Fortifying my Connection to Judaism Through Camp and Synagogue
I find that participating in and helping to expand my camp and synagogue communities, in turn, helps me by keeping my Jewish identity strong and intact. As a CIT, I’ve planned programs and learned how to care for my future cabins, shaping transformative experiences for myself and future campers. During the school year, involvement in Holy Blossom’s Sunday school and HABSTY reinforces my religious identity.
The large overlap between my camp and synagogue communities creates a space where I can be with those with shared religious experiences, offering a refuge where my friends, my family, and I feel at home. Being Canadian, I sometimes encounter a lack of understanding from others about the nature of my religion and my personal connection to it, but these communities provide a safe space to celebrate our shared faith.
This past summer as a CIT I was given the tools to cultivate these kinds of communities within the cabin for my future campers, learning the more concrete words to describe the joy that I had always felt in being at camp but had never really been able to put into words. As a member of the board of the youth group at my synagogue, I am given the opportunities to put these newfound skills to the test, creating an environment for young, Jewish teens to explore what it means to them to be Jewish.
Through active participation, I try to fortify my connection to Judaism and contribute to inclusive spaces for others who share my faith. Embracing and celebrating shared experiences with others like myself, I strengthen what it means to be Jewish to me, and help others discover that themselves.
Written by: Sam Mogil