Blog  The Exploration of Virtue in Tzofim

The Exploration of Virtue in Tzofim

By Laura Siegel Perpinyal, RJE, and Marla Friedman, Tzofim Segel (Faculty)

This summer, throughout camp we are exploring Middot (virtues) by which to live by: Kavod (respect), Ometz, (perseverance), Derech Eretz (community mindedness) and Tzomet Lev (listening with your whole heart). We began our time in Tzofim Bet with creating a visual of the Middot and each chanich (camper) making their own mark on our Siddur (prayerbook) bookshelf. This way we can see the middot each day and remind ourselves to use them. It also allows the current chanichim to have a lasting impact on Tzofim!

And then, we have put our middot into action! Recently, we used tzomet lev as we spent time hearing from a former OSRUI camper, David Lepofsky, now a disability rights lawyer, about how former OSRUI Director Jerry Kaye showed him kavod over 40 years ago when David came to camp for the first time.We also worked together and practiced ometz and tzomet lev as we tried to solve an “escape room” challenge. Chanichim were great at working together, really listening to one another and tackling each challenge head on!

Each Tzofim chanich has the opportunity to help lead T’fillah (services) at least once during the session. The chanichim we worked with yesterday chose to write about how they live the middot at camp and in their daily lives! One camper wrote “We use derech ertez all the time at OSRUI. We clean our areas, take care of our community and all do our part. There are so many examples I can give for all of the middot but that could take all day because camp brings out the best of us.” We love seeing Judaism come alive and become even more relevant as each day of Tzofim Bet continues on!

Laura Siegel Perpinyal, RJE, is Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Chai, Long Grove Illinois. Marla Friedman is Principal at Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County.