Dear CW Families,
We had a very special week at Camp Wise. It all started as we prepared to receive a new Torah to our community. Although the Torah was new to Camp Wise, it was actually very old, nearly 200 years old in fact. Thanks to the generosity of Stuart and Marilyn Cole (CW alumni) we were able to work with Rabbi Druin, a sofer (Torah scribe), to allow this old Torah to be restored and brought back to life at our camp. During our dedication we learned that the Torah originated from Germany almost two centuries ago and if we had not received it, the Torah may have been buried along with all of its history. Rabbi Druin explained that the Hebrew word for letter, ot, also means wonder, miracle and sign. Just like every human being is a wonder, a miracle, a sign of God’s presence in the world, and the world would not be the same or as rich without any one of us, every letter of the Torah holds deep meaning and the Torah would not be the same or fit for use, without every letter being restored to its best. We’re all feeling blessed that Camp Wise was chosen to keep the Torah alive!
In order to ensure that the Torah was kosher and ready to be read from for Shabbat, each camper had the opportunity to work with Rabbi Druin to help make the Torah complete. They did this by ensuring each and every letter was written correctly and actually helped Rabbi Druin do his work. Throughout the program and dedication ceremony, we all committed ourselves to the value of b’tzelem Elohim (in the image of god) and the hope that those who have contributed to writing the Torah may find life and meaning in her words and inspiration from her lessons. To learn more about the Torah Dedication and program, click here to read the article that was published in the Cleveland Jewish News.
Later in the week we took several adventures away from camp, Noar even left twice! First 9th grade had their overnight to Pennsylvania for whitewater rafting in Ohiopyle while 8th grade went to Fairport Harbor Beach on Lake Erie for an afternoon of jet skiing, relaxing in the sun, and grilling out dinner! Later in the week, Solel left for their big trip to Southern Ohio and Kentucky where they visited Mammoth Cave, Kings Island, and the Cincinnati Zoo. And then all of camp was empty on Thursday as Chalutzim and Ohalim hit the slides at Pioneer Waterland and Splash Lagoon, respectively, and Noar spent the day riding the coasters at Cedar Point.
This morning we said goodbye to our friends from the Columbus and Akron JCC day camps. While we are sad to send them back home, we know they had a great experience at Camp Wise and are looking forward to being reunited with them in the summer of 2020! And, as we move into Shabbat, we’re excited to have the rest of our community back from trips so that we can all be together when we read from our new Torah for the first time on Saturday morning!
It’s fitting that the Torah dedication fell on the week we read Parshat Balak, which is all about the importance of words. In this week’s portion, Balak fears that the Israelites are too powerful to defeat in battle, so he sends messengers to summon the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites so that the Moabites can defeat them. Balaam sends the messengers back with the reply that God has told him not to curse the Israelites, for they are a blessed people. Once again Balak sends dignitaries to plead with Balaam. This time, God agrees to let Balaam return to Moab with the understanding that he will only be able to speak the words God puts in his mouth once there.
The next morning, as Balaam is on his way to Moab, his donkey sees an angel of God barring the way. Each time the donkey balks at moving forward, Balaam beats her, until finally God gives her a voice and words with which to scold Balaam. Perhaps this scolding is really Balaam scolding himself because he knew he should not go on the journey.
Once in Moab, each time Balaam goes to curse the Israelites as Balak desires, only words of blessing come from his mouth. The most famous of these words are “Ma tovu ohalecha Ya’akov, mishkenotecha Yisrael – How lovely are your tents oh Jacob, your dwelling places oh Israel.”
As Ohalim prepared for Shabbat the campers spoke about how being created b’tzelem Elohim influences the way we treat others. They talked about how our words, both kind and unkind, can affect others. Each one of us is a miracle, every letter of the Torah is a wonder, every word we speak is a sign of God’s presence in our world. We have the choice of how we will use our words. Will we use them to damage, denigrate and destroy; or will we use them to elate, empower and encourage? Words are among our most powerful tools. We are what we say, and what we say matters. Let us use our words, every letter, to continue the miracle the wonder, the sign of God’s presence.
We had a great week of bonding and really became a C1 family. A highlight was roasting s’mores at our overnight!
C2 had a great time at their Israeli culture cabin activity. It was funny to watch the campers play the game as aliens!
This week our campers “snuck out” and had a surprise pool party! At the overnight C3 won the cheer off which meant we could get s’mores first!
C4 (Day Camp)
We had so much fun with our campers this week, they all grew and had a great time making new friends. A highlight of the week was celebrating Elliot’s birthday with glow sticks and chipwiches!
C5 (Day Camp)
Our campers will be taking home memory jars that they have filled with their favorite things from each day of camp! A highlight from the week will certainly be spa night as a cabin!
A special moment was when we had our wrestlemania evening program. The groups were by cabin and the girls got to dress up Lior, a counselor as a Disney princess. They had so much fun picking her outfit and we even made up a new cabin cheer!
This week we had a glow in the dark dance party during a thunderstorm! The girls also had the opportunity to go horseback riding and even got to stand on a horse during horseback yoga!
While stuck in the cabin during a thunderstorm, the girls made the best of the situation and bonded as a cabin by playing games and telling funny stories! The girls are doing amazing at trying new activities and making new friends, they’ve all gotten in the Camp Wise spirit.
A special moment this week was celebrating Zander’s birthday – we stayed out late before bed and had chipwiches on the O-rec! This week we also had our vertical playground cabin activity; everyone raced and cheered each other on as they climbed!
This week we had a ton of fun running around at soccer and learning about camp values at Live Wise. We also celebrated Simon’s birthday by going zip lining during rest hour, it was awesome!
This week we bought fairy lights for our cabin. We all love coming into the cabin at night especially because it’s the coolest cabin in the village now! We had a special time during our yoga cabin activity, the entire cabin got super into it and half us even fell asleep at the end – so relaxing!
This week we had a special spa night just for O6! We did facemasks, put cucumbers on our eyes, and listened to soothing music. We also won Nikayon (cabin clean up) one day this week and received the Pink Broom of Champions!
This week the cabin had a blast going to the lake! The girls had a choice of tubing and riding the Jet Ski. We also spent some time bonding in the cabin during a rainstorm; it was a great opportunity to get to know each other better!
This week we had a tiktok dance party for Gina’s birthday. It was special because in our cabin we always dance to music and we were able to teach everyone some new moves!
This week a highlight was a fun pool party with our sister cabin, O10! We got to swim in the sun and bond with our new friends! Everyone is branching out in the village and making friends across all cabins!
This week we did teva (nature) as a cabin activity. While at the activity we did a blindfolded teambuilding activity where we learned to put trust in our friends. We are also playing word assassin which is a fun away to get to know each other even better!
Our cabin is becoming very close-knit and always looking out for one another. A special moment we had this week was a cabin campfire complete with s’mores and deep conversations.
A special moment N2 had this week was during our afternoon at Lake Erie. Even though all of 8th grade was there, they spent the entire time together as a cabin. And when we returned, we all joined in a special campfire and song session back in the Noar village!
This week we celebrated Gal’s birthday with a special cabin-only pool party. It was so much fun and the campers even continued singing Happy Birthday while in the water. The cabin spends a lot of time together and enjoys playing poker and doing magic tricks!
This week a highlight was during our time at high ropes. Everyone was encouraging one another and helped to guide each other through the course. We also had a crazy dress up one day for lunch, the girls really let loose!
A special moment for N5 happened during our 9th grade overnight. All the girls ran around trying to catch fireflies. Despite our best efforts, no one was successful, but everyone tried their best!
N6 had a blast on our trip to Ohiopyle for whitewater rafting! We also enjoyed our time at camp, especially at low ropes. We worked together and were smiling and laughing the entire time!
A special moment for N7 was on our Lake Day. We relaxed on the beach, tubed on the Jet Ski, and hung out with all of our friends! We also had a highlight on the high ropes course, some of us were nervous but everyone encouraged each other and it resulted in a great time!
This week we found our sporty side in general sports and took a big jump off the leap of faith on the high ropes course! We also bonded over our dress crazy Mamma Mia lunch!
This week Solel finally got to embark on our first out of camp adventure to Kentucky/Cincinnati! We started on Tuesday getting to spend the entire day riding the rides and playing carnival games at King’s Island Amusement Park. Then, on Wednesday, we spent the day touring the world-famous Mammoth Cave National Park and climbing the underground ropes course at the MegaCavern facility in Louisville. We ended our journey getting to spend a few hours at the Cincinnati Zoo and eating pizza! You can already tell that our time spent together on the Solel deck, long bus rides, and out of camp adventures are really bringing this group together. We can’t wait to see where our next adventure will take us, but for now, we are ready to settle back into camp for our second Shabbat together!
This week the ILS teens have been having a blast in the North of Israel! We explored the mystical city of Tzvat and bought many souvenirs to bring back home with us. We’ve spent lots of time trying to escape the heat while swimming and playing in the Sea of Galilee. From going on a Jeep tour through the Golan Heights to rafting down the Jordan River we’ve experienced many different sites throughout this part of the country. We finally have arrived to Beit Shean where we are loving time spent in our host families already. We can’t wait for all the experiences we will share while getting to know our peers here in Israel. We look forward to a restful Shabbat and to continue and expand the strong relationship Cleveland and Beit Shean share!