In Kallah we like to kick off Irvrit (Hebrew) in the most fun way; we all gather on the Mirpesset (porch) of the Chadar Ohel (dining hall) and sing a silly and fun song to get everyone ready! Its called “Shi-ga-on” which in Ivrit means crazy, so part of the fun is dancing in a crazy way! Its a call and response song and each day we add new Ivrit vocabulary so we’re learning too!
Next we break into Kitot (or groups). Each day the chanichim (campers) are in the same kitah but rotate with a different madrich each time. The madrichim rotate with a different topic every day, so chanichim are learning about all new words and play new games.
Some of the topics we learn about include: fruits and veggies, body parts, colors, utensils, numbers and the weather – all words that we can use at camp and when we get home!
Chanichim learn in different ways, so we also vary the kinds of games we play. Some favorites include: duck, duck, goose but replacing the words with new vocabulary, spud, relay races, hokey pokey and even red light-green light!
Every time we learn a new word in Ivrit, we practice by using the “sandwich method”: first we say the word in Ivrit, then in English, then in Ivrit again, and clap! We use this throughout the day because Ivrit comes into our daily conversations in camp all the time.
Playing games and having fun really makes learning and practicing Ivrit come alive for our chanichim!
New this year too, we have Ivrit stickers that are passed out to chanichim “caught” using Ivrit in their everyday conversations! Now, a little more than a week into our session, almost all the chanichim have them and wear them proudly!
Rabbi Jody Cook is Director of Education from Congregation Sinai in Campaign, IL and Laura Siegel Perpinyal is the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL and are our Kallah Aleph segel (faculty)