Reflections from the Nachshon Counselor Fellowship

The Nachshon Project works to inspire and empower young leaders to pursue careers in Jewish professional leadership. Over the past weeks, a cohort of fifteen fellows participated in the new Camp Counselor Fellowship, a three-week distance learning program designed to engage young adults who planned to work at Jewish camps in Jewish learning, Israel engagement and practical leadership skills.

Todah rabbah to Liam Shemesh for sharing his reflections on the first week of the program:

Week one of the Nachshon Project counselor fellowship has come and gone, and it has certainly been an eventful week. After a couple of introductory programs, we dove in with the first of three sessions with Michael Brandwein, an educator and author. In his sessions, Brandwein asked us work through various exercises with a partner. My partner for the duration of the program attended Moshava IO, and talking to her has been a highlight of the program for me. I haven’t had the chance to meet someone new in the three months; despite some initial awkwardness, it has been a highlight of the program.

This week we also heard from Etgar Keret, my favorite author. Keret spoke at length about the power stories have, and answered questions about his own process and evolution. Finally, on Wednesday night I attended a program run by Rabbi Ariella Rosen on stressful moments or decisions and the moment just before we dive in. I remember hearing from Ariella as a camper, and it was pretty cool to hear from her again. During that program, we were put in breakout rooms to discuss some texts, and it was nice to meet other camp people.

On the whole, the first week of the program was a good one. I met new people, learned some things, and have started considering what online programs should look like in terms of camp. Understandably, we attribute so much of camp’s magic to the physical location, but the current situation means that we have to find a way to access the magic of camp while we are apart from it. It will be different, but it is my hope that this program can help me find creative solutions to this new challenge. I know how integral camp has been to my experience, and I feel a responsibility to try and bring that to my campers this kayitz (summer), despite the circumstances.

We are grateful for The Nachshon Project’s Camp Counselor Fellowship, which trains our young Jewish leaders.

The Ramah New England alumni participating as fellows are Adira Blumenthal, Lily Segal, Eliana Safer, Hadas Bromberg Seltzer, Yael Liebman, Shoshi Cohen, Alyssa Edelheit, Elise Gendrich, Elianna Israel, Jessie Lehman, Devasha Solomon, Gabby Hyman, Marin Warshay, Liam Shemesh and Ethan Liefman.