There is a famous phrase that outlines the major tenants of Jewish life: “Al shlosha devarim haOlam omed – al haTorah, v’al haAvodah, v’al G’milut Hasadim.” In English this famous statement translates as: the world stands on three major acts- the act of learning or studying, the act of doing or working, and the act of showing compassion and kindness. The value of giving back makes up not one, but two of the three fundamental components of leading a fulfilling life. As Jews, it is also what we are obligated to teach to the next generation.
Parents hope that their children grow up to be good people who care about others, to stand up for what’s just, and to leave the world a better place than they found it. Social action – the act of taking steps to change things that are wrong, backwards or are impeding the state of others – is a key part of what parents hope to teach their children, and what people who serve the youth community (like us) desire to instill in those we work with. Camp professionals partner with parents in this goal. We believe it is our job to provide campers with opportunities to learn about what matters to them, and expose campers to all sorts of causes and organizations that may inspire them to do good.
This year, we added a Social Engagement track to Breakaway so that teenagers have the opportunity to learn about a variety of causes in their local and global community. This program provides resources on how to address important causes, organizations to get involved with, and opportunities for teens to take a stand on what matters most to them. Not only is being involved in social action a good resume booster for those entering college, but participating in this type of program supports an integral pillar of Jewish life and strong identity development. In addition to providing all of the above, Breakaway: Social Engagement does so in a Jewish setting, offering an immersive communal experience where participants will form new friendships and lasting memories.
Interested in spending your Spring Break getting inspired and making a difference? Sign up for Breakaway: Social Engagement today and we'll see you March 25-29 up at Camp Chi!