Swerdlov Summer Program Opens Registration

Camp YTT – Swerdlov Summer Program, which brings girls on a 5-week trip to Eretz Yisroel and Ukraine, has opened registration for summer 2022.

Camp YTT – Swerdlov Summer Program, which brings girls on a 5-week trip to Eretz Yisroel and Ukraine, has opened registration for summer 2022.

Through a journey of our roots in Ukraine and Eretz Yisroel, and filled with fun and incredible experiences, Camp YTT has been a place of growth and hiskashrus to our Rebbe for over 25 years.

The touring camp for 10th and 11th-grade girls spends 5 life-changing weeks visiting Israel (4 weeks) and Ukraine (7 days). A program directed by Mrs. Miryam Swerdlov for over 25 years, filled with chassidishe warmth and excitement, gives our teens the chance to discover their roots in a beautiful and fun adventure. Through weeks of non- stop touring, hiking, farbrengens and song, campers are able to experience the beauty of Yiddishkeit in a way that speaks to them.

The Ukraine part of the trip visits Dnepropetrovsk, Haditch, an incredible Shabbos in Mezibush and many other historic and powerful cities. It gives campers a thorough and thought provoking week to fully immerse in the lives and history of our Rebbeim; enabling them to develop their life as a Chossid.

For more information and to register go to www.campytt.com

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The following is a letter written to her sponsoring foundation by camper Leeba Farkash, Issaquah, Washington.

Dear Friends,

I would like to share with you a short reflection after my summer in Eretz Israel.

A person is made up of every encounter and experience they go through in their life. Learning about your past is really just learning about yourself.

It’s important to learn about where one comes from, because then you’ll know where you want to go. Once a person is strong in their identity they then have the ability to affect others.

Have you ever gone somewhere and felt this sense of peace and belonging inside, as if you are returning home after a long journey?

Going to Israel brought me back to my family, the place where I am meant to be. On the night of Tisha B’av I sat together with hundreds of women, by the kotel, with our arms around each other singing Ani Maamin, a song of faith.

 All from different walks of life, but sitting together grieving over something lost that we all shared. Now stronger than ever remembering our past, but believing in a future. Looking how far we have come and knowing where we must go .

Although each with our own stories, History and belief is what connected us all. I wonder if our ancestors thought we would be here all these years later still standing strong as sisters.

This trip showed me in a real visual way how strong, determined, and resilient our people are. Despite all the obstacles we are alive standing powerful than ever. The Lubavitcher Rebbe stated in a discourse titled “Mayim Rabim” which translates as Mighty waters, they do not have the ability to wash a person away. In truth these mighty waters are any challenges a person may face, because of our source nothing will ever be able to wipe us out. Our strong foundation, and the fight of our people before us is why the Jewish people’s emuna will never diminish.    

 Now that I had the precious opportunity to learn about my history in the realest way possible, this allows me to inspire others, giving over to them the valuable lessons I was taught. Walking through the same streets that our mother’s and father’s walked in was a surreal experience. I saw before my eyes exactly where moments from Tanach unfolded. Our roots are in Israel and being there brought the past into the present, helping me achieve a better tomorrow. A tomorrow where we will all live to our fullest potential, inspiring others, and bringing each other closer to our final goal moshiach.

Israel is intrinsically a part of every Jew and no matter where life carries you, you will always return. This land is our history, it makes us  whole and is a major part of who we are. Now that I have a better understanding of myself and the person I want to become, I have the power to impact those around me, inspiring them to believe and have faith. Our nation can be taken out of Israel, but our land can never be removed from us.

I would like to give a special thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and to the Burtness Family Shira C. Burtness  for giving me the opportunity to participate in Camp YTT 5781 Israel experience.

Finally I would like to give a special thanks to Mrs. Swerdlov and the staff at camp YTT. you guys gave me the most life changing experience which will always have a dear place in my heart.

Leeba Farkash – Issaquah WA

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