During the past week, the Jewish Released Time program under the auspices of the NCFJE arranged winter camps for public school children during their winter vacation. 135 children attended the Brooklyn and Queens and Staten Island camps. The Brooklyn camp was hosted by United Lubavitch Yeshiva Ocean Parkway and Ohel Moshe Chevrah Tehillim, Lubavitch. The Queens camp hosted by Anshei Shalom Chabad. The camp in S.I. which took placed for the first time, was co-hosted by Rabbi Moshe Katzman of Chabad S.I.
The children were taken on daily afternoon trips, which was preceded by a morning program filled with activities to promote Jewish knowledge and pride. The children were treated to nourishing hot breakfasts and lunches, learning and arts and crafts activities such as sand art and baking Challah, and Pushka decorating. Trips to bowling, Sony Wonders and Fun Station were a definite hit. The children also spent a day in Crown Heights visiting the JCM, eating kosher pizza and having a joint rally in 770 with all three camps in participation in honor of the year of Hakhel.
The halls of the Yeshiva and Chabad center echoed with the famous “I’m a Jew and I’m proud”, and “Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe”. There were Torah contests and quizzes as well. All in all, the children were inspired and educated in our Jewish Heritage with utmost talent.
The Impact of the camp was described best by a little 9 year old boy from queens “it’s like Released Time all day for a week” he said, then smiled “just loads more fun”.
A special thanks to the dedicated staff and to Rabbi Dechter, Rabbi Kornblatt and Rabbi Mordechai Hecht for helping make the camps the success they were.
For more information on the Jewish Released Time program and to see a full array of pictures, visit www.JewishHour.org.