Shalom From the Shabbat Lady

Dear Families,
Summer, and especially camp, are times to learn about yourself and others in a different way and within a very special community of camp. This summer at the J we will be exploring different values. We will choose as a camp community and individuals what we stand for — what are those values that we hold dear and help us make the decisions in daily life? Does this sound like something just for adults? No — even our youngest campers make decisions based on what they value, and this summer, we are going to work on finding the words to describe what is important to us.
Learning about values and choosing the ones that reflect what we believe and hold dear is a process, however, it helps us during times when we are faced with challenges and dilemmas. As you think about the key values that direct your daily decisions, think about what those values look like, sound like, and even feel like. How do you measure that you are acting in accordance to that value? The biggest challenge is narrowing down the many possibilities because we can’t say that we stand for everything — we must be able to articulate the value and know what it means to us.
This summer, our campers will be participating in activities at home and at camp. Of course, at camp, we also wear our values on our t-shirts. Look for Camp Chai campers this summer and ask them what the back of their shirt is all about. Here are some values to start thinking about:
Kehillah — Community
Tikkun Olam — Fixing the World
Chesed — Kindness
Tzedakah — Righteousness
Hachnasat Orchim — Welcoming Guests
Derech Eretz — The Way of the Land
Hoda’ah — Appreciation
If you would like to learn more about the program we are doing at camp, and adapt it to your home, email me at, and I will give you the details. Each week in this column, you will learn about a new value for your home discussions.
Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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