From The Blog

Finding My Place at Camp 0

Finding My Place at Camp

Posted on Jul 22, 2018 in Camps & NFTY, Defining Reform, From the Blog, Interfaith, Youth & Family

by Angelica Ruiz, Youth, Learning + Engagement Assistant at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas When I started the summer, I wasn’t really sure why I volunteered to be faculty this summer. I am a Jew by Choice and a Jew of Color and while my home congregation, Temple Emanue El in Dallas,  is a wonderful place, I have had trouble feeling like a part of the community. These past several months I have felt a sort of rift between me and the religion I love. I don’t always get a chance to celebrate Shabbat or the holidays because I don’t always have a place to go. Though I have never regretted my decision, sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever truly fit in. Because I didn’t grow up Jewish, it can get lonely when people around you share memories that you can’t make up for. Sometimes I feel like I’m running a marathon of sorts, trying to get as many Jewish experiences in so that maybe, one day, I’ll finally catch up. Maybe that’s the real reason why I decided to come to GFC. My coworkers, all GFC alums and/or former staff, were excited for me to visit and I promised to keep them updated on my thoughts during the week....

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Shabbat ShaPOOL: Thinking Creatively in the Heat 0

Shabbat ShaPOOL: Thinking Creatively in the Heat

Posted on Jul 20, 2018 in Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Shabbat, Youth & Family

Second Session is off to a great start at GFC this summer – we have had an incredible first week! Our campers bring so much energy, fun and spirit to the entire community. This week, in addition to the many activities the campers choose each day, we celebrated Earth Night and learned about our farm at camp, planted seeds, and heard from master gardeners in our area. Campers have been riding horses, jumping in the pool and lake, and are continuing to build the lifelong friendships they create at camp. This session is particularly out of the ordinary because of the heat. Our typical daily schedule is built with the Texas heat in mind – our outdoor sports activities are all scheduled for the morning hours. In the afternoon, we are typically inside or swimming. A hallmark of camp creativity is how we find solutions to challenges and create camp memories that will last a lifetime. Today, we are doing this with our first ever Shabbat ShaPOOL! Tonight, instead of having services at the Beit Knesset, our t’fillah (services) will be held in the pool! Part of the beauty of camp Shabbat includes the sunset over the lake, and being with our camp community surrounded by our natural setting....

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The Rhythm of Camp 0

The Rhythm of Camp

Posted on Jul 19, 2018 in Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Youth & Family

I awakened to the high-pitched beeping of my cobalt blue Ironman watch. It was hidden in an unknown part of the room that was of course not my night stand. In a mild attempt to not wake up my family, I quickly disarmed the alarm, delayed only by my still-sleeping foot’s reluctance to hold my weight. I got ready by the light sneaking in between the black-out curtains.

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Camp is for Parents, Too 0

Camp is for Parents, Too

Posted on Jul 13, 2018 in Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Youth & Family

GFC Session One, 2018 has officially come to a close. With Caleb and Chloe unpacked, laundry started, and the kids tucked into their own beds for the first time in several nights, it’s time to reflect. Why do we send our kids to camp? How do we explain this investment to friends outside the Jewish community or those who don’t send their kids to any summer camp?

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Am Yisrael Chai – Connecting Israel to Camp 0

Am Yisrael Chai – Connecting Israel to Camp

Posted on Jul 3, 2018 in Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Israel, World Jewry, Youth & Family

On a recent congregational trip to Israel, I heard from Rabbi Gilad Kariv. Rabbi Kariv is the President and CEO of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). Rabbi Kariv spoke very openly on the important relationships between the Israeli and American Reform congregations. Not unfamiliar to many of us, he emphasized the importance of relational Judaism.

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