May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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A Taste of Israel in Camp Mesorah

Camp Mesorah is a Zionistic, Modern Orthodox summer camp and is committed to offering both fun and educational programs which emphasize the importance of interpersonal relationships and contributing to community within the framework of Israel, Torah, and halacha.

Shlomi and Calanit Turgeman, specialty heads from the yishuv of Even Shmuel in Southern Israel, run workshops in Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Training and Outback. Both the Turgemans served in the army – Shlomi as an officer in the artillery unit and Calanit as a guide in a combat unit.

Calanit is a high school teacher by profession and focuses on bringing the spirit of Israel into her Outback workshop at Camp Mesorah by playing games, singing songs in Hebrew and speaking about unity and the power of Am Yisrael. The workshop also offers a real “taste” of Israel through the delicious activity of pita baking, which is done on an authentic tabun imported all the way from Be’er Sheva. Calanit utilizes this opportunity to educate the girls on the mitzvah of hafrashat challah, setting aside a portion of the dough that is used to bake pita as they take a moment to pray for their family and loved ones.

In IDF Workshop, Shlomi provides the boys with training in various survival skills, tent building, hiding in nature, cooking in the field, navigation and basic army exercises. Campers learn to care for others by incorporating the IDF value of loyalty into their activities and are engaged in group camping competitions while learning the importance of team work. The overall objective is to teach field skills while developing new friendships and connecting with Israel and the IDF. Campers walk away from IDF Workshop with new found self-confidence from achieving personal goals.

In addition, Anat Marom, an Israeli native and fifteen-year veteran of Camp Mesorah, runs the Israeli Counselor-in-Training (CIT) and camper program. She provides a unique experience for campers coming from Israel. They have the opportunity to interact with their American counterparts, improving their English language skills in a natural setting while playing in sports leagues, enjoying creative arts programs and all of the Camp Mesorah activities. In addition, many of the Israeli campers take part in a special overnight trip to either New York City, Philadelphia or Niagara Falls. This year Camp Mesorah is proud to host over 75 Israeli campers and 17 CIT’s.

The Israel-oriented workshops and the Israeli CIT and camper programs give Camp Mesorah a special added Israeli flavor which is fundamental to the mission of its summer educational program. In addition to the general ruach and beautiful Israeli culture that permeate the camp, the friendships that are made create lasting memories.

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