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Oh, The Places You'll Learn!
By ISJL Education Fellow Hannah Klegon
Sometimes the largest connections to Judaism can be made in places that are not the synagogue. I know, personally, that I found one of my deepest connections to Judaism through attending summer camp. But the connections do not have to stop there. Here are some ideas of ways to move your regular classroom outside the walls of the synagogue!
Throughout the summer, thousands of young Jewish children go to summer camp. It has become a cultural aspect of being Jewish that has enabled so many different Jews to connect with each other. The big question is, why does summer camp have to end after the summer is over? Yes, it is called “summer” camp, but what really happens to the camp property after all the campers head home? The answer is: it is still there!
Many camps allow organizations to rent out their space for special events throughout the year. Whether it is a day of team building or a longer enterprise, there are many different options for continuing the camp vibe through the year.
One idea is to have a full weekend retreat, renting out the camp space, to give your students a way to get back to camp for the weekend. Especially if you can rent out the local camp that a lot of your students attend, you can easily bring the excitement that is summer camp, to your retreat. If planning and programming a retreat like this makes your hair on your neck stand up, this is a great opportunity to use your Fellow!
An awesome opportunity to learn and experience new things during religious school is taking field trips. Whether it be to a local museum, or even a park, getting your class outside of their regular routine of religious school can make a huge difference. Look into what your city has to offer, a lot of times they will offer discounted or free admission to groups!
There are tons of different ways to move your classroom outdoors. It can be as simple as literally setting up your class chairs outside the walls of the regular classroom, or moving your lesson to a local park. You could also take your class on a short hike if you have local trails or visit a geographical monument. Many students love to be outdoors, and it is a great opportunity learn outside of the box.