Ages: 7 – 12
It was a week-long adventure for the young campers at the Jewish Agency summer camp in Riga, Latvia as they followed a mock "Abraham" (the founding patriarch of the Israelites) into the Promised Land. Along their way, they met with many of the prominent Biblical figures who instructed them on a variety of different subjects, such as: The significance of the Land of Israel in the Judaism, the unique place of Shabbat in Jewish tradition, Hebrew as the dominant language of the Jewish People, special places in modern day Israel, and much more.
Group activities are a central part of the camp experience. The counselors
play an integral role in the learning process.
In the Riga summer camp, campers played a simulation
game where they learned about different sites in Israel.
In the photo above, the young camper holds up a sign
that says. The Jerusalem Forest in Russian.
Interview with counselors and campers:
"Hello, my name is Olga Sementzova. I was a counselor in the camp in Riga. The children gave me the opportunity to remember things which I had forgotten over the years. They re-taught me how not to be afraid of dreaming, to rejoicing, trusting, arguing and loving They showed me how important it is, even when growing older, to preserve the qualities that are so valuable to children. Just being here has made me realize the importance of finding links with the Jewish people. The campers gave me a whole new perspective when we talked about the concepts of friendship, tradition, roots, belonging and how it is important to think about other people and not to forget about things which we really want in life. They turned my world inside out. Before my arrival, I was worried that I wouldn't find a common ground with them but I succeeded to connect with them and build meaningful relationships based on trust and mutual respect. Following this experience, I've learned how to communicate with these young campers and I want to continue working with them next year. I think that for me this work is a way of discovering true fullness of life. I am grateful for having this experience."
Olga Sementzova: "This was my first experience working with young children.
I made the unexpected discovery of how much I could learn from them and also
what I could give to them."
Polina Kolestnikova: "I never imagined that I'd
learn so much and have such a good time at camp…but I did."
"My name is Polina Kolestnikova and I am 12 years old. I have been thinking for some time now how to begin this letter and I decided that I'd begin by talking about stories and events which happened at camp in Riga.
We had a lot of fun here! We met new people and met old friends. We had very good counselors. They were very kind and cheerful. Even the food was delicious. We had very interesting and fun classes and events in the City of Craftsmen."
July 1 – 8, 2010/ Tammuz 5770