A few days ago, we posted a blog about Zman Metzuyan our Israel education block. That post was about programs that we ran several weeks ago during first session. Today you will learn about second session Zman Metzuyan!
During Monday’s Zman Metzuyan, our first Israel education block of second session, chanichimot participated in a scavenger hunt to discover different aspects of Jewish peoplehood. Chanichimot found clues leading them to different places around machaneh, and at each station they played a game and had a short discussion about a different aspect of Jewish peoplehood. At the Jewish history station, for example, chanichimot played a memory matching game with different events from Jewish history, and at the Israel station they made their bodies into human maps of Israel and tried to locate different places in Israel on the map.
After Monday’s activity on Jewish peoplehood, we spent Tuesday’s Zman Metzuyan exploring the idea of Zionism. Chanichimot participated in a mock “First Zionist Congress,” modeled after the real event that happened in 1897. Chanichimot were split into different caucus groups, each of which received a definition of Zionism. Different representatives from each caucus group got on stage to present to the congress what their group thought were the most important words in the definition.
For Wednesday’s Zman Metzuyan, we split by shichva for separate activities about the importance of affirming multiple narratives. Younger chanichimot practiced putting themselves in someone else’s shoes by performing skits about what the story of Little Red Riding Hood might look like from another character’s perspective.
Meanwhile, older chanichimot read an excerpt from a dual-narrative textbook featuring both Palestinian and Zionist accounts of the history of Israel. They discussed the importance and the challenges of holding multiple truths at the same time.
This coming week’s Zman Metzuyan will be structured by chugim (interest groups)! Chanichimot will choose to attend three consecutive sessions about Israeli food, sports, music, politics, and more. Regardless of which option they choose, chanichimot will be sure to enjoy a fun and nuanced look into Israeli culture and society.
The first Shabbat of second session was a massive success! Despite initial hiccups surrounding the rain on Friday night, we ended up having rikud (Israeli dancing) outside on the basketball court after all, and Saturday was sunny and warm!
At Mosh, preparation for Shabbat begins on Friday morning, where a double shift of avoda (work) is kick-started by sugar cereal and chocolate milk! After that delicious meal, the chanichimot get to work mopping the chadar ochel, sweeping the sifria, making Shabbat decorations, scrubbing the toilets, and everything else that needs to be done in order for us to have a restful Saturday free from labor!
Friday night was shifted around briefly due to the rain, and huggy-kissy time (Shabbat greetings/photo ops) were moved to the MLC, and then to the chadar ochel. Shabbat shira (singing) was moved to the chadar ochel as well due to the rain, and the madrichimot led us in song in the chadar ochel while dinner was being set up. The chanichimot were great sports about everything, and had great fun singing all of the songs, even inside! After shira, we do prayers for Shabbat. Iliana, our guerrilla rabbi, led us in prayer and song, and soon after, we dug into the delicious Shabbat meal! For dinner, we had rosemary herbed chicken, vegetables, challah, and potatoes, with vegetarian and vegan and gluten free options available as always. By the time dinner concluded, the rain had also let up, and the chanichimot ran back to their tzrifim and ohelim to put on closed-toed shoes and get to the MLC for the bogrimot-chotrimot oneg (party)!
The oneg consisted of modern and israeli dances, a Project X (random performance), a small group song, and a large group song, as well as a hatsega, or skit. The chanichimot prepare all of this under guidance by the madrichimot, and perform it in front of the entire machaneh! The oneg went very well, and after it, everyone sprinted to the basketball court for rikud (Israeli dancing). The court had dried off a bit since the rain, so dancing through puddles wasn’t an issue!
Besides the bogrimot and chotrimot who stayed up a little to celebrate their successful oneg, the rest of the chanichimot headed to bed, tired after a long day of prepping and dancing!
Morning came and the chanichimot were up bright and early for the Saturday bagel breakfast, despite the fact that they were all offered a sleep-in. At 11, the chanichimot were led in Rejuvenation, which is a time to reflect on the week and relax. The chanichimot then attended special Shabbat chugim, including practicing instruments, doing art projects, listening to a podcast, and more. Lunch was the usual chicken nuggets, with vegan and vegetarian options as usual, and then the chanichimot went to special Madatz chugim, which were chugim led by the Madatz. With activities like cloud-watching, gaga, and water yoga, just to name a few, the chanichimot enjoyed spending time with their Madatz and having fun. Shabbat Carnival follows Madatz chugim, and chanichimot could do art projects, go swimming, play board games, and more during this time of the day.
The next part of the day is called zman tzrif/ohel, which means “time with your cabin/tent.” This is time where chanichimot split up into their tzrifim and ohelim to spend time with this small group of campers, do check-ins, eat food, play games, and chill out. After this, the chanichimot head to the basketball court for Asepha Klalit, which is a time when the chanichimot can suggest improvements or compliment things that machaneh is doing well. Some classic suggestions are “we should move the lower shetach closer to the pool!” or “we should have golf carts,” but a lot of chanichimot also use this time to say more useful things, like “the door handle to the sherutim is broken,” or “let’s be quiet during shira!” The chanichimot love voicing their own opinions and contributing to the bettering of the Mosh community.
Mishpachot (families) is the next activity in the day, and it is where chanichimot split up by the places they are from so that they can talk about things relevant to their own communities at home. There is a DC/Takoma Park mishpacha, a Silver Spring mishpacha, a Baltimore mishpacha, and even a Far and Away group for those who do not live in the more immediate east coast areas.
After mishpachot, we all head to dinner where we eat pizza and cantaloupe! Next comes musicale where chanichimot showcase their musical talents, and after that comes indoorah, which is the indoor version of the talent show/bonfire that we call medurah. Because it rained all week, the wood for the bonfire was soaked through and couldn’t be used for a fire this week. Indoorah is just as fun, though, and chanichimot love putting on acts for each other and showcasing their unique skills, whether it be joke telling or acting.
Once the first three stars in the sky are out, we pause indoorah to do Havdallah outside. This is a peaceful time where we lie down to take in the night sky and reflect on the Shabbos. Then, we circle up and sing Havdallah prayers while swaying with our arms around each other. Once Havdallah is finished, we go back into the MLC and finish the night with kumzitz, which is a time when the madrichimot lead the chanichimot in singing folk songs. Some favorite kumzitz (Yiddish for “come sit”) songs include Angel From Montgomery, Country Roads, Redemption Song, Sweet Baby James, Dark as a Dungeon, and so many more! The last song of the night is Rad Hayom, our nightly lullaby, and after it is done, the chanichimot wearily head back to their living spaces, tuckered out from a long day of Shabbos fun.
A large part of the day right before Shira (singing) and aruchat erev (dinner) is chugim! The structure of chugim is similar to that of anafim, except that instead of doing work around machaneh, the chanichimot get to sign up for fun activities to do! In short, a chug is an interest group. This session, we have many active and relaxed chugim, including chug softball, chug survivor (a play on the show Survivor), chug Rooster (laid-back relaxing activities), chug reading, chug Queer Kids Club, chug Hills, Thrills, and No Chills (a running/exercise chug), chug Hafta’ot (“surprises” in Hebrew – basically fun activities and learning Hebrew), and chug Moshington Post (creating a newspaper about Mosh).
One Mosh tradition is chug softball. The chug is divided into two teams and at the end of the session, there is a World Series game in which the two teams compete in front of all of machaneh! Even at the beginning of second session, we’ve already been seeing the chanichimot practice their swings and pitches extensively, obviously excited for the World Series at the end of the summer.
While fairly new to machaneh, chug Queer Kids Club provides a much needed space for queer and LGBT+ chanichimot to be with other chanichimot like them. So far, the chanichimot have done collages expressing their identities, talked about the gender binary and sexuality, expressed their own experiences with each other, and more. Having a space at machaneh where queer chanichimot can feel especially comfortable and accepted is very powerful, especially when it is led by queer members of tzevet. The chanichimot love coming to the chug every day and can’t wait to share stories, ask questions, and explore themselves!
The Moshington Post is a chug where chanichimot can feed their hunger for investigative journalism by interviewing people and writing pieces on current events at machaneh. They also write short stories, poetry, and more, all of which are published in a weekly newspaper titled “The Moshington Post.”
These are only a few of the many chugim we have at Mosh, and we will continue to update you all on fun activities happening in each chug throughout the session.
It’s hard to believe we’ve already made it to the third day of second session! Despite lots of rain, everything has been going swimmingly. We’ve made some changes to our seder yom (schedule) for this session. Now we have zman sport (sports time) in the morning between pish and lunch. Over the past few days, we’ve worked and played in our anafim and chugim, we’ve learned in peulot, and we’ve begun different sadna’ot activities.
Today I went to the melechet yad with the bonimot during sadna’ot to do an activity with plaster of Paris bandage where the chanichimot wet the material to make face masks. The kids had a lot of fun with this activity and got sufficiently messy in the process.
Beyond the surface level of fun that this activity provided, the chanichimot also got together at the end to talk about self-image and insecurities within social interactions. Through this discussion, we talked about how to build a strong sense of self-image and self-worth by caring more about our own opinions of ourselves more than those of others. From making these masks to talking about our individual identities, the chanichimot were able to reconcile their own “imagined self-image” with a self-image based on our own evaluations. In continuing the conversation on body positivity and self-esteem, we hope to foster a positive and nurturing environment where chanichimot feel the most comfortable with themselves.
Every day we have a block of time called Zman Metsuyan, “a wonderful time,” a structure through which chanichimot explore their connections to Israel and grapple with historical and current issues in Israeli society. So far this summer, chanichimot have engaged in peulot (activites) about different topics relating to Israel, Zionism and Jewish history. We have explored kibbutzim, Zionist thinkers, and the history of Jewish migration.
Every summer, we run peulot discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, specifically on the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. We do this because as a camp that is part of a Zionist, anti-Occupation movement, we believe that educating about the Occupation is a crucial part of educating responsibly about Israel and Zionism. We want to educate our chanichimot about working towards justice in Israel and Palestine for all people. Last session, we ran a Zman Metsuyan on different aspects of the Occupation to bring a nuanced and realistic perspective of what is currently happening in Israel and Palestine. We ran two round robins, one for the lower shetach and one for the upper shetach.
For the upper shetach, or chanichimot entering grades 8-10, we ran three stations. At one station, chanichimot read Breaking the Silence testimonials from IDF soldiers who have served in the Occupation and discussed Israeli soldiers’ experiences in the Occupied territories. In another station, we read a text about the Palestinian people’s historical struggle for statehood and discussed the culture and continuity of Palestinian people, despite the oppression that they have faced over time. Finally, we ran a station where we discussed the disparities in resource allocation such as water for Palestinian people compared to Israeli people, and looked at visuals that displayed this inequality.
For the lower shetach, or chanichimot entering grades 4-7, we ran three different stations. At one station, we learned about settlements in the West Bank as we looked at pictures taken in Israel and the Occupied territories, and we discussed how this has resulted in unclear, disputed borders. In another station, we discussed the prevalence of Israeli checkpoints within Palestinian territory in the West Bank and the daily violence Palestinians face when passing through checkpoints. Finally, we ran a station about Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian youth activist, and discussed how Israeli military law affects Palestinians in the Occupied territories.
In all of the activities, the chanichimot engaged with the content, sparking important discussions with thought-provoking questions. Many chanichimot shared that they hadn’t learned about these realities or had the space to ask these questions in any other communities in their lives. Furthermore, they expressed appreciation for learning novel and nuanced information on the Occupation at Mosh and an eagerness to continue learning about the Occupation in this space. We felt that chanichimot engaged in the content in a mature and responsible way, and were all able to learn something new. As a tzevet that cares deeply about incorporating anti-Occupation education into our nuanced and complex Israel education, we are excited to continue this educational process with our chanichimot this summer.
– written by Tess Greenwood, Mimi Sieradzki and Leah Savage (madrichimot at Mosh)
Today marked the first day of second session here at Mosh! After intersession came to a close this morning, the new session began with both familiar and new faces eagerly stepping off of the bus and through the tunnel of madatz!
After the usual introduction to machaneh in the MLC, which included learning cheers, meeting the madrichimot that the chanichimot will be living with, and lots of dancing, the chanichimot headed to either the lower or upper shetach to start unpacking their things from the truck. Before long, the chanichimot made their way to the chadar ochel for lunch, which was pasta and meat sauce and kale, with veggie/vegan/gluten free options for those who require it.
After the meal, the chanichimot went through a rotation of further unpacking, health checks, swim tests, and meetings with the melavimot (inclusion coordinators). The rain held up for most of it, and the happy and healthy children were able to get fully moved in and settled in their tzrifim and ohelim!
We then had a meeting to discuss the chugim (interest groups) and anafim (work) and to give the chanichimot a chance to choose their preferred jobs and interest groups, which they will be assigned to tomorrow morning. With that out of the way, everyone headed to dinner which was grilled cheese, tomato soup, and broccoli – a Mosh favorite – with vegan and gluten-free options available. After dinner came the tochnit erev, or the evening activity. The activity for tonight was a “Meet the Madrichimot” event where groups of chanichimot had to match facts about the madrichimot with their names by going around completing a task the madrichol proposes. The activity was a lot of fun, and the kids got to know their madrichimot even better in the process.
The evening activity was followed by kibud (dessert) which was brownies, and the kids then headed to their ohelim and tzrifim to go to sleep after a long day of camp excitement! We are so excited for this session, and no amount of rain can put a damper on the kids’ incredible ruach (spirit)!
P.S. For help with Hebrew terminology, check out this post!