A phonebank for migrant justice- Thursday August 6th at 6pm. Bonimot Tzedek, is hosting a phonebank on Thursday August 6th at 6pm to advocate for the release of people being detained at ICA-Farmville, an immigrant detention facility in Virginia. This facility currently has the largest migrant detention center Covid-19 outbreak in the country. Help us call on public officials to demand that inmates be released! All are welcome, including parents and alumni! RSVP here

Week Three Was So Much Fun!

Another amazing week of Mosh B’Yachad!! This week, chanichimot (campers) learned about topics ranging from environmentalism to Habonim Dror ideology to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mosh B’Yachad is always full of games! Some of our favorites that we played this week are mafia, hide & seek, and show & tell. We have to think outside the box when we play games over Zoom, but it turns out we can still play so many fun and community-building games!

The culmination of week three was our fabulous machaneh-wide activity, a talent show! There were so many silly and heartwarming acts. A pair of siblings sang “Wagon Wheel,” which is a favorite kumzitz song. Someone impersonated the Mosh goat! One chanich brought his talent for puzzles to the group and taught everyone how to solve a Rubik’s cube. Two madatz sang a silly song. A sibling pair performed some jokes that folks loved so much, they suggested it become a Netflix special. Two people even their showed their impressive rock collections.

Mosh chanichimot are so creative! Two chanichimot (campers) shared their original music with the crowd and they were both huge hits. Some of the comments included, “This is a bop,” and “Wow, this is amazing,” and “I want to have a dance party to this.” People even got up to dance to these original tunes.

The talent show concluded with a beautiful song performed by the tzevet (staff). We have the most supportive and talented community ever. Kol ha kavod, Mosh!

We’re entering into the penultimate week of machaneh and while we’re sad the summer is drawing to a close, we still have two amazing weeks of programming and community to look forward to.

What Bonimot Tzedek has been up to!

Written by Aleeza, a Bonimot Tzedek participant in 9th grade.

We at Bonimot Tzedek have discussed many problems that are present within our community and other communities as well. It is our goal to make a difference in our community and change the world for the better.
In past meetings we have discussed racial inequality, mass incarceration and defunding the police. Within those discussions we talked about the possible solutions to those problems.


This week, we moved on from simply discussing the solutions to creating action plans, in which we can actually make a difference. We split up into the same focus groups as last week and talked about what we can and will do. The first group is working to educate the community on defunding the police and starting to fund other important departments that need the money. The second group will plan a phone bank to try to get an ICE detention center in Virginia to release its inmates due to a Covid-19 outbreak. We encourage anyone and everyone to join if possible.


After we finished talking about our action plans in our focus groups we switched to discussing redlining. We learned that redlining is when a company, agency, organization, person or even the government refuses to help a community because they are deemed poor or unworthy of help. We discussed how redlining is geared towards people of color and how it has caused communities to be segregated. Although some projects have tried to get rid of this segregation that has come because of red lining, these projects have been delayed. And so segregation, though technically illegal, is still very much present.


Although problems like this are still present, there are people who aim to fix them. We as Bonimot Tzedek hope to make a difference within our community. 

Week 2: Wowapalooza!

Chalutzimot made a silly bracket, and pose with the almighty winner, “Left Middle Toe”.

This week, Amelimot and Chotrimot learned about environmentalism. Amelimot played charades about the environment, did virtual tours to see the effects of climate change, and more. Chotrimot learned about indigenous people and the environmentalism by discussing different cultures’ stories of the origin of the world. They compared Native American, Judeo-Christian, and American pop culture origin stories.

Chalutzimot had a peula about identity. They explored identities they hold and how those identities intersect with one another.

Word Cloud from Chalutzimot identity peulah.

Bonimot spent some time doing kvutzah bonding. The Bonimot played the game Broken Picture Phone and had lots of laughs while trying to follow the confusing instructions! Bogrimot talked about socialism, capitalism, and what different policies are looking like in the US during the coronavirus pandemic.

We also had our first QQQ meeting! QQQ, standing for Queer Quids Qlub, is a safe space for LGBTQ+ chanichimot to learn, question and celebrate together. It has been a favorite chug at Machaneh Moshava every summer since its creation in 2018. Today, we played some introductory games and did some reflective art. QQQ will continue to run on Friday mornings throughout the summer, and is always open to anyone identifying as LGBTQ+.

And finally, we capped off the week with our machaneh-wide (camp-wide) activity – Mosh It to Win It! Everyone had to gather up their wackiest house materials to win this game. Below, you can see everyone dancing as part of a challenge.

What we’ve been learning in Bonimot Tzedek

Written by Leora, a Bonimot Tzedek participant going into 9th grade!

Bonimot Tzedek is a group of 9-12th graders who care deeply about social justice. You can tell even through Zoom that we want to make a difference in our community. We, as Jewish teens, are determined to make the world into a place we will feel proud to inherit.  

In Bonimot Tzedek meetings, we have been learning a lot. We delved into racial inequality and inequity, and the origins in which certain racial stereotypes and police profiling came to be. We have looked into mass incarceration, the war on drugs, and how that has helped shape the current police and justice system. More recently, we have looked at discrepancies in the Montgomery County budget between the police and other departments, such as school health, permanent housing for the homeless, and the environment. We explored the phrase “defunding the police” and really started to understand what it meant. After looking at data, many of us were surprised to learn the police’s budget has more than five times what other departments have, and realized how much of that money could be reallocated to departments and services in need.

The police aren’t trained for many of their responsibilities; we feel that re-investing portions of their budget (even just half!) could really help more people in need and create positive change! 

This week, we split into two focus groups to start taking action! One focus group is centered on Covid-19 outbreaks in ICE detention centers. There was a big outbreak in a center in Virginia, and this group is looking for ways that we, as a local community, can help. The other focus group is concentrated on defunding the police.

This summer, we plan to host phone banks, spread petitions, and more to get the word out about these two pressing issues, in hopes of bringing about some much needed real change. Bonimot Tzedek is truly building justice in our community.

Week One Was a Blast!

This week was the first week of Mosh B’Yachad and it was……. AMAZING! 75 Chanichimot participated in 10 programs throughout the week, and had a blast doing so. We want to share highlights from each shichvah just to show how fun this week was!

Machaneh (Camp-Wide) Activity:

This week we had our FIRST…. EVER…. MACHANEH ACTIVITY!!!!!!! We tested our deep knowledge of Mosh and the universe through an intense and thrilling game of Jeopardy. Four teams faced off…. one team brought home all the glory. But most importantly, everyone had fun and got to meet new people!

We had a ton of people (25+) on to play Jeopardy together!

Amelimot:

Amelimot did a bunch of fun introductory activities, including learning our favorite cheer, “Deep in the heart of the Moshava jungle, you can hear teh Amelimot rumble ooh ahhh oooh ahhhh ahhh!” The tzevet, madatz, and chanichimot introduced themselves and created guidelines for a respectful and engaging Zoom-vironment. On Wednesday, the Amelimot participated in show and tell, which included some really cute dogs and cats. We also played multiple games of Mafia. Next week we’ll have more games and fun!

Chotrimot:

On Tuesday, we did introductions, went over the rules for Mosh B’Yachad and played a fun Mosh trivia game. On Thursday, we listened to some music and reflected on the impact of music on our lives and its power to show different perspectives and address social issues. If you wanna check out the music we listened to, visit this playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7mGef3FFKqSJ0tPHHzaVZk?si=S-u8-69rS_uPZv3mtyiG_w

The Chotrimot made community guidelines together.

Chalutzimot:

On Monday, the chalutzimot did introductions and get-to-know-you activities. On Wednesday we took a virtual tour of Mosh and talked about what makes Mosh a special place. We explored how Mosh is not only a physical space but also a place where we connect to each other and our values.

This Chalutzimot made this word cloud together to express all the things we love about Mosh.

Bonimot:

For their first ever Zoom peulah, the Bonimot learned about media literacy. After introductions and learning their shichva’s cheer, the Bonimot dove into the topic of information online and how to navigate in an internet filled with misinformation. The teens learned about social media tricks and reporting biases, and even played a fun Kahoot to check their knowledge!

Bogrimot:

The Bogrimot were so happy to see their kvutzah again! After some intros and catching up, we played some fun online games. Together we envisioned what this summer can look like, including what type of programming we want and how we want to relate to one another.

Bonimot Tzedek Summer Program

Hello everyone! My name is Sara, and I have the joy and honor of coordinating Bonimot Tzedek — Mosh’s social justice leadership program for high school students. Since 2018, teens affiliated with Mosh have been learning leadership and community organizing skills through partnerships with local organizations, supporting local social justice campaigns, and participating in educational programming. This summer, our Bonimot Tzedek program is stronger than ever! We have over 20 teens participating in our weekly meetings.

This summer, the teens are learning about systemic racism and police violence, and specifically thinking critically about how these systems affect their own communities– particularly in Montgomery County. Yesterday, we learned from one of our community partner organizations, Young People for Progress, about racist police violence right here in Montgomery County. Many of the teens shared that they had not previously known that police violence occurs in Montgomery County, and we had an interesting conversation about how assumptions that Montgomery County is a “liberal” place have blocked some of us from seeing the realities of the racism that exists here.

We ended our call by thinking about ways that we as Bonimot Tzedek can support the work of groups like Young People for Progress, who are leading the local fight to defund the police. We talked about how important it is to engage those in our community — including the local Jewish community and other high schoolers — in political education and local activism! Look out for more announcements and information about how to get involved coming from our youth leaders in the next few weeks. Every Tuesday we’ll have a youth leader write a blog about the work that they are doing– we hope you’ll follow along on our journey!

Mosh B’Yachad

Boker Tov Machaneh Moshava! Today is the first day of our 2020 Virtual Program: Mosh B’Yachad. We could not be more excited to see the faces of our beloved chanichimot and tzevet members! Mosh B’Yachad will run for five weeks. The first four weeks feature programming for each schichva (age group) once or twice a week as well as a machaneh-wide (camp-wide) activity each Friday. The final week, Mosh B’Yachad Kol Yom, will have something every day and will be a great way to cap off the summer!

One of the best parts about Machaneh is our amazing tzevet– and this summer is no exception! We have a 25 person staff lined up, including our four person mazkirut (leadership team), our melavah (camper care coordinator), tzevet madatz (counselors for leadership program), tzvatim for each schichva (counselors for every age group), and a special team dedicated to our machaneh-wide activities. Our staff includes folks who have been counselors for many years and our first-year counselors, fresh out of their madatz training program, ready to bring their talents and excitement to our campers this summer.

Even though we are not meeting in person this summer, we still are so excited to be engaging our wonderful community in high numbers. We have 75 kids signed up, spread over seven age groups! Our youngest participants are going into 3rd grade and our oldest are in our madatz leadership training program. They are going into 12th grade.

Alongside our Mosh B’Yachad progamming, our robust Bonimot Tzedek program is also continuing throughout the summer. Bonimot Tzedek works to give high school age campers community organizing skills through educational programming and taking action together. This summer, Bonimot Tzedek teens are focusing on racial justice.

We look forward to keeping everyone in the Mosh community updated about our exciting summer program!