The Crazy Challah Makers
by Alisa, 13
My name is Alisa and this is my first time in Kaits Fest camp and today is my first Shabbat! Before the camp I only knew that there is a special day called Shabbat but I’ve never experienced it. I even didn’t realize that all Jews around the world every Friday are saying the same words.
We began preparations for Shabbat at noon on Friday. Our counselors took us on a "tour" on which we met different “masters” of Shabbat. A sofer stam (Hebrew scribe) explained what tfillin is, why it’s muktzah on Shabbat and how it is made. A gabbai (person who runs synagogue services) trained us to make Friday kiddush so now we’ll be able to say it at Kabbalat Shabbat by ourselves.
The real surprise was the crazy challah makers! They told us a story about an old, old bakery in Jerusalem that has been making challah for over a century, since before Israel was even a state. And then we made our own challahs! I got the recipe, and it isn’t that hard to do at home. I told my Mom about the Shabbat and she said that we can make challah at home and make our family Kabbalat Shabbat.
Portrait of Israel
by Liza, 15
My name is Liza and this is my third time at Kaits Fest camp. Today at the workshop we drew illustrations to accompany essays about Israel. The essays were written personally for our camp by Israeli bloggers and writers and explained their relationship with Holy Land.
I chose the text that describes Israel as a partner who has a character, face, body, spirit, and attitude. I decided to draw its portrait because it symbolizes my relationship with Israel – even if I have never been there I feel that I know its face.
I think that every Jew has his own connection with Israel and these ties helped our people throughout the ages. In August I’m going to participate in The Jewish Agency’s Makom.il camp in Israel and then I’ll draw a portrait from life.
Our Activities and Impact
Jewish Agency summer and winter camps across the former Soviet Union (FSU) serve as a high-impact gateway for Russian-speaking youth  to meet and share life-transforming, Jewish identity-building experiences with their peers, many for the first time. Trained counselors from the FSU and Israel provide campers with an immersion in informal Jewish and Israel education. Counselors, many of whom are alumni of Jewish Agency camps themselves, are inspiring role models as they awaken campers’ Jewish identity and connection with Israel and global Jewry as well as their Jewish heritage.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Jewish Federations of North America for their generous support to 2013 summer camps session:
The 2013 Jewish Agency summer camps in the former Soviet Union were provided with support by UJA-Federation of New York, The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, The ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore; Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, The Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Federation of St. Louis, The Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC), Crown Family Foundation, The Nathan T. Sedley Memorial Fund and the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund of San Francisco, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and The Genesis Philanthropy Group.Two moving stories from the Kaits Fest in Moscow during the summer of 2013Israel In Your Community