I am Ella Steiner and I am going to be the head of the Israeli delegation for this summer.
I am coming back for this year after having spent a semester at a seminar learning about Israeli and Jewish life. I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm for Israel with everybody, and make connections between the Israeli team and the amazing OSRUI staff and campers. This year’s super-star Mishlachat (delegation) is made up of eighteen counselors and ten special activities counselors. For most of the Shlichim (Israeli counselors) this is their first OSRUI summer ever. You want to know how it makes them feel? Watch the video below:
Here’s what I asked them:
1. What is the first place you went to when you got to the camp?
2. Who is the first person you talked to when you got to camp?
3. What is the first thing you noticed when you got to camp?
4. What is the first thing that surprised you when you got to camp?
I would like you all to take a minute and to ask yourself these questions. Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who comes to a new place for the first time.
How did that feel? What came to your mind?
How exciting it is to be an Israeli at camp! How exciting it is to be at camp for the first time!
I remember my first time at camp… I was blown away by the huge green trees, I was awestruck by the beauty of the lake, and could not wrap my brain around how huge the trashcans in the dining room are.
Each beginning is different, because each person is different.
Can’t wait to start another unforgettable summer at OSRUI!
Ella is thrilled to come back to camp for the summer of 2017 as Rosh Mishlachat (the head of the Israeli delegation). Last summer, Ella was a madricha (counselor) in Chalutzim and she had a fantastic time with the both the wonderful staff and the terrific campers. Ella comes all the way from the northern border in Israel and this will be her second summer at OSRUI.
Ella was both an active member and a group leader in a youth movement in her Moshav (community) and during her two years of army duty, she served on an educational base as a logistics officer. As part of her military service, Ella was a madricha to many groups of teens who came for a basic training experience called gadna, a program attended by both Israelis and American teens, including many from NFTY.
After the army, like every soldier, it was time for Ella to decide what she wanted to do during her time off before starting her university studies. At one time, she had been a soldier accompanying a Birthright trip, and she knew about the importance of making the connection between North American Jews and Israelis, and she wanted to continue to play a role in promoting these connections.
At OSRUI, Ella was especially moved by the way that the camp approached tfilot. Ella learned new melodies, new songs, and gained a new found interest in prayer. It also happened to be a fun thing to do – a fun way to open and close the day. Ella realized that there was a whole way of being Jewish that was new to her.
Ella feels that it is a huge honor to be in a position where she can connect between the Israeli and American members of the staff.
The atmosphere at OSRUI is so welcoming, positive, and nurturing and Ella can’t wait to start another incredible summer!