A Note From Our 2016 Education Director

As an educational youth movement, we place informal learning at the center of the Camp Tavor experience and seek to engage our community members in fun and meaningful ways.

Each summer has an educational theme that guides the programs we run for the chanichimot (campers). The 2016 theme was liberation, and we looked at the concept of freedom on personal and communal levels. We asked ourselves in what ways people are free or not free, and what it takes to make the world a more just place. We discussed our connection to the broader Jewish people and how we can shape Israel as a home for Jewish liberation.

Every morning, chanichimot (campers) have an educational activity about one of the values we hold close to us at Tavor. For example, our youngest chanichimot explore socialism and inequality through an exercise where they have to decide if they will share their candy. Older-aged chanichimot look deeply at social injustices in the world, and everyone shares and discovers their Jewish identity.

These peulot (educational activities) are nothing like the classroom – madrichimot (counselors) create innovative, informal methods to express and understand ideas with lots of moving around and discussion. It’s not unusual to take a canoe trip to think about Judaism, or learn about the founding of Zionism through an interactive play. Chanichimot are encouraged to form their own ideas and share questions as a community.

Learning doesn’t stop at peulot – we infuse each part of the day at Tavor with education. In the style of Israeli kibbutzim, everyone does Avodah (work or labor) to help keep our camp running. From weeding in the chava (farm) to preparing vegetables for aruchat tzohorayim (lunch), chanichimot take responsibility for our physical environment and learn new skills as they go. Another component of the day is Zman Chadash, or New Time, when anyone can lead a workshop for other chanchimot about a passion of theirs! Sometimes people learn guitar chords in in the Cheder Muzika (Music Room), while other workshops teach card games or host a discussion about the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. This empowers chanichimot to be the agents of their education, with a lot of silliness and laughs along the way.

Every afternoon all of machaneh (camp) comes together for Shvil Yisrael. The Shvil Yisrael is Israel’s national trail, and our Shvil is a journey through Israel and Zionism at camp. Chanichimot participate in interactive activities as well as discussions about Jewish peoplehood, the early pioneers to Israel, and contemporary social issues. Shvil Yisrael aims to help chanichimot develop a relationship with Israel based on connection and responsibility, as well as a hope for a just Israel that is a true expression of our values.

There is so much more to our education! If you have any questions, please connect with us – we’d love to talk with you!  

Anya Friedman Hutter

2016 Merakezet Chinuch (Education Director)