Chaburah Spotlight — Zehava Weinberg
Zehava Weinberg is from Woodmere, N.Y and will be attending Queens College. Zehava went to Central for high school and spent two incredible years in Tomer Devora. After spending a summer on NCSY Michlelet, Zehava could not wait to return as a Madricha.
Zehava’s chaburah is titled “The Pursuit of Happiness”. It goes through different ways a person can incorporate happiness into their lives. She covers topics such as Emunah, Bitachon, Self Esteem, Giving, etc. in the hopes that the girls in the chaburah will find ways to instill a genuine sense of contentment in their lives.
The girls in Zehava’s chaburah are, Adee Black (Cedurhurst, New York), Liala Ram (Baltimore, Maryland), Chaya Rosenberg (Lawrence, New York), and Bassie Shaw (Baltimore, Maryland). Sarah Bracha Miller, (Passaic, New Jersey).
What was your favorite part of Michlelet and why?
Adee- My favorite part of Michlelet so far was our trip to Eilat because In Eilat I tried new things I never would have done until then, such as repelling. Also, in Eilat I had the most amazing time on the sunrise hike with my friends and I saw a really beautiful sunrise.
Chaya- My favorite part about Michlelet so far was greeting the nefesh bnefesh flight from America. I loved welcoming all the families that made aaliyah and cheering them on as they got off the plane. It was very inspirational for me because all these people got up from their lives to embark on a new journey with their families in Erez Yisroel!
Liala- My favorite part of michlelet is when we went up north because i got to experience things I never did before with new friends.
Bassie- my favorite part of michlelet was visiting Tammy Carmel. When we first watched her previously-recorded shiur, I can admit that it was moderately striking, but when Tammy came out, that inspiration was transformed into something I will always remember.
Sarah Bracha- My favorite part of Michlelet is chaburah. I really like it because we discuss different topics related to our lives now and discuss different ideas and what we think about it.
Today we had an exiciting FULL day trip!! With an early wake up we boarded the buses and headed up north for the day. First stop was Kfar Kedem where we put on the outfits of our ancestors and learned about how they built the land of Israel. We also ate a yummy lunch with out hands, made pitas and rode donkeys! One group went to the Druze Village to learn about the Druze religion and also enjoy a delicious lunch. All girls enjoyed each trip and in the afternoon we all met up at AquaKef in Teveria for some water fun! There was big blow up obstacle courses on the water. Everyone cooled off and enjoyed an afternoon in the Kinenet. Afterwards we had a pizza dinner by the shore and came back to Reishit! Up next: BANQUET!
Today we had a very special opportunity on Michlelet. After a great morning of learning torah the girls all came down to the dining room to find out their jobs to wedding prep. We were involved in everything from flower to table settings to shtick and more! Some girls made mazal tov signs while other cleaned up the rooms we would need for the wedding. Many girls helped build the chuppah and decorate it exactly how the kallah wanted it to look. There were also girls who made place cards and beautiful center pieces. We also put up a gorgeous flower wall and made a stunning badekin. We had girls set up the tables for dinner and some work as wairesses for the evening. The girls had a BLAST taking part in this very special mitzvah. The kallah was extactic the entire time and was appreciative for every we did for her. We danced the night away and had a very special hands on experience with the mitzvah of mesameach chatan vkallah.
Special Guest: Rav Sobolofsky
Today was a Torah-packed day at Reishit! Started off with regular homerooms, insightful chaburahs and teacher shiurs and activities that continued in the afternoon. We had the zechut of hosting Rav Sobolofsky for a Q and A session. The girls had given in questions beforehand and were happy to get them answered. We covered lots of topics, from tzniut, to davening, to how to stay inspired after the summer. The girls were blown away by Rav Sobolosky’s knowledge and helpful eitzah. After dinner we had another amazing guest speaker, Rabbi Benovitz visiting us from NCSY Kollel. At night we had our long awaited Michelelt’s Got Talent. We had lots of performers who sang, danced, showed us math tricks and so much more!
Chaburah Spotlight — Yael Itskowitz
Yael Itskowitz is enjoying her first summer on Michlelet as a Madricha! She hails from Pittsburgh, PA and and is currently studying business in Sy Syms school of Business. Yael attended Shaalvim for Women for her year in Israel and feels so privileged to have the zechus to be back in Israel teaching Torah for the summer!
Yael’s chabura is called “20 Questions” and is about the big ideas and commonly asked questions in Torah. Some of the thought provoking questions include “What does it mean to have bechira?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “Why do we value questions in Judaism?” Together, we navigate these concepts by looking at a wide range of sources and hopefully come out with a deeper understanding of these ideas!
The holy girls in my Chabura include Dina Rothwachs, Tali Mosenkis, Rivkah Zigman, and Talia Bertman!
What is your favorite location in Reishit and why?
Tali Mosenkis- The beit midrash bc it’s always so full of Torah and it’s where all Michlelet girls learn and daven and connect with Hashem
Rivkah Zigman-my favorite spot is by the stairs looking out to the sun and the city. it’s a beautiful place to eat, shmooze, pray, talk to G-d or just look out and watch the city buzz:)
Talia Bertman-My favorite location in reishit is my room. I like my room because I like to hang out with my friends and roommates there and also it’s the place where I can sleep and rest for the next fun day!
Dina Rothwachs- I love the area near the fountain because after seudat shlishit every week we have an incredible kumzitz until the end of shabbos.
Chaburah Spotlight — Shaina Reissman
Shaina Reissman is from Monsey, New York. She attended Manhattan High School for Girls and then went on to study in Me’ohr for a year. She is currently majoring in Biology in Touro College. After spending an incredible summer as a camper, Shaina is back for her second summer on Michlelet!
The amazing campers in Shaina’s chabura are Aliza Schechter (Woodmere, NY), Rikki Weiss (Woodmere, NY), Eliana Cohen (Miami, Florida ) and Rivky Samel (Brooklyn, NY).
Shaina’s Chabura is called: “The Guide to Living a Meaningful Daily Life.” Each Chaburah focuses on a different middah or mitzvah in our daily lives and the practical lessons that can be learnt from them, to uplift our days. Throughout the chaburahs there are discussions, stories and activities to help the girls gain a better understanding and appreciation for their daily lives. The goal is for the girls to leave camp having practical lessons to apply to their lives.
Question: What is something you gained this summer on Michlelet?
Aliza: This summer on Michlelet I gained a better understanding for the power of tefilla. In my chaburah, we learnt alot about davening and it’s importance, specifically the power of saying ״פותח את ידך״ during אשרי. These words show us how everything that is given to us is directly from Hashem for us to use to fulfill our purpose in this world. We explored the idea that through davening we develop a personal, close relationship with Hashem. I feel that through learning about this topic I enhanced my personal כונה in my davening each morning while thinking that I am connecting to Hashem.
Rikki: This summer on Michlelet I gained a broader prospective on many aspects of my life. For example, in my homeroom chaburah we learnt about Emunah and I have seen that during challenging times, I react in a calmer manner with the clear understanding that everything is from Hashem for my good.
Eliana: In Michlelet this summer I learned a lot, but one thing that had a great impact on me was the power and affect ones words can have. In one of our Chaburahs, we learnt a mashal that with each word we speak we are providing paint for a person’s self portrait. With these colors of paint, we have the power to either create someone’s self portrait, with beautiful colors, or we can fill their portrait with dark gloomy colors. As you can see words have the ability to either make or break someone. This helped me realize the importance of my words and that every little thing I say has a great effect.
Rivky: One thing I gained in Michlelet this summer is perspective. I have learned to look at mundane things and see the meaning and beauty in them. My madrichot and teachers have taught me how to look at the Torah and mitzvot with a new light and have taught me ways to love and appreciate each opportunity that comes my way. Specifically, I feel that I have gained a lot in the area of tefillah. I have learned about the deeper meanings of brachot and this has made davening much more special to me.
Chaburah Spotlight — Ziva Bibbins
Ziva Bibbins is from Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Midreshet Moriah for a year and is currently in Stern College. This is Ziva’s first summer on Michlelet and she is having an amazing time!
The Rebbetzins in Ziva’s chaburah are:
Chaviva Salzberg (SKA, Far Rockaway, NY), Tali Margolese (TDS, Seattle, WA) and Avigayil Rosenwasser (Hanna Sacks, Chicago, IL).
Ziva’s chaburah is called, “What Do You and Hollywood Have In Common?” Based off the Sefer Orchos Tzadikim, Ziva took different middos to analyze and characters that we see on screen. For every middah we learn we see how to act in both the positive aspect of the middah and the negative aspect of the middah. We then pair the middah to a Disney Character and we try to find practical and beneficial ways to implement the positive aspects of the middah into our lives.
If you could give one piece of advice to a future Michlelet girl, what would it be?
Chaviva: “To really take things slow and not to overwhelm yourself but to truly seize the opportunities given to you and achieve that by keeping things consistent!”
Tali: “Walk into camp with an open mind and a set of goals. You will gain so much more if you come in with low expectations and be pleasantly surprised, because that’s what michlelet is- full of surprises.”
Avigayil: “The advice that I would give to a future michlelet girl is to write down some of your goals that you want to fulfill for yourself. Later on at the end of the summer you can look back at these goals and see how much you grew. You will feel more accomplished and know that you spent you summer productively and successfully. Prepare to be inspired because michlelet is a life changing summer program that you definitely will not regret going to!”
Chaburah Spotlight — Zahava Rothberg
Zahava Rothberg is from Teaneck, New Jersey and went to Bruriah High School followed by MMY for a year and a half. She currently attends Stern College and is majoring in biology. Zahava went on Michlelet as a camper and was so excited to come back as a Madricha!
The amazing Rebbetzins in Zahava’s chaburah are Alicia Russo (Bronx, NY), Anna Gross (Manhattan, NY), Aviva Sulkin (Chicago, IL), and Rachel Shmuel (Edison, NJ).
Zahava’s chaburah is on Gedolim and specific middos we learn from them. Everyday in chaburah, we learn about a new Gadol; a bit of his biography and share impactful stories which themselves serve as great mussar. After that, we learn a specific middah they embody from different seforim such as Alei Shur and Sifsei Chaim. Everyday is ended with a game plan for each of us with practical tips to help us work on that middah.
Each of the girls were asked: “What is one thing you learned that you are going to take with you from Michlelet?”
Alicia Russo- My summer on Michlelet has been so much fun, but the best parts were not what Michlelet did for me but what they enabled me to do for others. Michlelet made sure that every experience had a deeper meaning and an important takeaway. We learnt in our chessed activities that the action doesn’t have to be big in order for it to matter. Whether you are helping to organize a soup kitchen, visiting a woman with ALS, or making a wedding for an underprivileged bride, every little bit matters. The highlight of my summer was visiting the hospital and learning to be a clown for a day. There was nothing more rewarding than eliciting a smile and bringing some joy to people who have been through so much. Placing yourself in someone else’s shoes enriches our lives and broadens our perspective. Most importantly, I acquired an appreciation for all the small blessings in my life.
Anna Gross: One of the many things I have learned on michlelet is that one should always strive for improvement rather than perfection. One should not try to become one’s role models but rather emulate their best qualities. Every person has faults, even if they are not so visible to the outside person. This is why it’s much more of a healthy and realistic goal to strive for improvement in one’s personal state rather than perfection with another’s, which will likely be quite impossible.
Aviva Sulkin: A lesson I’m going to take with me from michlelet is that there are so many different types of Jews but we are still one big family and we have to love every jew no matter how different we might be.
Rachel Shmuel: Something that I will take away from michlelet this summer is that when I want to learn I now have the tools and resources from all my madrichot, teachers, and rebbeim and not to only learn in a class oriented situation. I now know that I can learn just because I want to learn.
Chaburah Spotlight — Tzipora Hirsch
Tzipora Hirsch is from Queens, NY. After graduating from Manhattan High School, she spent a year and a half at Michlalah. Tzipora is currently studying at Queens College, majoring in mechanical engineering. Tzipora remembers her incredible summer on Michlelet as a camper, and is so excited to come back as a Madricha.
The amazing girls in Tzipora’s chaburah are Gavriella Lebowitz, Yaeli Adar, Sandy Nussbaum, and Mali Wolfson.
In Tzipora’s chaburah, the girls delve into different middos and characteristics that can be learned from the various women in tanach. For example, shtika which can be learned from Rochel; gratitude from Leah; individuality from Esther; tefillah from Chana; leadership from Devorah; emunah from rut; and so much more! Tzipora uses different Torah sources, along with secular research and quotes, to explain and describe each characteristic.
Tzipora hopes to instill in the girls a love for Torah and desire for self growth. She hopes that the girls in her Chaburah will be able to take what they learn from the women in tanach, and infiltrate those middos and characteristics into their every day lives.
Which event/time period in Jewish history would you have liked to witness, and why?
Mali: The times of Shlomo because it was the golden age of the Jewish ppl and Shlomo was also like the coolest person who ever lived.
Sandy: I would have liked to have witnessed the Liberation of the Holocaust. The thought of seeing the light enter the lives of Jews who went through the worst and made it to the finish line is empowering. I imagine Jews putting on Tefillin for the first time in years, for being so thankful to mutter just a few words of prayer; that gives me extreme Hakarat Hatov to HaShem for giving me the opportunity to practice my religion freely.
Gavriella: the times of Shlomo HaMelech when everything was peaceful and happy, because we don’t have that these days. I would want to know what real peace is. Also I would like to witness the sin of Adam Harishon because it would be interesting to see how he sinned and why the punishment was so strong.
Yaeli: I would like to go back in time to when Rochel gave over the simanim to Leah her sister. I find it difficult to believe that one would have the ability to give up one’s life and religion for the sake of not embarrassing her sister. She gave up her future husband even though she knew she would inevitably marry his brother, the rasha. Rochel is a person that I look up to because of her sensitivity to others.