by Josh Warshawsky, Rosh Shirah (Singing) and Tefillah (Prayer) “Kol B’Ramah Nishma, ‘Sof Sof Higati L’beiti!!’” “A voice was heard at Ramah, ‘I have finally arrived at home!’”

The words of this camp anthem reverberate in my ears as I hear the voices of campers swimming, dancing, and singing their way into their first day at camp this summer! One of my favorite parts of my day is getting the chance to walk around camp and hear campers idly singing the words to their favorite Hebrew songs as they go about their day. For eight weeks, the Hebrew words replace their favorite secular radio hits. Starting today, we’ll be breaking out the instruments in our fantastic chadrei ohel (dining halls) to conclude many of our meals together with rockin’, upbeat, Hebrew songs. Our youngest campers will also have opportunities to sit with our shirah staff to learn some of the fantastic new melodies we’ve compiled for this summer.

This year our shirah program has started off with a bang! We have three dedicated shirah staff members (Sam Blustin, Gil Yishai, and Ranan Vales) who are working hard to build an amazing Hebrew soundtrack for our summer. We have been rotating through each aidah to start preparing for our annual Zimriyah, song festival! The Zimriyah is the first all-camp event of the summer, and is always one of the summer’s biggest highlights. This year, the theme for the Zimriyah follows our summer-long theme of “Ger V’toshav Ani Imachem,” “I am a stranger and also a resident among you,” talking about the idea of global citizenship, taking part in cultural and social justice movements, and finding our place in the world. The songs are a diverse collection of pieces about taking action, achieving real results, and reaching out to find the best in each one of us. The Zimriyah will take place on June 27th, so check back here after that for a review and keep on singing!

Garinim enjoying shirah with Sam, Gil, Ranan and Josh on Thursday.