We anxiously await the arrival of our first campers tomorrow. The past week has been exhilarating. All of our staff is working on full throttle. Our newest madrichim (counselors) are learning the routine – 34 members of Kerem 2017 – reconnected naturally and quickly. The power of the community they formed is apparent to all that witness their passion for both Yavneh and their kahal (community) that they have formed. More on what we have been doing this week later.
For a moment, let’s go back to last May – 110 alumni in their 20s and 30s gathered for a Shabbaton weekend. This alone is something to kvell about. And I had the good fortune to witness something spectacular – timelessness. As I interacted with our alumni, I was struck by the incredible experience and impact that Yavneh has had on their lives. When I sat with the alumni in Ben Tzvi on Friday night, taking in the sounds of Kabbalat Shabbat, it profoundly struck me that Yavneh is deeper than any one person and confirmed, once again, that our diversity is our true strength. Conversation after conversation, alumni shared how involved they are in their Jewish community and many of them credit their Yavneh experience with the reason they are as committed to creating vibrant Jewish moments. One participant told me that they “crave Yavneh” when they are back home.
Which brings me back to where we are today – Shavua Hachana (staff week). The theme of this summer is Hakarat HaTov (gratitude). We chose it because there are so many reasons for us to show our gratitude at Yavneh. The staff that has assembled this week has been working at double speed to make the experience for our campers a truly memorable one. When you arrive at camp whether it is this week or at the beginning of the summer, please give the staff a few words of encouragement – you have no idea how much that propels them to want to do an even better job.
We can’t wait to see you in two days and look forward to another amazing kayitz (summer) and the machaneh (camp)