Today marked Tawonga’s first Shabbat of the season. On Shabbat, every bunk is in Camp to celebrate this special end to the week together. Last night, Session II welcomed Shabbat with a festive stroll all around Camp led by our song leaders, followed by prayers and a delicious dinner in our Dining Hall (including freshly baked challah). Then, came the main event: a very special song session known as freilach, an extended musical event including several Hebrew songs with dances to accompany them. The campers brought an amazing energy to the Dining Hall, making everyone get up on their feet and join in.
Later on, gathered in units, campers facilitated creative Kabbalat Shabbat services, each bunk leading and interpreting a prayer shared through a skit or song. This makes the Kabbalat Shabbat services unique because no two unit Shabbats are ever the same. Campers are always finding ways to describe the traditional prayers in personally resonant and creative ways.
Saturdays at Camp are scheduled differently than other days of the week. Campers can sleep in and are treated to a buffet breakfast of bagels, cream cheese and a selection of sugary cereals. The entire Camp community then convenes for a Torah service in our outdoor sanctuary, Makom Shalom (meaning place of peace), led by song leaders. Today, our staff “Parshat Players” acted out a creative skit inspired by this week’s Torah portion, with our Jewish programmers reading the portion in three different languages: English, Arabic and Hebrew.
Shabbat provides a space for campers to rest and reflect on their past week at Camp. We hope they apply the lesson from this week’s portion, that it is important to challenge oneself and experience new things that push their comfort zones in fun and rewarding ways, to the rest of their experience at Camp.
Enjoy photos from today’s Shabbat festivities! Stay tuned for more bunk photos some of which will be posted later this evening.