Special Erev – Environmental Justice

Last evening all of Mosh participated in a special themed night of activities. This year’s theme was environmental justice. 

First, everyone went on a round robbin of various activities all having to do with the environment. There was a water relay where the chanichimot learned about water disparity around the world. A trash race where they learned about the importance of picking up litter. Also an environment-themed Jeopardy game.

After dinner, the Amelimot (rising fourth and fifth graders) and Chotrimot (rising sixth and seventh graders) had a private discussion about what they learned. While Bonimot (rising eighth and ninth graders) and Bogrimot (rising tenth graders) went to special chugim (interest groups.) There was a chug about the fast fashion industry, environmental racism, and Native American rights and land back.

It was an informative and fun evening that made us think about the world around us more. 

Spotlight on Tochnit Erev

Saying an average day at Mosh is hectic is an understatement! At night though, we like to come together and do something fun. This is called a Tochnit Erev or an Evening Activity. Chanichimot (campers) of all ages get to do something silly together. 

This past week, we had a fun night of BLARPING (Bible Live Action Role Playing.) Chanichimot each got a bible story like the story of Ruth or the tower of Babel and then acted it out in front of an audience. 

On the Fourth of July we played charades. Groups of chanichimot were given a Fourth of July activity that they had to act out while the rest of macheneh (camp) guessed. Examples included a fireworks show and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Tochnit Erev is a great time to have fun as a whole camp instead of splitting up into age groups or special interest groups.

Shabbat Is Here

Wow! What an amazing first week it’s been! From hot days to rainy days we have done it all. Now it is time to relax and get ready for Shabbat. 

We start Friday off with Super Avodah (work.) That means putting in a little extra work to help get camp ready for all the Shabbat activities. Then we have Shabbat Shira (music), when the chanichimot (campers) learn the special songs we sing on Shabbat.

Chanichimot at Mosh also get ready for Shabbat by cleaning their tzrif (cabin) or ohel (tent) in order to win a contest for the cleanest living space. Then we all get dressed up and begin the ceremonial elements of Shabbat. Songs are sung and prayers are prayed. 

Next, it’s time for the big meal. After dinner, it’s time for the Oneg (Shabbat show.) This week it’s the Bogrimot (rising tenth graders) and Nitzanimot (rising third graders) performing it. We finish the day with Rikud (Israeli dancing.) 

Shabbat is a really relaxing and special way to end the week.

Avodah Dah Dah We Like Like Avodah: A Spotlight on Avodah

One of the things that make Mosh so special is that we do is avodah. Avodah is work. At Mosh we do work every morning to keep machaneh (camp) beautiful. I have been doing an Avodah of the Day on Instagram, Facebook, and Campminder. So far we have done MLC/Sif, Gan, and Sababa

In MLC/Sif chanichimot (campers) clean the MLC and the Sif. The MLC is the big pavilion and the Sif is short for Sifrea which means library. Chanichimot (campers) are given brooms and dustpans and sweep all the nooks and crannies.

Gan means garden. At Mosh we have a garden patch and 2 goats and a turkey. Chanichimot in Gan gets to feed the goats and tend the garden. 

Sababa means awesome and when we clean the bathroom we feel awesome. From sinks to showers to toilets Sababa does it all. 

Other anafim (workgroups) include Ashpa (trash duty), Medurah (collecting wood for the fire pit), and tziur (mural painting) 

Day Two Was Fantastic!

Hi Mosh Families!

We had a fantastic second day yesterday – sorry for the delayed post.

We started off with breakfast and everyone doing their avodah for the first time. At camp, every camper is in a working group – that’s how we all contribute to making camp beautiful and clean. We have campers responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, taking out the trash, making art for camp, and taking care of our goats and turkey.

We had a delicious lunch of fried rice with tofu and veggies. After lunch, everyone had time to go in the pool and shower!

After dinner of salad and pizza bagels, everyone at camp participated in our Lip Sync Battle. Each cohort was given a song and lyrics and created a dance. It was so much fun! At Mosh, we don’t stress competition, so we were all winners 🙂

While today is off to a hot start, we already have everyone sunscreened up and ready to go. Waterbottles are filled, Gatorade is ready, and we are all looking forward to another day at Mosh!

Shabbat Shalom, Machaneh Moshava!

‘Twas the Friday before Mosh, when all through the camp

The Tzevet (staff) were busy, even fixing the lamp

The ohels (tents) were built by hand with great care

With the hope that chanichimot (campers) would sleep restfully there!

While the chanichimot (campers) all quarantine at home

All of Tzevet (staff) can’t wait to say Shalom (hello)! 

I hope you enjoy my poem. My name is Ruth and I am the communication specialist for this upcoming summer. I have been going to Mosh since I was 10 years old in 2008. I am so excited to be the one that will be updating you all on all of Mosh’s activities. 

Me (Ruth) at Mosh in 2011

You can expect to hear from me on the blog about every other day. We would love your feedback about what you would like to see more of!

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.