Over 80 chanichim (‘participants’) aged from 9-15 have enjoyed six days of learning, games, music, art, sports and good old-fashioned fun. On the largest ever Machaneh Aviv, the site rocked with their ruach (‘spirit’) and enthusiasm.

Throughout the week, they have taken part in activities as diverse as edible skyscraper-making and candle-lit meditation; a ‘human flowchart’ and solving the Middle East peace process. Their madrichim (‘leaders’) worked fantastically hard all week to run a huge range of sessions, and there was never a dull moment with a busy swimming pool and art room. Leaving the site with us will be some lifesize superhero puppets, Harry Potter-style bamboo broomsticks and a goo

d selection of Pharaoh costumes, all made by the chanichim.

On our Peer Hadracha (‘leadership’) afternoon, the chanichim planned and ran games and other fun sessions for each other, including an incredible assault course in the main hall. I have to say, they completely upstaged their tzevet (‘leadership team’) and we may be having to recruit them all before long. Shabbat was an afternoon of social action, with the chanichim making items for use by our social action partner Norwood, a charity for Jewish people with learning disabilities.

Saturday evening saw the traditional Last Night Show, in which over 10 chanichim showed off talents ranging from singing and dancing to Donald Duck impressions and origami.

From Ananim (school years 3-4) taking the first steps of their LJY-Netzer journey, to Yamim (years 9-10) who are fast moving towards Israel Tour and leadership, there was a wonderful whole-camp community atmosphere, and also the friendly rivalry and strong group identity within each shichvah (‘age-group’) that one would expect.

Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism, visited us on Friday and said: “An inspiring afternoon on the biggest Aviv ever. Education, sport, music and art superb; thank you to the madrichim and madrichot.”

Meanwhile, this is nothing like the end of the LJY-Netzer year! Our flagship event is Machaneh Kadimah, a summer camp held at Sandroyd School near Salisbury from 10-23 August. For the first time ever, Aviv was literally full this year, which is great but also means you need to book now to be sure  of a place on Kadimah. The online application system is at http://jewi.sh/kad5773 – don’t delay!


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