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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


Why is Camp Crucial for Jewish Teens in 2023?

Image courtesy of Gabrielle Sosland

When looking at our local HBHA community, there are many teens who attend sleepaway Jewish camps in particular to fill their long summers. Camp is an important aspect of many young teens’ lives. 


Some of the more popular camps that HBHA students attend include Herzl Camp in Webster, Wis., Camp Ramah in Conover, Wis., Camp Sabra in the Ozarks, Mo., and  Camp Moshava in Wild Rose, Wis. 


Sofia Levine, a junior at HBHA, has been attending Herzl Camp since she was in fourth grade. Levine expressed that camp helped her branch out and meet new people, “It [camp] really helped me be able to make friends, and then that transferred over to… home when I could do the same thing with other people.” When asked how camp had helped Levine in the real world, she explained that it had helped her overcome challenges and face her fears.


Being able to be in such an inclusive environment can be helpful for a lot of people. “It just helps my mental health a lot,” Levine said.  When asked what some of her favorite things to do at camp were, she replied, “We do a lot of stuff together like color wars, where we have to work as a team, even with kids that are younger than you.” Levine also enjoys the Jewish aspects of Herzl, “On Friday nights, we all wear white, caravan around, and do services…Also, every single day we do ‘Z’man Kodesh’ [Daily Jewish learning programming].”


Orli Zigler, a freshman at HBHA posing with her sixth grade sister, Raya Zigler on Shabbat at Herzl Camp. Photo courtesy of Orli Zigler


Levine expressed how truly special camp is to her, but it’s clear she’s not the only one who feels this way. When talking with HBHA freshman, Sabra Bergh, who attends Camp Sabra, she said, “Camp is where I’m the happiest…I’ve just made so many good connections from camp.”


Some of Bergh’s favorite activities to do at camp include their camp-wide softball tournament, swimming, archery, and sailing.


When asked what some of Bergh’s favorite Jewish aspects of camp were, she replied, “Services, they make it really fun because everyone is inclusive and energetic.” She also enjoyed the river trip where she, her friends, and her counselors were able to go off camp grounds and raft down a river for four to five days during the summer. 


Sabra Bergh smiles with her friend while spending quality time at Camp Sabra. Photo courtesy of Sabra Bergh


Similar to Bergh, Ruby Sokol, a freshman at HBHA, said, “It’s just helped me socialize with Jews that are outside of the Kansas City area.” Sokol attends Camp Moshava, where she participates in fun activities, including ziplining, swimming in the lake, and cooking. 


Attending summer camp can make it easier for teens who attend HBHA to create a larger social circle for themselves. Meeting new people can be difficult at HBHA due to the size of the school. “…[B]eing able to just meet new people, and be[ing] able to put yourself out there,” Sokol said, “It’s a good way to make lifelong friends.”


Ruby Sokol posing with friends at Camp Moshava over the 2023 summer. Photo courtesy of Ruby Sokol


In an interview with senior Riley Ellis, who attends Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, he said, “Now that I’m an adult, I can take those lessons [from camp] and in the future become more independent, do things on my own, and create more connections for myself.”


Ellis stated that attending camp has helped him find his Jewish Identity, “I can face problems in Judaism in the future and know how to deal with them…I feel like I can be more spiritual at camp than at school.”


Camp Ramah attendee, Riley Ellis having fun in daily programming with his friends. Photo courtesy of Elia Ellis


Ellis stated that playing sports at camp was one of his favorite activities to participate in. Ellis also said he enjoys seeing some of his long distance friends he might not be able to see all year-round. 


Camp has made meeting people easier for Ellis. He said that because he was able to do it at camp, he feels he would be able to do it with anybody in alternative social circumstances.


All of these camps land on different ends of the religious spectrum in terms of observance. 


It is clear that camp has made many positive impacts on the students at HBHA. If ever considering attending a summer camp or not, always take that extra leap and put yourself out there, because lots of good can come from this simple decision. 


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About the Contributor
Gabrielle Sosland
Gabrielle Sosland, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Gabrielle Sosland is a sophomore in high school and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the RampageWired. This is her second year in publications. Her passions include playing sports in her free time such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, and dance. She also loves playing the guitar and piano. Gabrielle is optimistic about the trajectory of Rampage, and she can’t wait to lead the staff in another fantastic year!