Zimriyah Song Festival 2018!

by Josh Warshawsky, Rosh Omanuyot Habamah

This past Sunday night, the entire camp gathered together in the Beit Am for our annual Zimriyah (song festival), the first all-camp event of the summer. Campers and staff members dressed up in their eidah colors and brought tons of ruach to this major camp event.  Our campers have worked hard to learn the words to the Hebrew songs chosen for their relevance to our summer-long theme, Ayin L’tzion (an eye towards [70 years of] Zion). We celebrate the State of Israel’s 70th birthday and are inspired to dream about what the next 70 years could look like. Our Nivonim emcees, Amalya Sykes and Koby Rosen, kept the energy and excitement high, and wove the theme of Ayin L’tzion through all the songs of the festival.

Our Rishonim campers (pre-camper age children of staff members) kicked off the evening with the song “V’ahavta (And You Shall Love)” by the Yeshiva Boys Choir, teaching us that the only way to reach 70 more years is to truly find a way to love each other as we love ourselves. Then, our Garinim campers taught us through the song “Yesh Tikvah (There is Hope)” that if we choose to sing together, we can find hope. TheSolelim song taught us that there are Jews all over the world, and we’re all one part of one nation, “Am Echad,” singing one song, as one people, with one heart.

“עם אחד שיר אחד כאיש אחד בלב אחד”

As the evening continued, our Shoafim campers sang “Yoter” by Yonatan Gefen, urging us to love more, listen more and promote more understanding between people. Bogrim taught us that it’s up to us, we are the children of the future, “Hayeladim Shel Ha’atid”. Machon and Tikvah reminded us that before we move forward we must look back in “Lashuv Habaita.”

Our international staff sang “Shir Yisraeli” by Shlomo Gronich, a song about coming together from all over the world to form one community. Our Mishlachat kept the theme going with a song called “Michtav L’achi (A Letter to my Brother),” reminding us that there is a dream that is not yet finished, but in the end, we will make it work. Our entire staff sang “Ahavat Yisrael Baneshamah (Love for Israel in the Soul), describing Israel as a place where we can aspire to live in harmony with our neighbors, with our people and others, with true peace and success and love. Finally, our Nivonim campers brought everything home by asking us to dream about the world we hope to create with the song “Tamid Chalamti (I’ve Always Dreamed).” We were all inspired to search for the answers to these important questions: What is the world we wish to live in? What is possible if we work together to achieve it?