Monthly Archives: August 2013

CJ News Update — Week Three — Second Session 2013

Shabbat Shalom CJ Family,

Our third week of Camp has been action-packed and incredibly fun for all.  We’ve enjoyed brilliant sunshine, adventurous trips, hilariously fun activities and huge excitement with our second session Bikkurim (color war).  This session we chose teams that highlight four historical Bikkurim winners from the past 50 years:

  • Begin (white team), after the late Honorable Menachem Begin, leader of the Irgun freedom fighters, an Israeli politician who founded the Likud Party and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel.
  • Charoset (red team), after the sweet, dark colored, Pesach delicacy made of fruits and nuts meant to recall mortar and enslavement of the Jewish people in ancient Egypt.  
  • Lechi (blue team), after the freedom fighters who worked very hard in the 1940s for unrestricted immigration of Jews and the formation of a Jewish State in Israel.  
  • Shuk (green team), after the open-air markeplaces found throughout Israel and the Middle-East.

We broke Bikkurim in a old-school sort of way.  Rumors were circulated that the State of North Carolina had condemned the beautiful nearly 100 year old Beit Ha’am building and that it would be torn down.  The Beit Ha’am houses bikkurim plaques from winning teams for the last forty years and many other treasures. Needless to say, the entire camp community was up in arms about the impending condemnation and a camper-led protest ensued.  The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department showed up to disperse the protest along with a State vehicle (which secretly contained the costumed Bikkurim capatins).  At the appropriate moment, the Bikkurim Captains revealed themselves and announced it was Bikkurim.  The kids were delighted and very relieved that the recently restored Beit Ha’am was actually in great shape and definitely not slated for condemnation. Hours of friendly competition ensued and a great day was enjoyed by all.  In the end, the Charosets – Red Team won this Bikkurim and their plaque will hang proudly with others in the Beit Ha’am.

Please enjoy this week’s edition of CJ News!  It’s extra-long to so that everyone can enjoy as much of this week’s highlights as possible.

Enjoy this week’s highlights and know that everyone at Camp is sending lots of Shabbat love your way,



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Shalom Offarim Parents!

We have had another exciting week with Offarim at Camp Judaea! We started off the week with our day trip to Tweetsie Railroad which included fun rides, a petting zoo, and the world famous Frisbee dog show! We continued our week with an Israeli Defense Force peulah to incorporate the Israeli life cycle and then a mock Jewish wedding to round out the traditional Jewish life cycle. Aside from that, we had a pool party, talent show, and a special concert from Jewish rock star Sheldon Low! To end our week, we had Bikkurim (color war)! The kids had a blast  —  Charoset-Red won! Although they may not have voices, they made memories which will last forever. As we light the candles tonight, we count down the number of days until next summer’s Shabbats at camp begin.

Shabbat Shalom,

Shira Berman, Offarim Merakezet


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Shalom Oranim parents!

It’s been another amazing week at camp! The chanichim started the week at Dollywood (Dolly Parton’s theme park) and had a blast. Some of them even overcame fears of roller coasters! We also had a cabin dance off and talent show with Oranim and Sayarim, danced and sang along with the Jewish rock star, Sheldon Low, and most importantly we had bikkurim (color war)!

Our chanichim (campers) also learned about Yom Hazikaron, Yom Ha’atzmaut and Haifa this week. For Yom Hazikaron we watched a clip of the siren in Israel and then wrote letters to a Camp Judaea alumnus, Mor Lewit, who made aliyah to Israel to join the IDF. After that, we sang Happy Birthday to Israel and ate a cake decorated in the shape of Israel. We also learned about Haifa through experiencing co-existence. As this session and summer is coming to an end, the chanichim are leaving their mark at camp through  creating cabin plaques to display for years to come. Although it’s sad to see this session coming to an end, we have an exciting week ahead of us. On behalf of the Oranim madrichim and myself, we wish you all a Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat Shalom,
Emily Shalev, Oranim Merakezet


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Shalom Sayarim Parents!

Week three is in the books and will definitely be going down as a successful one. This week kicked off with Sayarim taking a fun filled day trip to the Dolly Parton’s theme park entitled Dollywood. Later on in the week each of the cabins designed and painted their own cabin plaques, which will be put up to remain in a building here at Camp Judaea for many years to come. This week came to a close with Bikkurim, color war. The whole camp was split into four separate Israeli themed teams with the goal of teams demonstrating as much ruach (spirit) as possible. The campers have become extremely close with one another and the bond between this Sayarim family continues to get stronger every day. We look forward to the amazing activities in the days to come.

Shabbat Shalom,

Eitan Bender, Sayarim Merakez


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Shalom Tsofim Parents,

This third week of camp was as fun filled and exciting as the previous two.  We began the week at Sliding Rock followed by the Pisgah National Forest with a camp out and overnight in an old growth forest at the base of Mount Mitchell.  Our eda was able to bond for hours around the campfire with s’mores and campfire activities.  Some of the campers even chose to come on an early morning hike with myself and some fellow staff members—it was a spectacular hike.

The counselors have really enjoyed getting to spend time with the kids.  One of the many highlights of this week was Bikkurim (color war).  Our campers had a day filled of sports, fun, cheering, and brilliant sun.  At the end of the day, the Charosets – Red team was victorious and everyone had an incredible day.  Although we’re entering our final week of camp, we still have many fun activities planned and I can guarantee that this summer will finish on a very high note.

Shabbat Shalom,

Sam Morse, Tsofim Merakez



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Shalom Kesher parents,

My staff and I had another fantastic week with your children. After returning from our trip to New York, the entire Eda (unit) went camping together in  Pisgah National Forest in a preserve at the base of Mount Mitchell. First we went on tour of Linville Caverns, then we went on a short waterfall hike through the Pisgah National Forest. The kids had a great experience on our day trip overnight—filled with s’mores, burgers, and Rocky Mountain French toast. This week was also Bikkurim (color war). The competition was fierce but the Charosets – Red team came out victorious!  We all had a fantastic time in friendly competition.

My staff and I are sad that this will be the final shabbat with our campers. As next week comes and our campers leave, we will remember all the amazing experiences that they have shared with us. I hope everyone can return next summer.

Shabbat Shalom,

Tali Burger, Kesher Merakezet


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Shalom Bogrim Parents!

This past week in Bogrim was full of non-stop adventures! We kicked the week off with a day trip to the North Carolina Arboretum, where we participated in the nationwide craze geo-caching. The chanichim got the opportunity to use GPS units from the Arboretum to find the caches all around the pristine scenery. Upon finding the hidden caches, CJ got to leave their mark with a short, thoughtful note in each cache’s diverse log of past visitors. Following the day at the Arboretum, Bogrim set up camp at the beautiful Black Mountain campsites, where we enjoyed a night of barbecue, s’mores, and storytelling around a classic campfire! After an awesome overnight, Bogrim returned to camp and jumped right into our service project to leave our legacy here at camp. The project included the construction of three new picnic tables at the sacred Bogrim site of “Bogie-ville”. Not only did the chanichim build the tables themselves, they also left their mark with beautiful murals representing their group on each table. We also participated in Bikkurim (color war)— Charosets – Red won! In this coming week, Bogrim is looking forward to writing and directing their own Bogrim Hatzagah (theatrical production) as well as leading the camp in an unforgettable final week!

Shabbat Shalom,

Sarah Fine, Bogrim Merakezet




Shalom Chalutzim Parents!

Chalutzim had an extraordinary time on Outward Bound. They hiked, went rock climbing, and went bush pushing. They have each learned skills that will be useful for the rest of their lives.  They have all returned back more mature and ready to leave their mark at Camp Judaea. We returned on Wednesday to be surprised with Bikkurim only an hour later. They were loud, crazy, creative, and had a blast! For the rest of the session, Chalutzim will be working on their service project for camp and helping to lead the camp banquet. They have all had an amazing summer and are excited to finish their final year at camp.

Shabbat Shalom,

Steven Beiner, Chalutzim Merakez