General A Time to Recharge

By Young Judaea
As Jewish communal professionals it is essential to be to be quick on our feet, continuously adapting to the changing needs of our chanichim (participants) and broader Young Judaea community. In 2020 when challenges arose that no one could have anticipated, the practice of being adaptive became more critical than ever. When it became clear that our camps could not open and our summer Israel programs wouldn’t run for summer 2020, we quickly pivoted. Camp tzevet (staff) developed engaging virtual programming that would keep campers connected during a time of great isolation. They worked tirelessly to make sure they would be a source of comfort to campers: a virtual “home” and an unchanged constant during a very uncertain time.

 

Another unexpected outcome of the pandemic was a whirlwind year for Year Course 20-21. Israel tzevet quickly mobilized to find a way to safely usher in a record number of participants in the middle of a global health crisis. Once in Israel, the team dealt with multiple quarantine periods, a COVID-19 outbreak, a constantly changing itinerary for programming, and then an epic journey home in the midst of the conflict.

 

In year-round programming, everything had to go virtual including our Alternative Winter Break (AWB), Regional, and National Conventions. We further adapted to this most unusual summer by hosting virtual alumni events where we engaged over 1000 alumni and raised critical funds to stabilize and strengthen the organization

 

After a year of shifting to the virtual world, camp tzevet had to switch gears once again to reopen for summer 2021. Now the questions became, “How do we keep our campers safe?” and “How do we create a sense of normalcy for campers during an abnormal time?” Hours spent researching protocols, calling health professionals, ensuring there would be proper supplies, testing, and procedures ensued. And what an incredible summer of joy it turned out to be due to the many months of longing and the tireless efforts of our tzevet.

 

Young Judaea recognizes that although there is never an ideal time, there has come a time for rest.

 

As we usher in the Shmita, sabbatical year, this 5782, Young Judaea will join many other Jewish non-profit organizations in recognizing this important time to re-charge by giving our professional teams a mini-shmita, time off, between Yom Kippur and Simchat Torah. A time for tzevet to restore their energy, spirit, and unwavering passion for creating life-changing experiences for the future Jewish leaders of tomorrow. We hope this extra time away will allow all of us to regroup after a year of endless challenges.

 

To our incredibly devoted and hard-working tzevet, thank you for all you do!

 

To the community of alumni, supporters, and extended family, thank you for your unwavering support!

 

We hope you have found time to recharge and prepare for the year ahead.

 

Shana Tova and a G’mar Chatima Tovah.

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