Camp Achoteinu, the Israel Travel Program directed by Chanie Marinovsky, just completed its 12th successful summer.
Chabad girls entering grades 10 and11 – many of them children of Shluchim – from New York, Pittsburgh, Denver, Paris and Florida, enjoyed an inspiring, educational and fun month in Israel.
A luxurious private bus whisked them daily to holy sites and destinations throughout Israel. Based in Kfar Daniel where the Marinovskys serve as Shluchim, the girls toured Central and Southern Israel, focusing on discovering the rich history and holiness of Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Extended visits to the northern part of Israel brought the girls to the cities of Tzfat, Meron, T’verya, and Chaifa, and allowed them to experience the beauty and nature of the Golan and the Galil.
Famous educators including Rabbis Choni Goldberg, Asi Speigel and Mordechai Weiss served as tour guides for each excursion in the Holy Land.
Some of the active highlights of the trip included swimming at beaches in Akko and Caesarea, beautiful hikes through wadis and rivers, exploring caves, ATVing in the northern hills of Naftali and “Jeeping”, rappeling, and survival lessons with wilderness experts in the desert.
Shabbosim were spent in Kfar Chabad, Tzfat and Yerushalayim.
Bi-weekly Farbrengens with inspiring Shluchim and educators, shiurim in parsha and chassidus with camp rabbi Chayim B. Alevsky, deep explorations into the history and relevance of the holy sites with Camp rebbetzin and chaperone Sarah Alevsky, daily Chitas Chumash and Tanya classes with counselor Chaviva Katz and nightly Rebbe videos permeated every day with Chassidus and Torah.
“There were so many wonderful parts of our trip, it’s hard to single out one or two experiences. Each day taught us new things. We saw first-hand where Rabbi Akiva lived, where he taught Torah, and even where he died Al Kiddush Hashem,” said Chana K. “Tzadikiim we hear about in school became real to us in a whole new way.”
“One of the highlights for me was the spontaneous “Bar Mitzvah” we celebrated at the tip of Masada, where a 13 year old Russian boy put on Teffilin for the first time in his life. Rabbi Alevsky danced with the boy and his family singing ‘Siman Tov, Umazal Tov’. It was a very emotional moment.” said Mushkie A., “and this was just one of the four people who put on teffilin for the first time in their lives during our trip.”
“The girls really enjoyed the hands-on activities focused on helping others and Israel,” said Mrs. Sarah Alevsky, who chaperoned the trip with her husband Rabbi Chayim B. Alevsky, shluchim at Chabad of the West Side. “We picked vegetables for soup kitchens in the farm fields for Leket Israel, and we sifted through rubble from Har Habayis, looking for archeological discoveries for the Temple Mount Recovery project. I actually found a rock with an inscription from the time of Bayis Sheini!”
A suitcase full of toiletries, soaps, deodorants etc. donated by Chabad of the West Side Kids Club was distributed amongst Israeli soldiers throughout the trip.
Whilst at the Kfar Daniel base, Achoteinu girls enjoyed action-packed and thought provoking activities and discussions, arranged by the creative team of Chaviva Katz and Sarah Alevsky.
Camp Achoteinu offers an exciting month-long Israel program for girls entering grades 10 – 11, and is a UJA-NY approved program. The UJA offers significant scholarships to eligible campers who live in New York to enable them to travel to Israel for a summer program.