Gilgal Gazette 2016 Week 3

Name: Ephraim L.  Age: 11     Tribe: Judah
Hebrew Quizzing
Hebrew quizzing is quizzing that’s also a game show. It is new to Camp Gilgal East but has been done before at mid-west camp. It is different from Hebrew because in Hebrew we learn more about thelanguage and that helps for our Hebrew quizzing. It is a really fun thing to do. My favorite word is Mayim because the song is funny and comes with a dance. During Hebrew quizzing we have Hebrew questions.Every correct answer is worth 10 points so my team the Chicken Toots finished with a total of 350 points. We answered 26 questions right. On the first day the scores were really close. The Shark Molars had 20 points, the Hebrew Heroes had 30 points, and my team the Chicken Toots had a total of 40 points. The next day we had a Hebrew tournament with 5 categories- aleph bet, numbers, words, fill in the blank, and Pictionary. For calling the answers we used buzzers and a can with a stick. We were at a disadvantage because our buzzer was slower than everyone else so we got a drum. After that we caught up pretty fast. Then, at the end we had one last questions and it was worth 100 points. The last question was, you have to sing “am yisrael chai” so we barely made it with the drum, and sang the song to victory. We are going to get a prize but it is still a mystery.
Name: David K Age: 15
Tribe: Issachar
The many hidden talents of Elliot
Life in camp always revolves around several things. One of the most important things is friendship. An example can be my amigo Elliot. He is a wisecracker kid that has many talents. The first talent he has is kvetching. For those who don’t understand what that means, it is actually Yiddish for complaining. This doesn’t mean that he dislikes camp but it is part of his joking personality. It was hysterical when his 
remarks got so out of hand that he actually had to have a limit for it. Another great example of his talents is singing and music taste. Whenever he and I got bored, we would start singing mostly five musical geniuses which were Frank Ocean, Drake. Outkast, and Kanye West. He insisted that Views by Drake and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West are more than albums but musical masterpieces. All in all Elliot’s a good kid. Sure, he might be a crazy guy but name one that is normal. I’m grateful to have a friend like that. We’ve been campers and friends for a long time and grown together a lot. I’m glad God brought us to camp.  

Gilgal Gazette 2016 issue 2

Name: Alana F.Age: 12Tribe: Benjamin
Go Sox! (RedSox that is)
RedSox is a very nice, kind, inspiring person at camp. I’ve known her for three years and she is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She is like my mom. When I am at camp- whenever I have trouble with something or I miss home I can always count on her to comfort me and support me. RedSox is the director of camp and she does it in a great way. That means she doesn’t need to yell at kids to get things done. She is the Bible teacher in tabernacle and makes things fun and upbeat as she helps us learn about God. Some people can make the Bible really boring, but she makes it really fun. In the morning,she greets us for line up at kikar (the line up spot) with “Boker Tov” and sometimes dental inspection. If you have a project you’re having trouble doing, RedSox will help you focus and get it done (like postcards, Gilgal Gazette, sending letters, learning verses- whatever)! She inspires me and a lot of other campers. If you’ve come to camp you already know she’s awesome, but if you haven’t I hope you come soon!
Name: Asher WAge: 14Tribe: Benjamin
Indiana Jones & other true tales of Flexing, Grooviness, & a Russian
Indiana Jones who was born in Russia at a very early age, is a prime example of renaissance manhood. Daring, ripped, & Jewish. A lover of the Infamous “haunted” shower (only infamous due to its lack of light and occasional proverbial spider).
Indy has an incredible sense of humor and even tolerates Elliot’s contortionist jokes, with his shades dangling on his necklace. Indiana leads activities with imperial passion & joy. Even informal nightly flexing where pushups are attempted and muscle progress is analyzed in a nearby mirror, is met with partial exasperation. Indiana is often heard singing Russian love ballads or announcing in his deep voice, Russian to the corethat he ate too much breakfast and is just too full. Indy helps everyone, eats anything, & prays for everyone. His favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 1:5 which describes Gods adoption of believers into the heavenly family. Always happy and sanguine, Indiana a decidedly groovy Jew.

Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Awe

So Camp Gilgal family, as of Sunday night we’re in the year 5777 and tonight is the first shabbat of the new year.

Rosh Hashanah (the feast of trumpets or literally the Head of the Year) began Sunday night (October 2nd) and then here in NYC, schools were closed Monday and Tuesday in observance of the holiday. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) begins next Tuesday Night (October 11th) and ends the following evening (October 12th). Between these holidays are ten days that are called “the Days of Awe.” These days, both in services and outside of them, encourage and charge us to pay attention, to reflect, and to make things right.

There are a couple of things built into the season that help us to engage with the idea of repentance. One of them is something called tashlich (more here) where as a community or as individuals we go to a body of water and throw the crumbs from our pockets, stale bread, or even small pebbles away–symbolically casting our sins into the “heart of the sea”(Micah 7:19). The other is the al chet and occurs during Yom Kippur services.

The Al Chet goes through a pattern of “for the sin we have committed against you by _______, for the sin we have committed against you by________, “and fills in the blank with things from every letter of the alphabet and then the leader responds with “For all these O God of forgiveness, pardon us, forgiveness, and grant us atonement.” The thing that the Al Chet does (for more click here) that I really appreciate is that it is specific about areas of misstep, failure to act, and straight up unkindness that I know occur in my heart and in my actions.

When we’re kids there are always things that we’re being reminded/instructed to apologize for, but as adults it feels like I hear “sorry” being used far more often in a “sorry not sorry” context than in actual apology. Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” says the word a bunch of times but never actually apologizes. That kind of “sorry” is really easy to give and really meaningless to receive. What the al chet does for me is it reminds me that I am more in need of forgiveness from God that I realize, and that his forgiveness has already been poured out on me because of Yeshua.  I am known, loved, and forgiven already-regardless of what I confess to God, from the al chet or otherwise. 1 John 1:9 says that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”

Sorry not sorry isn’t confession. It acknowledges that the other person feels wronged, but the offending party doesn’t take responsibility. I think this is a great time of year to consider who we owe an apology to and in many cases, who we have been withholding forgiveness from.

Shana Tova Camp Gilgal!

More on views of forgiveness here



Drumroll please….2016 Gazette Week 1!

After making you wait so long for the first looks at the 2016 Gilgal Gazette, we’ll be posting one junior and one teen article each week. Stay tuned for photos and updates from the camp team in NY! Thanks for your patience and Shanah Tovah!

Name: Matthew S.Age: 10Tribe: Asher
Archery in CampHi my name is Matthew and in this article you will learn what you would learn in archery. Also you will
learn the rules that you learn in archery. The correct position for shooting is when your feet are in baseball stance. Your left hand is holding the bow if you’re a righty (other way around if you’re a lefty).The colored feather facing the outside of the bow, and the bow string must be able to reach your jaw.When you fire after aiming. I want to tell you the rules so you can stay safe. The rules in archery are,don’t pick up your bow until the counselors tell you to. Do not get your arrows until everyone is done shooting, and don’t shoot until told to. I like archery because you get to shoot arrows, also you can keep doing it and keep getting better at it. I like shooting arrows because sometimes I hit the target and it feels awesome. This year I shot one bullseye. I picked archery because I like to concentrate on things while having fun. Archery benefits hand eye coordination and I love that I get to do it at Camp Gilgal.
Gilgal Gazette: Teen CampName: Judah W.Age: 13Tribe: Benjamin
The campfire is a really cool and different part of camp. Most camps if they even include a camp fire have campfire songs, s’mores, and stories. Not only does Camp Gilgal’s campfire include these things,but they include life lessons taken away from scripture. At the beginning of camp I was pretty shy to share my ideas during Bible discussion, but as I enjoyed camp throughout the week and my faith grew closer to Yeshua it became easier to speak, answer questions and be active in prayer. Not only did I change but I saw others transform through the power of Yeshua. Something about the word changes people’s personalities, and shows their true colors. For example when Alex, a camper, would raise his hand to answer a discussion question he sounded educated and like a true son of God who loved Yeshua; something I didn’t quite expect on first glance—it was great to hear from him and great to get to know him. All together the campfire was something to really look forward to at the end of the day.It’s something that is unique to Camp Gilgal and is a really great aspect of camp, a camper like me can’t get anywhere else.

Sitruce Thoughts: The end of the internship

Hey Camp Gilgal! Sadly this is my last time blogging as the Camp Gilgal 2016 intern. This internship has been so great and I’m so happy that I was given this opportunity to give back to Camp and be such a big part of Camp Gilgal this summer. I’ve learned to appreciate the hard work of RedSox, Strings, and Beardo a whole lot more over these past few months. I’m really thankful to RedSox for the time she took to mentor me in the Bible and teach me the ins and outs of Camp. Throughout these couple of months I’ve learned a lot about living alone, trusting God, and being Jewish. I really enjoyed living in the city, I took lots of beautiful walks and saw some very interesting people, but I also learned to appreciate my crazy house full of people more than ever before. I’m so thankful that I was able to spend this summer with Jews for Jesus and not as an H&M cashier, which was my original plan for the summer.

Being here enabled me to spend a lot more time in the Word which I had not been making time for the past year and it was something I really needed. I have been able to give my troubles to the Lord and trust that He will help me get through everything. Finally, being the intern allowed me to be part of some of the everyday Jews for Jesus things such as staff meeting and writing postcards. I’ve learned about how special it is to not only be Jewish but be a Jew for Jesus. We are a special people, set apart from everyone else to be used by God. The work of Jews for Jesus is really awesome and I’m glad my connection with JFJ doesn’t end this summer. Thanks to RedSox I’ll be continuing in the student program for JFJ this fall/winter! I’ll be living at the branch while going to school and helping out around the branch for a couple hours a week. I’m really excited about this opportunity and I’m excited to see what God has next in store for meIMG_1405.


Sitruce Thoughts: Adventure Camp

Hello Camp Gilgal family! This is Sitruce, again!

I am back at the NYC branch still getting used to using a real bathroom and sleeping in a real bed after adventure camp. Adventure camp was so awesome this summer! We went canoeing on the Delaware River! We spend the first night of camp, Sunday, in the city. We did a little exploring, packing, and pre adventure camp preparation. Monday morning we were off to the river. We picked up our canoes and were on the water pretty early Monday morning. It took some time getting used to paddling again and it was the first time for some people. Everyone did really well though, we all did a good job of staying together. The plan was to go about 10 miles the first day but by the time it was time to start looking for campsites to settle down, we couldn’t find any! The trees had overgrown and the signs for the campsites weren’t visible from the water. We ending up having to canoe 6 more miles to finally find a campsite. We did half the trip in one day! God provided us with enough daylight so we were able to find a campsite, thank you Jesus! We were all exhausted, we set up camp very quickly, had delicious chili, and went straight to bed. The next day we were still pretty tired so we decided to have a chill day and not canoe day. It was really fun to hang out and get to know everyone better! The next day we canoed about 6 miles, and the last day we canoed about 11. Thursday was our last canoe day and we stayed at a campsite near the river. This campsite had showers which were AMAZING! Overall the trip was a huge success, we saw three bald eagles, a couple of very big hawks, and a number of other colorful big birds/ animals. This canoe trip was extra special because we didn’t have go to the bathroom in the woods a single time! We studied 1 Peter throughout our trip which I found very interesting and very encouraging. This adventure camp was my last time being a camper and I’m so thankful that I was able to be part of it because it was just so much fun!