Campers Celebrate Tel Aviv's Centennial in Minsk, Belarus
Ages: 11 – 14
Campers did not miss a beat this summer as they celebrated Tel Aviv's 100th Anniversary.
Centennial Opening Event in Tel Aviv, April 2009.
Campers in Minsk celebrate Tel Aviv's 100th Anniversary.
In honor of the first Hebrew City, the theme of the camp revolved around the history and culture of Tel Aviv. Campers were immersed in the life of the city from its establishment 100 years ago to the present day. They even created a 'Mini Tel Aviv' exhibit in their camp, building models of the first boulevards and streets, the first synagogue, and the Diaspora Museum.
It's hard work building the foundation wall of Tel Aviv's first synagogue.
Through roll plays, simulation games, art activities, and musical performances, campers learned about the establishment of Tel Aviv and were exposed to the problems and dilemmas which the founders of the city faced back then.
Some of the questions raised were: What does it mean to be the first Hebrew City in the Land of Israel? Should it be a religious city or have a secular character? Should it be more Western or Eastern in nature? The camp program also allowed the campers to become familiar with modern Tel Aviv particularly emphasizing issues facing Israeli youth today.
The Tel Aviv Council raises questions about the character of the first Hebrew City.
Campers voting on issues affecting Tel Aviv 100 years ago.
The campers had the opportunity to ask if the issues facing Israeli youth are similar to the ones facing young people in Belarus. The Israeli counselors all had a lot to contribute to this discussion and all agreed that an "added value" of the camp was meeting the Israeli counselors who served as a living bridge between campers and Israel.
Israeli counselors lead campers in "mock" army exercises.
Being in Summer camp in the FSU is a learning experience for Israeli campers, too.
Campers listen attentively to what their counselors have to say.
One of the days of the camp was devoted to the topic, "Tel Aviv – Cultural Center of Israel". The highlight of this day was the "mock" Isravision Contest modeled after the popular Eurovision contest. Campers were subdivided into groups and asked to choose a song that Israel had performed in one of the past competitions. The campers put their own twist to the songs and made up new dances. For many, it was their first time singing in Hebrew.
The Isravision/Eurovision contest was one of the highlights of the camp.
Campers learned Israeli songs by heart and for many it was the first time singing in Hebrew.
Israelis have a passion for hiking and that was also expressed at camp. On Friday morning, the campers set out on a very special hike that acquainted them with Israeli customs, modern traditions, people and places in Israel. On their way, they met some Bedouins in the Negev, and Druze in the Golan.
A stop to visit with Bedouins in the "Negev".
Meeting some Druze in the "Golan".
Celebrating Tel Aviv's 100 years at camp in Minsk was a fun and memorable experience for campers and counselors alike.
"I've been coming to camp for 3 years now and I really like camp because I have a lot of friends here, ones that I only see in the summer. I'd like to thank all those people who gave me this opportunity to have yet another unforgettable 7 days at camp" - Eugene Yevsyuk
Eugene Yevsyuk - 11 years old from Minsk (on the left) and Frumin Gleb - 14 years old from Vitebsk
"This is my 6th year coming to the Jewish Agency summer camp. I like this summer very much. Our counselors were very nice. I studied a lot of new things about Judaism and Israel that I didn't know before. I learned about Tel Aviv and its history for the first time." - Frumin Gleb
July 19-26, 2009