Monday, August 18, 2008

Hugim at the Seattle Stroum JCC

To continue writing about the 5 Israelis adding Israeli content to the JCC summer camp.
The 5 counselors this year for the first time were in charge of an interest group or (hoog) Monday through Thursday at 1 p.m. for an hour. They had a different group each day and taught each group the same topic for a week, adjusting the program somewhat for the age of the group. They id at least 5 topics, starting the second of the 6 weeks including: Jewish and Israeli Holidays, Symbols, Famous Israelis and famous places in Israel, Foods, and Israeli Children's Songs and Games. I as present the Monday of the last week to see them introducing Israeli foods to a group entering first through third grades.

First, the counselors divided the approximately 30 campers into three groups, by having them "count" off by naming 3 Israeli foods, Falafel, humus, and pizza.
"Your're falafel!"

They lined up in rows by their food names. Then each row was given a description of a food and they had to guess it. Below one boy who knows the answer enthusiastically raises his hand and shouts out the answer.

Next still in rows, each group had one person go to the white board. The person had to draw a picture of a food, and his group had to guess the food.

After one round of drawing, they gathered in a circle. A person in the middle was "it" and shouted one of the 3 foods mentioned, such as "falafel." Then all those labeled "falafel" had to stand up and change places while the person who was it had to scramble to a place to. The person left standing was "it" next. The girl below had just become "it."

The next activity was playing food bingo. There were several different cards including the one below.

Mor and Or traded off reading descriptions of words; the campers guessed the answer and put paper markers on the space of words described.
Tal and friend
Livnat helping a camper

Tal helping campers with food bingo

Mor and Or having trouble reading clues--who had the messy handwriting??

Yuval helping campers with bingo

After bingo, they taught a Hebrew kids' song about food that also had a lot of physical movement, and the children loved it!

With just a few minutes left, not enough to do another "food" activity, the 4 led songs they had taught previous, and all joined in. Mor played the drum to add rhythm.

Two campers looking at a map of Israel.

On Wednesday of that week, the Israelis were given an extra hour and made falafel with all the Camp Kef kids!

The counselors also told me a bit about the other topics for the hugim. Here are some of the materials that they used for the hugim:
For the topic of Jewish/Israeli symbols:
The menorah and olive branch were introduced as was the Magen David and a dove.
Some food is so symbolic that it was first introduced under the topic of symbols and then reinforced later!

After Israeli geography and famous Israeli people and places were introduced, the youth played a rather complex game when they had to do a task and then "earn" a piece of the puzzle. The symbols mounted on green paper below were some of the ones used in the game.

Another Israeli, Shelly, was in town for part of the summer, visiting family, so she often assisted at camp.
The JCC campers really loved the counselors. For some, camp will be the only time that they ever meet Israelis, and the interaction was sure to leave a big impact on them. Some campers were Israelis who had recently moved to Seattle, so they appreciated being able to talk to someone in Hebrew. See below a love note that several wrote spontaneously.

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