By Noam Noy, Israeli Counselor
I always knew I wanted to be a counselor at a Jewish summer camp in the US. Why? I don’t even remember why. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was a big fan of “Camp Rock” the movie or maybe because it just sounded like a fun way to spend my summer.
After finally finishing two years at the IDF I knew it was my time! I took my Israeli passport, a not so big suitcase and with a big help from the Jewish agency (and a very long process) I head to this magical mysterious place called Crane Lake Camp.
I came here full of expectations, questions and a lot of bug spray waiting for the adventure of a lifetime to start! I knew we, the Israelis, were expected to represent Israel. It was always hard for me to understand what it meant to present your country. Think about it. How would you represent your country? How many times do we have the chance to represent anything in our life?
Just like our famous summertime forever song “ days are weeks and each hour is a day,” I learned how fast the days go by at camp and how close I became with my campers.
The sense of being an Israeli “shaliach” delegator was felt no matter what I did. My campers asked me questions such as what is my favorite Israeli candy? Or how do you say chicken in Hebrew? I joyfully answered the campers questions engaging them to ask more.
It wasn’t until my campers asked me what the conflict is that we talk about every morning in t’filah, when I realized what is my real job here.
As we all know three weeks ago operation “protecting edge” started in Israel. After the sad kidnapping story of our three beloved boys, Hamas revenge was soon to come. Missiles in a bigger range then ever started being shot every single day on cities across Israel. The citizens of Israel are safe thanks to the IRON DOME, which successfully works 90% of the time and prevents missiles from exploding in our back yards. The Israeli “mishlachat’s” main concern is our friends in Israel. All of us know at least 5 people who are fighting inside Gaza for almost a week now. Every day we open the news nervously waiting for a ceasefire, hoping for peace in our home.
As an Israeli Chaverim counselor, I was asked to lead a program to explain the situation in Israel to the campers. The program left room for many questions that were answered by Israelis, faculty and staff.
Watching the campers sitting in small groups talking, asking questions, opening their minds and eyes to the unfortunate current events in my homeland, made me feel proud of my Israeli heritage and I also felt fulfilled for being able to educate campers on matters that mean a lot to me. Leading this program made me realize my true purpose of being here at Crane Lake.