At Tel Yehudah, we create a powerful and lasting Shabbat experience that balances community togetherness with individual choice and joyful celebration with rest.
How do we observe and celebrate Shabbat together?
We Light Candles
Tel Yehudah begins Shabbat together every Friday evening with a teen-led kabbalat Shabbat, including an Israeli folk dance performance, harmonized song and lighting Shabbat candles to welcome in Shabbat. Afterwards, we hold a traditional and musical kabbalat shabbat and ma’ariv service in the beauty of our outdoor makom tfillah(prayer space) overlooking the Delaware River. We also mark the conclusion of Shabbat together on Saturday night with an outdoor, energetic Havdallah (Shabbat conclusion) service.
To create a special atmosphere, from the time we light candles on Friday night to when we hold Havdallah (end of Shabbat prayer) on Saturday night, Tel Yehudah observes Shabbat in all public spaces, including bunks. We use the weekly opportunity to unplug to encourage our teens to focus on their person-to-person interactions and connections.
We Engage in Prayer
On Saturday morning, our staff offers a variety of t’fillah (prayer) services that run the gambit of Jewish ritual and practice from full Orthodox minyan (service) including Musaf to reform style services that include musical instruments, as well as meditation and movement based services and a study of the weekly Torah portion. We believe it is important for our teens to have the opportunity to engage in prayer and spirituality in the way they feel most comfortable while also exploring less familiar practices.
We Rest our Bodies
We offer extra time for sleeping-in on Saturday morning and offer more structured free-time to allow for campers to catch up on the extra rest and recharge their batteries for another week of fun and adventure!
We Raise our Voices in Song
Singing together is one of the strongest threads of the Tel Yehudah Shabbat experience. We sing together during our traditional Kabbalat Shabbat service, after dinner on Friday, and with high-ruach (spirit) after lunch on Saturday. We end Shabbat with Shira Shketa, quiet and reserved signing of Israeli songs, on Saturday nights.
We Break Bread and Give Thanks
We eat all our meals with all of camp convened from Friday night to Saturday evening. This offers us the opportunity to enjoy tastes of different delicious Jewish cuisines, from Morocco to Eastern Europe, which our kitchen staff provides, all while offering thanks together as a community.
We Celebrate the Moment!
Shabbat is our weekly opportunity to celebrate the moment and celebrate the community we create at Tel Yehudah. From staff-led musical performances for Friday night (fun activity) Oneg and Moetzeh Shabbat (Saturday night wind-down) to our friendly sports competitions on Saturday afternoon, including basketball, softball, ultimate frisbee and soccer to our joyous and high energy Israeli rikud (folk dancing) on Saturday night, Shabbat is nothing short of TY’s weekly camp-wide party!
Sample Schedule for Shabbat at Tel Yehudah
FRIDAY (EREV SHABBAT)
|Campwide Nikayon (cleaning)
|We begin getting ready for Shabbat on Friday afternoon by giving a once over to camp to get it sparkling for Shabbat
|Chofesh (free time)
|Under supervision, campers can relax and participate in offered activities
|All campers and staff will be in bunk to prepare for Shabbat.
|A calm gathering to reflect on the week together before Shabbat begins
|Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv T’fillot
|Welcoming Shabbat together w/ song, dance, Shabbat candles and prayer
|Pre-Dinner Shabbat Story
|Kiddush, Aruchat Erev (Dinner), Shira (singing)
|Camp makes Kiddush, eats and partakes in traditional Friday night singing together
|A lighthearted, and usually musical, performance put on by our staff
|Peulat Laila Tov – nightly activity with bunk staff
|Nightly bonding activity within each bunk prepared by the staff
SATURDAY (YOM SHABBAT)
|Optional Kibud Kal – Morning Snack
|For teens who prefer delicious food to a little extra sleep, we serve a wonderful morning snack in the Chadar Ochel (Dining Hall).
|Intro toMorning Minyanim - Services
|Camp meets together to sing together and then self-select into different types of morning Jewish prayer services.
|Shabbat Morning Minyanim (Services)
|Teens have the choice between the following types of services: orthodox, conservative, musical/progressive, meditation/yoga, or Torah text study
|Morning Chofesh 1 (structured free time)
|Teens relax around camp, while under staff supervision. Activities will be offered, as well as a Staff v. Camper basketball game
|Parsha Players and Dvar Torah
|Camp gathers to learn about the Weekly Torah portion through a comedic performance, short summary and insights
|Kiddush/Aruchat Tsohorayim/Shira (singing)
|Camp makes Kiddush together, enjoys a delicious lunch and takes part in some spirited singing together
|Afternoon Chofesh (structured free time)
|Teens relax around camp under staff supervision, with more activities being offered including lounging at the
|By shichva (age group), teens will choose between several options of educational activities that explore & inform about Israel
|Seudah Shlishit - Dinner
|Camp gathers for the final meal of Shabbat
|Shira Shketa – Quiet Singing
|Camp ends Shabbat with quiet singing of Israeli songs
|Havdallah (Ceremony to close Shabbat) and Rikud
|Closing Shabbat as a community with a spirited Havdallah service and then all of camp lets loose with an amazing session of Israeli dancing
|Teens get to relax and wind down with an acoustical concert
|Closure of the day within each bunk
|Lailah Tov – Lights Out
|Lights go out and campers go to sleep!