By Lisa Tenenbaum, Assistant Limud Director/Israel Engagement
On Saturday night, the sixteen members of the Israeli Mishlachat gave all of our campers a little taste of Israel. When they entered the Chadar Ochel, they heard the sound of modern Israeli music, and saw that the entire place was adorned in blue and white. They had a chance to see a cute video that the Israeli counselors had prepared to introduce themselves. Then, they were greeted by Hebrew Man, who had a quick discussion with Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of Modern Hebrew. Next, we feasted on a delicious Mediterranean meal, prepared by our Israeli chefs, of schnitzel (chicken cutlets), hummus, and Israeli salad.
Before the activities could begin, we celebrated our first Havdallah of second session. A few of the campers and staff explained how the different symbols of Havdallah, the wine, spices and twisted candle, actually remind them of different memories they have of Israel.
The evening continued with activities for every unit. Nitzanim enjoyed a quiet bunk activity, with one of the Israeli counselors. Bonim learned about their counselors and their personal connections to Israel, by commenting on make believe Instagram photos. Chaverim and Olim had an opportunity to learn about what it is like for teenagers in Israel, facing the decision that have to be made before their induction into the Israeli Defense Forces. Each of the activities was designed so that our campers could examine their own connections to Israel and share them. There was a great deal of questioning and dialogue. The highlight of the evening was the obstacle course that was created on the main lawn. Campers and counselors alike enjoyed trying to set records and prove their physical agility.
Throughout this summer, our Israeli Mishlachat has been dealing with the difficult situation in Israel. They know that their families are being forced to seek shelter several times a day due to the sirens warning them of imminent rocket fire. Many of their friends and loved ones are currently serving in Operation Protective Edge. Unfortunately, several of them have already heard of friends that have been injured or fallen in battle. Despite the tremendous challenge, our Mishlachat, each and every one of them, has given themselves to their campers and to their jobs. This evening is just one of the examples of their dedication and desire to be true emissaries for Israel.
As the Rosh Mishlachat, I have had the honor and privilege of working closely with each member of this group. Crane Lake is truly blessed to have this extraordinary group of young men and women serving on our staff this summer. We thank them for bringing Israel alive for our campers, and we pray with them that peace will come soon to Israel.