Special Moments on Shabbat Hill

By Camp Tavor Staff

As the sun sets over Shabbat Hill on Friday nights at Camp Tavor, chanichimot (campers) can be heard singing and laughing together, watching the sunset and celebrating another week together. One shichvah (age group) welcomes Shabbat with an Israeli dance, before mixing in with the rest of the campers to sing a song welcoming in the calm of another Shabbat.

When the song ends, campers and counselors mingle and hug, wishing everyone a Shabbat shalom. These moments on Shabbat Hill each Friday help capture what is so special about a Shabbat at Camp Tavor.

Every week, a different shichvah gets the chance to lead Shabbat, as an exercise of our value of democratic decision making and engagement. Facilitating Shabbat involves leading Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday Night and the Havdallah prayers on Saturday, writing a fun and silly play for the rest of camp, and helping to shape a meaningful and restful Shabbat for all of camp. When a shichvah help leads Shabbat, this offers them the chance to in share responsibility of making Shabbat so special.

Two special traditions of a Tavor Shabbat, are Hyde Park and Asepha Klalit (community meeting). Hyde Park occurs every Saturday. During this kids clamor to get to the milk crate in the center of Hyde Park, where they share their Shabbat reflections with all of camp. Reflections typically consist of “The pancakes this morning were delicious but I’d love some banana ones next time!” a camper might say, or, “Let’s do a better job working to clean up and stack our dishes at lunch today!”

Later on during Saturday afternoons, Asepha Klalit, we hold a meeting during which campers decide communally how they want to express their values. During Asepha Klait campers give feedback about camp and problem solve together.

Every session, during Asepha Klatit our campers also vote on where to give tzedakah money or what to name new camp buildings. These special times are an opportunity for campers to feel ownership over the Shabbat experience, while getting to build an intentional community together.

While Shabbat is a special moment for a shichvah to come together, it’s also an incredible time for community when all of camp gets to spend time together. Many campers say that hugging all of their friends on top of Shabbat Hill and lying together to reflect is their favorite parts of the week.

Shabbat at Tavor gives campers a great opportunity to reconnect with their friends, the entire camp community, and gives everyone a chance to refresh themselves for the exciting week to come.