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BaMachaneh: News from Tel Yehudah 7.13.18

July 13, 2018

Tales from Trip Week


Hello, I’m Evie Kirshner, and I’m in Alumim this year. Yesterday I got back from my amazing trip to Niagara Falls. We started out at the awesome Woodstock Museum in Bethel, New York and by day 2 we had made it to Letchworth State Park. We camped for 2 nights and had an awesome bonfire right after a beautiful hike. The highlight of my trip was easily going to Niagara Falls. The Maid of the Mist was so much fun and having that experience with my camp friends is something I will remember forever. – Evie Kirshner

The Alumim trip this year was a road trip to Niagara Fall (New York) with stops to other fun places along the way. On the first day we stopped at the Bethel Woods Museum. There we learned about the Woodstock Music Festival. It was very interesting to learn about an event that brought so many people together in peace. After camping out overnight, we continued driving and made a stop at Ithaca, New York to do a bit of shopping. We then headed toward out campsite for night two, Letchworth State Park, also known as “The Grand Canyon of the East.” Then we were able to hike to a beautiful waterfall and walk on the cliffs far above the majestic river. After getting back to the campsite we set up our tents and cooked diner like the night before. Finally on the third day we arrived at Niagara Falls! We got time to shop at the gift shop, eat lunch, and explore the area. The highlight of the trip was the Maid of the Mist. We got to see both the American and Canadian side from below. This was followed with a fun time at Larkin Square filled with games and food trucks. The last night we stayed over at the JCC and got to take much needed showers/ On the way back to camp we stopped at the Corning Museum of Glass and saw some exhibits and a glass blowing demonstrations. That night we arrived back to camp ready for a restful Shabbat!  – Farrah Grubman and Sarah Wilk


Hi, we are Julia and Anna and we just came back from the biking trip. It was both challenging and rewarding but in the end was an amazing experience. The journey started by biking out of camp and onto the very long and steep mail road. It was very challenging to make it to the top, but once we did, we got the feeling that we could accomplish anything else the trip had in store. Over the next few days out limits were pushed and we began to realize how strong of bikers we were. Throughout the days we traveled through many different environments; some with lakes, rivers, trees, fields, mountains and more. On the final day of the trip the group went up a 3 mile hill, Lebanon Road. While biking up the hill, everyone was encouraging each other and helped each other push through to get to the top. We felt a strong sense of community and unity. Then after the big uphill we stopped and covered ourselves in bike grease for the ride into camp. Once we entered the Bet entrance, many of our friends from other trips were there cheering us on and we rode to the pool where we soon after jumped in. We felt a sense of accomplishment that was greater than we have ever felt before. Knowing that we had biked over 110 miles was amazing and we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Part of what made this trip so memorable was out positive and strong leader Michele. Not only did she guide us the whole way but she also never got off her bike! This trip taught us how to power through tough situations and always stay positive because for every uphill, there is a downhill. 🙂 – Julia Cooper and Anna Paul, Biking

The photography trip was so much fun! We got to travel all around New York City by walking and using the subway. Our first day we began by going to the Museum of Modern Art. We took pictures of the amazing exhibits. After that, we went to Coney Island. We went on rides while watching the sunset over the beach. On our second day we went on a Jewish Food tour and learned about Judaism in New York. After that we went to Times Square and took pictures and went shopping. That night we went to a park and had a photography contest. On our third day, we took a boat to the Statue of Liberty. We got amazing pictures of Lady Liberty and the Hudson River. On our final day we went to the Highline and Chelsea Market. It was really cool seeing New York from the Highline. For our final activity we went to the MET. We learned a lot about the world. Overall I really enjoyed the photography trip. I loved learning about photography surrounded by my new best friends. – Danielle Bennett

Throughout our Social Action trip, we were able to use the Jewish values we have learned to reach out and cultivate the local community. With the outreach of Repair the World, a Jewish organization that works with other nonprofits, we learned about the different opportunities we had to volunteer. We passed pit fliers in Crown Heights and Harlem to educate people on how kids can get free meals over the summer. To help support those living off food stamps, we helped out at 2 separate urban farms including one with a farmers market. Overall, we were able to learn a lot and greatly value the time we spent helping others. We hope to continue to impact others and change the world for the better. – Sally Eisenberg and Shoshana Green


Day One:

We walked for about three hours then set up our tents, got water and cooked dinner. After dinner we told stories around the fire and then went to sleep. It was evening, it was morning, the first day.

Day Two:

On the second day we journeyed around five miles from our first campsite to our next one. We hiked around the great Sebbago Lake and swam in it before lunch. After diving into the Sebbago from tall rocks, we had a long pita, peanut butter and jelly, and tuna lunch which was delicious. We continued hiking, and arrived at our second campsite where we planted our tents and ate a short but filling dinner. It was evening, it was morning, the second day.

Day Three:

We stayed on one trail for the longest hike of the trip. Group 2 got water at a small stream while Group 1 walked an extra mile to go to an equestrian center where they found running water and bathrooms (but did not get to do an horse riding). Our campsite overlooked the city and more of upstate New York. After eating rice with tomato sauce for dinner, we sat on the roof and talked until we went to sleep. It was evening, it was morning, the third day.

Day Four:

Day Four was the short but sweet last day of our trip. After being told we were going to walk eight miles, we ended up hiking only two to a massive beach where we got to swim, drink filtered water, use actual toilets and eat real pizza. And then of course, come back to Tel Yehudah. It was a fitting end to an incredible week. It was evening, it was morning, the fourth day.

– Josh Lechtzin and Alex Drogin


The Hadracha trip to Washington, D.C. was unlike any other camp trip I had ever been on. This was the first camp trip I had taken where I felt it had meaning. When Hadracha arrived in D.C. there was already a feeling of excitement in the We started off the trop by meeting with a panel of Young Judaea alumni who spoke to us about working in D.C. and answering any questions we had about the political landscape and what it was like to be a part of it. The next day we woke up and got to work. With my tikkun group, Immigration, we met with three organizations to get us ready for our day on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. We met with HIAS, the ACLU and The Heritage foundation. After our meetings we went back to the George Washington University dorms where we were staying and ran through our strategy for our meetings on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday we woke up and headed to our meetings with some of America’s most powerful people. My group met with the staff of two senators, Jeff Merkley (D – Oregon) and Marco Rubio (R – Florida). Both meetings were very impactful for us and we also felt as through our presence made an impact on the staffers we met with.  Overall this was an incredible trip and a life-changing experience. It opened my eyes to the possibility that we can make a difference by being politically active making sure our voices are heard. – Eitan Weinkle

A key phrase that I have heard throughout this session in Hadracha is “These experience will change your life.” Of course, I did not really believe them… but after my four days in Washington, D.C., they are pretty obviously true!! I have always somewhat cared about anti-semitism, but seeing statistics and meeting people who deal with it every day really sparked a passion for advocacy in me.  t’s an influential thing to stand face to face with a congressman and discuss something important to you. It drives home how important it is to be vocal about the things I care about. Overall, D.C. with Hadracha was memorable, from advocating to getting lost on Georgetown, I think my friends and I will never forget the trip. Moreover, we had the chance to bond afterwards on the buses and the next day when we went on a rafting trip down the Delaware river before ending up back at our home away from home, Tel Yehudah. – Elan Levine

This past week I spent time in Washington, D.C. with the rest of Hadracha, bringing up issues that are imported to us and advocating about them to our representatives and senators. I chose to advocate for Disaster Relief across the United States, as hurricane wreckage and wild fifers have affected many of my friends this past year. Our meetings started on the second day of the trip, when my tikkun group visited FEMA and the Red Cross to learn more about both the finding efforts for disaster relief and the volunteer work that goes into helping recovery efforts. I felt that these meetings were not terribly informative, because the information that was being presented to us was coming from very biased sources. We had done a lot of research on the issue at camp and unfortunately we did not learn a lot of new information. On the positive side, I was proud that I was able to recognize the bias in the information presented and think critically about what I was being told. On Wednesday, we all went to Capitol Hill and met with the staff of congress members. During these meetings we mostly asked prepared questions about how the House and Senate plan to help prepare for future disasters in Puerto Rico and across the United States. We also asked how they plan to fix what has already been damaged. I believe the congressional staffers appreciated our meetings, and they were tremendously important and impactful for all of us as well. Overall, this trip was amazing and I was able to understand more about the pressing disaster relief issues occurring throughout the United States. And of course, new friends were made, we laughed a lot, and I had a blast! –  Julia Kamen