Summer camp, in general, is a time of new discoveries and the summer camp in Odessa was no exception. The theme of the camp was a "City of Roads and Craftsmen" which was based on a fairytale and the campers traveled down a path that led them to many new discoveries. They learned more about their Judaism, Jewish culture and civilization, and delved deeper into their Jewish identity. From the 'craftsmen' (the counselors and other staff of the camp), the campers honed their skills in arts and crafts.
The camp program was based on workshops, classes, and evening activities.
The campers were encouraged to express themselves by working with
different art mediums and materials.
By the end of each day, campers had their
own handmade works which they brought home.
Interviews with the campers:
"Hello, my name is Valeria Vernik and I am 7 years old, from Odessa, Ukraine.
Our counselors were very good. They played with us, explained very interesting things to us, and allowed us to do many different things. I liked the very much because camp is not like school. In school, my teachers tell us what to do but here I can express myself.
For me being a Jew is to know and to observe traditions. I studied about Shabbat in the camp and I think this is very nice and beautiful day. I liked Shabbat songs. I lit Shabbat candles in the camp and I want to do this at home with my mom. My grandma lives in Israel and now I want to come to Israel, to visit her, and to see all beautiful places we studied about in the camp: the Dead Sea and the desert, Haifa, the Red Sea, and of course, Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall."
On the left, Valeria Vernik and on the right, Lyuba Kravchenko: Valeria wrote, "This was my first camp and I liked it very much! I met a lot of new friends here from different places of the Ukraine."
"Hi, I am Lyuba Kravchenko and I'm 8 years old from Odessa.
This is my second time at a Jewish Agency summer camp. I made many new friends last year at camp and I was waiting for this summer to come back and meet up with them again. During this year, I celebrated all Jewish holidays at the Jewish Agency with my friends from Odessa.
Israel for me is a beautiful and warm country where all Jews can live in peace. I hope that one day I can come there and draw everything I will see and encounter."
Lyuba Kravchenko: "At camp, I had the chance to draw
and paint and everyone really liked my creations.
I drew our city of roads and craftsmen and I drew Israel."
August 1 – 8, 2010/ Av 5770