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Shabbat at TY

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?

candlesWe 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.

We Unplug

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.

reading-2We 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!

shabbatWe 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.

girls-3We 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



Time Activity Description
3:20-3:40pm 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
3:45-5:00pm Chofesh (free time) Under supervision, campers can relax and participate in offered activities
5:00-6:00pm Shabbat Prep All campers and staff will be in bunk to prepare for Shabbat.
6:00-6:45pm Chug Gathering A calm gathering to reflect on the week together before Shabbat begins
6:55-8:15pm Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv T’fillot Welcoming Shabbat together w/ song, dance, Shabbat candles and prayer
8:15-8:30pm Pre-Dinner Shabbat Story
8:30-9:55pm Kiddush, Aruchat Erev (Dinner), Shira (singing) Camp makes Kiddush, eats and partakes in traditional Friday night singing together
10:05-10:35pm Oneg Shabbat A lighthearted, and usually musical, performance put on by our staff
10:45-11:15pm Peulat Laila Tov – nightly activity with bunk staff Nightly bonding activity within each bunk prepared by the staff
11:15pm Laila Tov Good night!


Time Activity Description
8:45-9:30am 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).
9:45-10:00am Intro toMorning Minyanim - Services Camp meets together to sing together and then self-select into different types of morning Jewish prayer services.
10:10-11:30am Shabbat Morning Minyanim (Services) Teens have the choice between the following types of services: orthodox, conservative, musical/progressive, meditation/yoga, or Torah text study
11:30am-1:00pm 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
1:00-1:25pm Parsha Players and Dvar Torah Camp gathers to learn about the Weekly Torah portion through a comedic performance, short summary and insights
1:30- 2:50pm Kiddush/Aruchat Tsohorayim/Shira (singing) Camp makes Kiddush together, enjoys a delicious lunch and takes part in some spirited singing together
3:00-6:00pm Afternoon Chofesh (structured free time) Teens relax around camp under staff supervision, with more activities being offered including lounging at the
6:10-7:30pm Israel Update By shichva (age group), teens will choose between several options of educational activities that explore & inform about Israel
7:40-8:40pm Seudah Shlishit - Dinner Camp gathers for the final meal of Shabbat
8:50-9:15pm Shira Shketa – Quiet Singing Camp ends Shabbat with quiet singing of Israeli songs
9:20-10:10pm 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
10:15-10:45pm TY Unplugged Teens get to relax and wind down with an acoustical concert
11:00-11:15pm Sikkum Yom Closure of the day within each bunk
11:15pm Lailah Tov – Lights Out Lights go out and campers go to sleep!