Kochavim, Tefila, and HebrewGo! With Rabbi Jeffrey and Tami Arnowitz
Our youngest edah, Kochavim, started their day with a great tefila (with a bit of concluding silliness, photo below). There was some added wisdom, thanks to Visiting Educator, Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz (photo, above and below), who is here with his family. Tami Arnowitz (below, with 2 of their 4 sons, ages 4, 7, 9, and 11) is also serving as a Visiting Educator. Rabbi Jeff serves at Congregation Beth El, Norfolk, VA. And for the Ramah Marriages database: Rabbi Jeff and Tami met at Ramah Berkshires when they were both on tzevet (staff), in 1995, and married in 1999. Tami says that while serving as a Visiting Educator is not exactly vacation, it a wonderful way to recharge and renew. They are proud that there will be a total of 9 chanichim (campers) here this summer from their home shul!
Rabbi Arnowitz gave a d’var Tefila about the Barchu, and why we recite this call and response as part of our regular morning prayers. He gave the analogy of chants at football games, that the crowds recite in unison, in particular at games with the Giants and the Eagles teams. He did a robust interactive call and response with each letter of the word Barchu — Bet, Resh, Chaf, and Vav — with the chanichim. The chanichim gave reasons why this is important — to have one voice out of many, to be louder than one person, and to wake us up. One chanich summed it up: “Go Team God”!
When the chanichim exited tefila towards the beautiful new Chadar Ochel for aruchat boker (breakfast), they immediately segued into the HebrewGo game (based on PokemonGo, photos, below) created by our tireless Tzevet Tarbut Yisraelit (Israeli Culture staff). Hebrew words from our Meah Milim (100 Hebrew words) program are pinned on to trees all around camp, and the chanichim have to find the words and create sentences out of them. Tefila and HebrewGo: a great, fun, and educational start of the day for Kochavim!