Summer is a time to say goodbye to long days in school, and say hello to long summer days in the sun relaxing with friends.But for some, summer is also time for new places, new people and new experiences.
The unique experience of a Jewish summer camp, with Shabbat celebrations, special songs, dances, art, and activities introduces campers to the richness of Judaism and helps build Jewish identity. But going to camp for the first time, may bring worries about making friends, getting homesick, and trying new things.Even veteran campers may want to try out these books to see a slice of life at a Jewish camp.
In Picnic at Camp Shalom, by Sydney Taylor Honor Award winning author Jacqueline Jules, Carly finds that making and being a friend at camp sometimes needs a little patience and work. When Carly unthinkingly makes fun of Sara's last name at mail call, her bunkmate refuses to be consoled. But their mutual love of music brings harmony to Shabbat dinner as well as to their friendship, and Carly finally gets the chance to reveal a secret of her own.
The fun and ruach (spirit) of camp stays with Max even after he comes home in No Baths at Camp, by author Tamar Fox. "There are no baths at camp!” says Max, when his mother starts filling the tub. But as he recounts his week’s activities, he realizes that there were many fun ways he got clean at summer camp.
"There are no baths at camp!” says Max, when his mother starts filling the tub. But as he recounts his week’s activities, he realizes that there were many fun ways he got clean at summer camp.
Summer can also be time for family trips to Israel. For a preview of what travelers of many ages can see and do in Israel pack these books to read on the plane.
For ages 9-13, there’s Pickled Watermelon, a book about a reluctant traveler to Israel by upstate New York author Esty Schachter. In the summer of 1986, eleven-year-old Molly would rather be with her friends at summer camp than traveling to visit relatives that she barely knows in Israel.With a less-than-basic knowledge of Hebrew that she picked up in Hebrew school, Molly wonders how she will be able to communicate and have fun in a country that is new and foreign to her. Luckily, surprises are in store for her.