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Yom Sheini, 4 Adar 5778
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18 March 2016

5th Grade Retreat Focuses on God

By Rabbi Sarah Smiley, Shari Rothstein, and Madricha Brooke Tepper

5th Grade Retreat

On Friday night, March 11, 18 excited 5th graders arrived at Camp Harlam.

We started by picking beds and learning names. Then we had a yummy Shabbat dinner together and Rabbi Smiley along with our song leader, Jason Flatt led Shabbat services. We learned a song called B'tzelem Elohim, about being created in God's image, which we sang throughout the whole trip. Next we played ice breaker games using different types of candy to get to know each other and find our commonalities. To end the night we made s'mores.

After an early wake up on Saturday morning we had an engaging and thoughtful Shabbat morning service. We were so impressed with the 5th graders who led V'ahavtah and chanted their prayers loudly. Throughout the day, we learned about God. We had a scavenger hunt in our prayer book to find all of the different names for God. One of the things we discussed was the gender of God and whether God is even a person. We decorated mirrors to remind us that when we see ourselves we should always remember that we are created in the image of God. We went God shopping and had to "buy" concepts of God. We had to decide if we saw God as a creator, a ruler, our conscience, a protector or our partner. Then we had some free time during our busy day and had lots of fun playing gaga and basketball.  Some of us rolled down chapel on the hill and others walked around the whole camp! Everyone made some new friends. We closed the weekend with havdalah and some reflection. Overall, this weekend was filled with lots of fun, friends and learning.

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