Welcome back CSL! Tonight is our first Shabbat of Session 1 and our two Judaica leaders, Aaron Bigeleisen and Molly Brownstein, are excited to share the way that Judaica is being run this year. Although we will be maintaining the core of the Judaica and service traditions, there will be room for innovation, leadership opportunities for campers, and creative ways for Shabbat services and Jewish learning to be more fun.
Aaron and Molly are enthusiastic to introduce themselves and share more about their roles at CSL.
“Hi, my name is Aaron Bigeleisen! I am the 2018 Judaica PAL, along with Molly Brownstein. When I'm not at Camp, I cantor at Etz Chaim Synagogue in Fairport New York, I teach voice at Hobart William Smith College, I am the drama director at Temple B'rith Kodesh Sunday School, and I tutor foreign languages at McQuaid Jesuit High School. To me, Judaism provides a framework to find and make meaning out of this thing we call life. It is our goal as Judaica PALs to share this framework with these campers. That means creating innovative and engaging programs that captivate our kids' hearts and imaginations. This goes for services as well. We want to share the deep traditions Judaism has to offer, while presenting campers with opportunities to explore Judaism through a variety of lenses. For example, after a shorter Saturday morning service, we are offering kids alternative worship options like ‘Shabbat yoga’ and ‘Shabbat nature walks.’”
“Shabbat shalom, CSL! My name is Molly Brownstein and this is my first time at camp. This summer I'll be working alongside Aaron Bigeleisen as a Judaica specialist. I'm very excited to have this role because it's so closely related to something I feel very passionate about. Being part of the strong Jewish community in Buffalo has been a defining part of my life thus far. In middle school I became involved with USY and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up in many different leadership positions through the organization. I was also a participant in Hebrew High, which is a Jewish extracurricular activity program for teens. After graduating from high school I spent nine months in Israel through the Nativ College Leadership Program, where I studied and volunteered in Jerusalem and Tiberia.”
This year, Saturday Shabbat services will be different, with each Saturday morning starting with a shorter service that brings the camp together and fosters a sense of community. Then, campers will break up into various activities that have to do with Shabbat, like the two Aaron mentioned above, as well as Shabbat storytelling, book club with PJ library books, and more. The first Saturday Shabbat will be only a long service to show campers what services are like. After that, when it is a village’s Shabbat they will attend the full service. This will allow for extra time on Shabbat to speak to smaller groups on what the prayers mean and the intention of the prayer service.
We look forward to sharing more about the Judaica experience at CSL and how we can further Jewish learning for campers.
Until next time,