Family Retreat “Halom”- 9 During the 7 days of August 22- 29, some 150 members of Odessa Jewish community enjoyed the Jewish atmosphere of the family retreat coordinated by Odessa Migdal JCC. Ninth in a row, the retreat was as usual carefully planned and organized to meet the expectations of the experienced and new participants, to provide for an educating but not tense atmosphere, and to stimulate further thirst for Jewish knowledge and aspiration for reconnection to the Jewish roots.
The camp began with the 3 days? seminar for madrichim ? 12 young volunteers active in the JCC programs. Everything ? premises, materials for lectures, sessions and quizzes?, decorations ? was thoroughly prepared in order to meet the participants and make the retreat a success.
For a week, kids and their parents, youngsters and students-volunteers were exploring rich culture and traditions through the widest range of activities: classes (arts and crafts, dance and music, theatre), Kabbalat Shabbat, madrich-times, creative activities, concerts, performances, quizzes, intellectual games ? all of them built on the Jewish knowledge, people?s enthusiasm and excitement.
As always, after the official opening of the camp and welcome speeches, the retreat?s program started with a game in order to captivate and unite the children and all the parents. One of the Retreat?s innovations is that for the first time there was the reunion of all the parents? teams during the contests, and the parents competed with a new motto ? ?Being Together is Better!?
The theme of the family camp was ?Seven Days Round the World?. Every camp?s day was devoted to Jewish customs and history of a definite country ? Germany, Turkey, Israel, Georgia, Yemen, Ukraine and Spain. All the seven days the campers were immersed in the Jewish atmosphere of the country, its culture and traditions. Thorough preparations of Migdal?s educators, who worked out the program and created an appropriate environment, enabled the children and parents feel the zest of every day Jewish life of many countries. The last day added creativity to the whole camp program, when the teams presented their own versions of a perfect community. The group discussions were followed by the projects? presentations and selection of the best and most promising ideas to form the general conception of their JCC?s work meeting the interests of all the ages.
Right after the retreat, enriched with new knowledge and inspiration for further work and communication under the JCC roof, ?Migdal? staff, children and parents came back to Odessa to implement what they had planned.