This August, Areyvut will launch Five Days/Five Ways, its first-ever chesed camp for incoming middle school students. The camp will bring middle school students together for a week to learn about and take part in good deeds and community service throughout Bergen County.
Five Days/Five Ways will be based at the Friends of Lubavitch of Bergen County (513 Kenwood Pl, Teaneck, NJ 07666) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., August 8 through August 12. Every day there will be games, craft projects and activities as participants learn about a different Jewish value and how they can use that value to actively make the world a better place. They will then go on a field trip and have the opportunity to put their new skills to work visiting seniors, cleaning trails, packaging food and reading to children. The camp will inculcate core Jewish values, and help participants develop skills in consensus building and inclusion. They will be challenged and pushed outside their comfort zone as they deal with new situations and meet new people. Participants in the program will make friends, learn new chesed skills, maximize their talents and gain new insights on community service and Jewish tradition.
The dates of the camp were carefully selected based on the Jewish calendar. Five Days/Five Ways will take place during the Nine Days preceding Tisha B’Av. According to the Gemara (Yoma 9b), the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed due to sinat
chinam, or baseless hatred. Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, the first chief rabbi of Israel and an instrumental figure in the founding of the state, famously said that if sinat chinam caused the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, then ahavat chinam, baseless love and unity amongst the Jewish people, would cause the Beit HaMikdash to be rebuilt. Areyvut’s goal for the camp is that it will create a week of unity and Ahavat Chinam for the participants and the greater community.
Areyvut, Hebrew for mutual responsibility and accountability, empowers Jewish youth around the world, enabling them to infuse their lives with the core Jewish values of chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (social justice).
Established in 2002, Areyvut reaches out to Jewish day schools, congregations and communities, regardless of affiliation. Areyvut offers unique opportunities for creating innovative and meaningful programs to make these values a reality for students and educators alike.