The weather may have been challenging but for more than 260 young people this summer’s RSY-Netzer’s ‘Shemesh’ was sunshine all the way. All 5 camps were based in the Midlands and the feedback from those aged 10 upwards was nothing short of “marvellous!”
The theme for 2023 was ‘Mitzvot and Middot’ with each camp focussed on a Jewish value from courage and community mindedness to inclusivity. And activities throughout the camp centered on developing the young people’s understanding of Reform Judaism’s approach to the world.
Shemesh is a place free of the trappings of the modern world, no mobile phones or fancy technology but so much wholesome fun. Water fights and basketball along with tie-dye tallitot and tefillah, crazy kef involving face paints and singing. Outside adventure activities and of course a Barbie-themed night!
For 14-year-old Samuel Dyson from Leeds it was an experience he’ll never forget: “I really enjoyed everything that RSY put on, from getting drenched in the stream scramble to the wonderfully musical services every day. I have made countless new friends that I’m sure will last a lifetime and have learnt a lot about myself, including and creating a new part of my Jewish identity.
The ‘mega Shabbat’ was a huge success with Finchley Reform Synagogue’s Rabbi Deborah Blausten and Cantor Zoe Jacobs (both bogrim of RSY-Netzer!) helping lead the service during the second week of camp.
With 5 Israel Tours also having returned from a transformative experience over the summer almost 500 chanichimot and madrichimot had an enriching, immersive Jewish summer thanks to RSY-Netzer. If you would like to help more young people take part next year you can donate here labelling it ‘RSY-Netzer bursary fund”