Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
September 09, 2020

Kayitz 2020: Kesher (Connection) and Comedy Online

Author - Michi Rosenhek Zelermyer

This summer was unlike any for Yavneh fanatics! Families and campers scrambled to piece together a summer that would be spent away from Northwood. On the one hand, it seemed to drag on, while at the same time, it seemed to fly by. How is that possible?! Finding ourselves in September, let’s take a look back at how Camp Yavneh still found a place for chanichim (campers) to meet and connect during Kayitz 2020.

Offering a completely free program online, Yavneh Sheli, the Tochnit team and the amazingly creative and fun roshes brought the ru’ach and the wacky, the Jewish and the sporty to the homes of campers of all aydot. Chanichim met their friends and roshes through Zoom, and had the chance to participate in six weeks of virtual fun, that included multiple weekly live sessions. They played lots of games, cooked pita and shakshuka in bishul, performed KTV numbers, competed in trivia of all kinds, enjoyed a week dedicated to Israel, dabbled in omanut (art), Zoomed with goats and pets and stuffed animals, danced rikkudei am (Israel folk dances) and made tiktoks, participated in home scavenger hunts and wiki hunts, had talent shows, made s’mores by a virtual campfire, and experienced Yavneh’s first online Maccabiah. Weekly, we welcomed Shabbat together with an online ReLiSh, shabbat-o-grams in the chat, and a lot of laughter for the “regulars” who came to know what to expect. Kerem leaders stood out with divrei Torah to inspire us. Some masortim (traditions) were moved online. And some new masortim were created! We are masters now at screen-sharing, audio sharing, iMovies, kahoots, breakout rooms, and polling! Or maybe we just think we are…there was a lot of patience this summer along with trial-and-error with all things technical.

Camp Yavneh also partnered with other organizations on some educational and experiential opportunities for campers: 1) Maskim Maksimim (the Kerem Chesed mask project this summer) raised $2600 that will be equally split between camp and the Equal Justice Initiative; 2) Yavneh coordinated a cohort of Hartman Fellows (and facilitators) for their Emerging Jewish Thought Leaders Summer Program; 3) Kayitz Kef joined our online offerings and produced bi-weekly Hebrew bishul classes along with plenty of food-for-thought, and 4) Zichron Menachem in Israel received hair donations from eight brave mitzvah-makers.

Shout out to roshes: Josh & Toby (Gurim), Ben & Jennie (Gefen), Cara & Yuval (Kfirim), Merav (Arayot), Amanda & Ethan (Leviim), Noam (Maalot), Aaron & Rachel (Kerem)…for their creativity, sensitivity, and flexibility!
Shout out to Marty for being a great tech resource all summer long!
Shout out to all the campers who signed on to play a little and laugh a lot!

All in all, for the chanichim who chose to get involved in Yavneh Sheli or in a partner program, it was a summer of kesher (connection) and comedy.

What words would you use to describe Kayitz 2020?