Nachshon Project: At Ramah!

Ianne Sherry, our Rosh Solelim, is a current Nachshon Project Fellow at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Nachshon Project is a fellowship for second-semester juniors who are interested in Jewish leadership and exploring a career in the Jewish non-profit world. Generously funded by the Legacy Heritage Foundation, the Nachshon Project aims to introduce proven Jewish leaders to various Jewish careers while also studying abroad at the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University.

[For more information about the Nachshon Project, see here:]

As part of the Nachshon Project, Fellows must complete two projects at either their sleep away camp or college campus.   For her first project, Ianne ran a Peula (activity) for all the Solelim chanichim (campers) last week on Yom Meyuhad (Special Projects day).   It was called Yom Chalutzei Zman (time travelers).   The goal of the peula was to teach the connection between the Jewish people and Israel throughout 4 specific historical periods.  There were 4 activities connected with these 4 different time periods (see detailed outline below).  The chanichim were split into small groups, each of which completed all 4 activities.

1) 12 Spies Scavenger Hunt: the small group was challenged to help the spies explore the land of Israel and report back.  There were 8 stops, or sites to cover.

2) Herod and the Second Temple: the group was given a blueprint of the Second Temple, and different foods (graham crackers, oreos, etc.); they had to build the Second Temple using the blueprint and the food.  Each small group built their own model from scratch.

3) Rabbinic period: each group had to debate different sub-topics about the return of lost objects, echoing the debates that were recorded during the Rabbinic period.

4) November 1947: there was an English and Hebrew Declaration of Independence word matching game, similar to the completion of a large mad libs.

These 4 educational and fun activities were interspersed with ice cream on a very hot day.  Everyone had a good time and learned a lot about Israel. Yasher Koach Ianne!

Yom Chalutzei Zman Outline:

Activity 3: The 12 Spies
Source: Bamidbar (Numbers) 13-14
Scavenger hunt around tzad aleph upper migrash-exploring the desert like the 12 spies did to bring back information to Moses
Clues to be places around the migrash. Every group will start with one challenge and then rotate to the next one when they are done.
At each clue there will be a quote from the Torah and a related activity for them to complete before taking the next clue
Have a madrich or madricha stay with their assigned groups and they will be given a paper with the location of the clues. Lead your group to each clue and make sure they are following the rules.
Verses and tasks:
13: 17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them: ‘Get you up here into the South, and go up into the mountains;
וַיִּשְׁלַח אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה, לָתוּר אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן; וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם, עֲלוּ זֶה בַּנֶּגֶב, וַעֲלִיתֶם, אֶת-הָהָר

The spies went into the land of Canaan without knowing what to expect and your challenge is to do the same. Each camper must close their eyes and reach into the bag. The bag will contain a strange assortment of small items. With their hand still in the bag they must guess what this item is. Teams get their next clue when everyone has had a turn.

13: 18 and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they are strong or weak, whether they are few or many;
רְאִיתֶם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, מַה-הִוא; וְאֶת-הָעָם, הַיֹּשֵׁב עָלֶיהָ–הֶחָזָק הוּא הֲרָפֶה, הַמְעַט הוּא אִם-רָב
You must now prove your strengths and numbers as a group. Everyone must grab hands and run together to the next station.

13:20 And be ye of good courage
Moses tells this to the spies before they leave to explore and report back on the land of Canaan. Now you must be courageous in this next task. You must trust in your teammates or take leadership in helping others. Three members of the group must close their eyes and allow others to guide them (verbally, not physically) to the next location.

13: 23 And they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it upon a pole between two; they took also of the pomegranates, and of the figs.-
וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד-נַחַל אֶשְׁכֹּל, וַיִּכְרְתוּ מִשָּׁם זְמוֹרָה וְאֶשְׁכּוֹל עֲנָבִים אֶחָד, וַיִּשָּׂאֻהוּ בַמּוֹט, בִּשְׁנָיִם; וּמִן-הָרִמֹּנִים, וּמִן-הַתְּאֵנִים
These fruits are some of the seven species of Israel. Unscramble the names of each of the seven species.

13: 27 And they told him, and said: ‘We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
וַיְסַפְּרוּ-לוֹ, וַיֹּאמְרוּ, בָּאנוּ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר שְׁלַחְתָּנוּ; וְגַם זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ, הִוא–וְזֶה-פִּרְיָהּ
The spies arrived in the land of milk and honey. Now you must slow-motion walk (as if through honey).

13:32-33 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying: ‘The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.’
וַיֹּצִיאוּ דִּבַּת הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר תָּרוּ אֹתָהּ, אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר: הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר עָבַרְנוּ בָהּ לָתוּר אֹתָהּ, אֶרֶץ אֹכֶלֶת יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ הִוא, וְכָל-הָעָם אֲשֶׁר-רָאִינוּ בְתוֹכָהּ, אַנְשֵׁי מִדּוֹת וְשָׁם רָאִינוּ, אֶת-הַנְּפִילִים בְּנֵי עֲנָק–מִן-הַנְּפִלִים; וַנְּהִי בְעֵינֵינוּ כַּחֲגָבִים, וְכֵן הָיִינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם
Some of the spies reported that in comparison to the peoples in the land of Canaan the Jews seemed like grasshoppers. Hop (on all fours) to your next destination.

ו וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן-נוּן, וְכָלֵב בֶּן-יְפֻנֶּה, מִן-הַתָּרִים, אֶת-הָאָרֶץ–קָרְעוּ, בִּגְדֵיהֶם6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of them that spied out the land, rent their clothes.
ז וַיֹּאמְרוּ, אֶל-כָּל-עֲדַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר: הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר עָבַרְנוּ בָהּ לָתוּר אֹתָהּ–טוֹבָה הָאָרֶץ, מְאֹד מְאֹד. 7 And they spoke unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: ‘The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land.
ח אִם-חָפֵץ בָּנוּ, יְהוָה–וְהֵבִיא אֹתָנוּ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת, וּנְתָנָהּ לָנוּ: אֶרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-הִוא זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבָשׁ. 8 If the LORD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it unto us–a land which floweth with milk and honey.
Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies who came back with a positive report. Now you must be like them and find a partner in your group for these challenges: standing back to back with your arms linked sit down, sitting back to back with your arms linked stand up, complete a three legged race.

a. כב כִּי כָל-הָאֲנָשִׁים, הָרֹאִים אֶת-כְּבֹדִי וְאֶת-אֹתֹתַי, אֲשֶׁר-עָשִׂיתִי בְמִצְרַיִם, וּבַמִּדְבָּר; וַיְנַסּוּ אֹתִי, זֶה עֶשֶׂר פְּעָמִים, וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ, בְּקוֹלִי. 22 surely all those men that have seen My glory, and My signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to proof these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice;
b. כג אִם-יִרְאוּ, אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי, לַאֲבֹתָם; וְכָל-מְנַאֲצַי, לֹא יִרְאוּהָ. 23 surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that despised Me see it.
c. כד וְעַבְדִּי כָלֵב, עֵקֶב הָיְתָה רוּחַ אַחֶרֶת עִמּוֹ, וַיְמַלֵּא, אַחֲרָי–וַהֲבִיאֹתִיו, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-בָּא שָׁמָּה, וְזַרְעוֹ, יוֹרִשֶׁנָּה. 24 But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
It took a lot of bravery for Caleb to go against what the majority of the group was saying. He has to trust that the people of Israel would listen to him and hist honest report. Now you must show your bravery by completing the levitating circle challenge. Stand in a circle and sit on the lap of the person behind you. The whole circle must be standing for 5 seconds.

Answer Key:Unscrambling the seven species
Activity 4: Herod and the Temple
Madrichim will sit with their groups.

Campers greeted by Herod asking for their help rebuilding the second temple. “Did the time capsule you find have anything that could help me in my quest? Oh I am so glad you found my blue prints!”
Each group will be given various food supplies supplies and a blueprint of the temple (see below). They must build this structure according to the blueprints for about 25 minutes.

Creation of the State of Israel
David Ben Gurion enters the room, excited to share the declaration of independence with the campers but some of the important words have disappeared. Using the loose set of English and Hebrew words the campers in their groups must reassemble the(parts of) declaration.
See below for text in English and Hebrew
Oh no! Come quick! Parts of the declaration of independence have been ripped and we need to put it back together again! Can you guys help me?????
The Rabbinic Period
Funny halachic debate
Campers in each group will be assigned an opinion to debate about a halachic issues. Each team will have 5-10 minutes to discuss their main points and organize their argument. Then two groups will come together and debate (facilitated by counselors).
At the end we will pull out a giant old shekel and flip it to decide the winner
Debate topics for groups
o If you see your brother’s ox or sheep go astray should you ignore it or take action to return it?
Rabbis said yes, you should never ignore it
o If you find money on the street are you obligated to return it to the owner?
Rabbis say no, there is no identifying feature of one’s money
o If someone leaves an item in a specific place, is it finders keepers?
Rabbis say no, because it was purposely placed there it is forbidden to touch