Shluchim’s children from across Europe enjoyed a camp experience especially geared towards yaldei hashluchim. The camp was held in beautiful Wales, and concluded with a grand Shabbos surprise that left campers on a high note.
The exhilarating inaugural summer of the MyShliach Yeshivas Kayitz UK has come to a close. The unique Yeshiva-style program was geared towards meeting the needs of anglophone young shluchim living in Europe, and the impact continues to reverberate as they return home to their Shlichus.
The Yeshivas Kayitz, spearheaded by the efforts of the Cheruff and Brackman Shluchim families and facilitated by MyShliach at Merkos 302, was specifically tailored to meet the boys’ physical and spiritual needs.
Nestled along the breathtaking Pembrokeshire Coast, the campgrounds are surrounded by some of Wales’s most scenic landscapes. Two acres of land provide ample grounds for outdoor recreation, from hiking to sports. Proximity to the Welsh coastline offered campers the opportunity to enjoy numerous water-related activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, and coasteering, just to name a few.
“I was thoroughly impressed with the camp’s natural beauty and its state-of-the-art amenities,” remarked Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Kantor, shliach to Lugano, Switzerland.
Aged 11-13, the campers were introduced to a structured curriculum involving practical halacha, Gemara, and Chassidus. The personalized courses have been distinctly tuned to acclimate campers toward the upcoming stage in their lives. Having grown up on shlichus, many campers got to experience a Yeshiva-like environment for the first time.
“Our son’s learning experience has improved his well-being immeasurably. Growing up on shlichus, he has found himself isolated in his ambition to grow and learn. The opportunity to daven with a minyan and learn with a chavrusa has proven immensely rewarding for him”, remarked Rabbi Zalman Lewis, shliach at SE Coast Universities, UK.
Although the program involved a considerable degree of learning, the daily schedule was packed with bonding experiences, recreation, and fun.
“Not only have the young shluchim exhibited a passion for learning, but they’ve forged meaningful friendships as well. We hope these connections last long after the summer”, said Zalmy Weingarten, Director of the Yeshivas Kayitz.
“Our goal at MyShliach is to ensure that every young shliach and shluchah has the same social and educational opportunities that children living in frum communities take for granted,” says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302. “A sense of belonging is vital for every child, but for the children of shluchim, it’s even more critical. Feeling connected to the broader shluchim community is integral to fulfilling their unique shlichus joyously and successfully.”
The grand finale of the summer program was the unique Shabbos Color War that took place. As the campers were making their Shabbos preparations on Friday afternoon, they were treated to a surprise. To their disbelief, a Hakhel-themed color war was broken out to be held over Shabbos. Divided into teams Melech and Av, the campers competed and illustrated the themes of Hiskashrus to the Rebbe.
The remainder of the weekend bustled with astounding creativity as campers were given free rein to explore and express their talents. The yaldei hashluchim composed songs, created artistic murals and banners, wrote comedies, and directed plays. Upon having collectively memorized over 200 lines of Tanya, the friendly rivalry culminated with a niggun-filled, grand sing.
As Shabbos came to a close, numerous hachlatos were made. Some campers committed to studying Inyonei Geula U’Moshiach, while many others pledged to learn Tanya Baal Pe. An impressive number of campers resolved to learn Chitas and Rambam daily. Many parents were pleasantly surprised to learn of these commitments. These hachlatos attest to the program’s success.
In addition to the impact on the yaldei hashluchim themselves, numerous parents shared about the renewed energy their children infused into their families upon returning home.
“It can be tumultuous and nerve-wracking serving as shluchim in Ukraine,” said Rebbetzin Rochi Levitansky, shlucha to Sumy, Ukraine. “One of our deepest concerns is the well-being of our children. Witnessing our son return with so much chayus and inspiration was a delight to see. His enthusiasm lifted our spirits as well.”
MyShliach Yeshivas Kayitz UK could also not have been such an outstanding success without the dedication of the committed staff, including counselors Yankel Brown, Avremi Reinetz, Avi Metzger, and Zalman Pape.