Today we celebrated a restful, joyous and fun Shabbat all together at Camp. One of the highlights of Shabbat at Tawonga is our Torah service in our outdoor amphitheater known as Makom Shalom, Hebrew for “place of peace”. After a sleep-in buffet breakfast, campers all come together in Makom Shalom. Nestled among the trees and granite rocks, services at Tawonga cater to the broad spectrum of Jewish practice among our campers. Some campers celebrate Shabbat every week and get to experience it in a new and different way at Tawonga, while for other campers they may be celebrating their first ever Shabbat, and everywhere in between. Services here are best described as “joyous Judaism in nature” with lots of interactive songs to go along with the prayers and blessings.
Today we took out our Holocaust-surviving Torah scroll and read from the portion of Va’etchanan. Our Jewish Program Director Faryn Borella and our guest Rabbi Sydney Mintz (from Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco) showed campers that this week’s portion included the words shema and ve’ahavta. After the Torah readings, a staff ensemble known as the “Parshat Players” performed their weekly theatrical rendition of the current Torah portion to further help the campers understand the content. This was followed by a D’var Torah, a short teaching from Faryn to unpack the meaning of the week’s portion and connect it to our lives at Tawonga and beyond.
Later in the afternoon, campers participated in a Shabbat program with their bunk where they explore our summer’s Jewish theme of “Lech Lecha” (Go Forth) by simulating the journey that the first Jews took to the promised land.
See below for more photos from Shabbat today at Camp.