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First Special Day of the Summer - 4th of July

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Shalom Gilboa Community,

Over the course of the summer we will be posting every few days to share what’s been going on at Gilboa. Posts will span everything from camp traditions, to how we enact Gilboa values at camp, to all the awesome ways chanichimot (campers) take ownership over the community. Here we go…

Throughout the summer at Gilboa, a few times per session, we scrap the normal schedule to dedicate an entire day to explore a theme, a set of values, or issues. During special days, chanichimot are out and about all day, learning through experiential activities, and immersing themselves in a storyline. Our first special day of the summer was a 4th of July celebration that also had an educational component. The goal of the day was to learn about how racism affects people in America, and to feel a sense of responsibility as Americans and Jews to bringing more justice to our communities.

The day began by kvutzot (age groups) exploring different parts of society here in America. From education to defense, chanichimot did different activities to explore the principles of our democracy. Using drama, games, and challenges, we learned about how although these systems were created to ensure justice and prosperity for everyone, the reality can be more complicated. For example, using a fun (and funny) classroom role-play we learned about how bias can sometimes impact how students of different races are perceived and treated in the classroom. We learned that even if free public education is meant to give everyone an equal opportunity to make something of themselves, not everyone has access to the same quality of schools.

We ended with a series of chuggim (electives) for older chanichimot about how our multiracial and multiethnic, progressive Jewish community can work to create equity, community and racial justice for all.

One of the chuggim was run by the shlichimot (Israeli counselors) - they ran a discussion about the recent civil unrest in Israel - specifically in the Ethiopian Jews community. They talked about the history of the Ethiopian-Israeli community, the racism they often face, and even compared the week’s unrest with some of the protests seen recently against police violence in the black community in America.

Some of the questions discussed throughout the day:

  • How can and should Jews from around the world be connected?

  • What does it mean to stand up for our values?

  • What makes standing up for racial justice hard, and how do we do so regardless?

  • What responsibility do all people have to end injustice anywhere?

The conversations were impressive and deep. Chanichimot showed an ability to see complexity, while still expressing opinions and what they believe to be morally right.

We’re so excited for another summer of developing and learning, and becoming the progressive Jewish leaders of tomorrow.


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