What really is the Best Summer Ever?

Ayelet Rosman


Have you ever heard the slogan Best. Summer. Ever? If you have, it may get you thinking about what really makes up the ultimate summer experience. Almost our entire year consists of long days in classrooms, studying, stressing, and waiting for the summer, so you can imagine that when the summer finally rolls around, we want to make the best of it. While to many people summer plans aren’t a major decision, whether it’s going to the same camp as previous years, a pre-planned family vacation or something of the sort, others need guidance to help decide how they’ll spend their summer. Summer programs provide unique and exciting opportunities full of personal growth and tons of fun. SKA students choose from a diverse group of programs. Here are some insights into a few popular programs through the eyes of SKA participants. 

 

Michlelet

Esther Dyckman

 

Some factors that make up the best possible summer are connections and relationships formed, connection with the land of Israel, a growth oriented environment which encourages learning more about yourself and learning more about Judaism, meaningful experiences, and continuation into the school year.

 

When I went on Michlelet I had never before been surrounded by so many friendly, warm and incredible girls and I made some of my closest friends the two summers I spent on Michlelet. You feel at home right away with all the high fives and smiles every time you walk into the dining room. We were all there for the same reason because we were open to growing and developing ourselves and that created an instant connection. You can’t comprehend what it is until you’re there but in Michlelet you feel a deep love and appreciation for what it means to be Jewish. By visiting people like Tammy Karmel, visiting places like Chevron, and doing chesed like medical clowning- you end up with such an inspirational experience. Best of all, none of this ends once the summer is over, throughout the year there are so many reunions and chavrusas are kept up long after the summer is over with madrichot and campers. Most importantly, when you leave Michlelet you take what you’ve learned with you and make it a part of your identity-and that – that lasts forever.

 

 

For girls who are conflicted about which program to choose I would tell them that at the end of the day it comes down to whether you want the emphasis to be on having a fun summer or on having an impactful and meaningful summer as well as an incredibly fun one, which I believe Michlelet offers. Michlelet will give you the summer of a lifetime that you (literally) won’t be able to stop talking about for the rest of your life.

 

Jolt Israel

Aliza Eidlisz

 

Some of the most important factors of a program are the groups of people you go with and that you feel comfortable with because that can make your summer complete. If you’re with a good group of people, you’re summer can be the best one yet, especially when you’re touring Israel with so many fun trips and a perfect balance.

 

I’m normally shy in a big group of people but on Jolt Israel I felt so comfortable with everyone and I felt that I could really be myself. I was loud and carefree and it really made my summer incredible. It was totally judge- free and I had the best time. I was able to make so many close friends because it was such a good group of people who were all so sweet.

 

Jolt Israel really has the best balance of everything. Some other programs may have too much of some things and too little of others, but Jolt honestly had everything. There were a ton of trips but not too many that it got overwhelming; there was learning but not for too long. It was really an amazing program.

 

Sulam

Rachel Bodek

 

I think a program with a balance of fun and Torah is what makes up a great program. I think that the activities that each program has, and the Torah and religion incorporated within the program, are what makes a summer program a time to grow.

 

Sulam is a program that throughout the whole summer they are giving you options to help make this the best summer yet. If you’re a person who loves chessed or someone who loves activities they have an options week where you can choose what you like to do. Additionally, they have chill learning with your counselors or guest rabbis coming to speak.

 

Sulam is a program where you get to experience Israel and realize how amazing it truly is. Through all the hikes, chesed, and views you see, you realize the true gift of Israel. On Sulam the directors are AMAZING role models and the counselors are always there for you. The activities we do are life changing and will always stick with you.

 

Yad B Yad

Ariella Schecter

 

The best possible summer involves many factors such as making the most out of every day, meeting amazing new friends, and feeling as though you’ve done so much in so little time. On Yad B Yad, I was nervous at first to meet so many new people but within the first few days, I became friends with literally everyone, even the counselors!! Yad B Yad is known for their amazing inclusive atmosphere and everyone has a place, no matter who you are. Aside from the amazing people, every day on Yad B Yad is jam packed with the coolest activities. It really amazed me how we can do so much in so little time!!
     
Yad B Yad fulfilled these standards in exceptional ways!! For starters, everyone instantly becomes friends because we do so many activities together. We are constantly split into groups, that way we get a chance to really bond with everyone in different ways. The activities are absolutely awesome and we get to experience Israel in an inclusive way which is something that not every program can offer. Yad B Yad has the most amazing counselors who are always there for the participants. The counselors offer learning Chaburas which isn’t always typical learning from a book- we learn things that apply to our lives and it’s not boring at all, kids actually voluntarily go and learn with the counselors. Yad B Yad somehow takes every single factor of an amazing summer and combines it all into 5 amazing weeks!!

Yad B Yad really is not like any other program. We have cool tours, amazing friends and counselors, relatable learning opportunities, energy filled days and nights, and an all inclusive environment. Yad B Yad definitely fills any and all standards of an amazing summer and I’d give anything to have the opportunity to go again!! Everyone becomes so close, like family. Yad B Yad isn’t over just because the summer’s over. Even after the summer was over, we had reunions non stop!! The experience will live on with me forever and I hope that whoever is looking for the most amazing summer ever chooses Yad B Yad because it’s really a summer like no other!!

 

Give

Daphna Friedman

 

Before going on Give, I was very scared and worried about my upcoming summer. When we got to the airport, not only did the friends I was going with come to comfort me, but the other people on the program, who were my soon to be best friends, came to comfort me too. From that point forward, I knew that this summer would be the best summer.

 

While I was on the program, I experienced new things that changed my life. Everyone on the program came from different places and families. There were people who were not born Jewish and later on in their lives converted, there were some that were modern, and some that were very religious. There were girls from all over the country and even some from Israel and Canada, however on Give home situation didn’t matter because we were all there for the same reason, to have an amazing summer while doing chesed for the Jewish community.

 

One of my favorite experiences on Give was going to Save a Child’s Heart. This is an organization that treats children from all around the world that have heart illnesses, but do not have the money to pay for treatment. These children are brought to Israel where they are given the care that they need by experienced doctors, for free or for a very low fee. Another experience that was eye opening was Medical Clowning. Give brought us to hospitals, where we dressed up in costumes and went around the hospital to cheer the patients up. We went around giving food and drinks and balloons.This was an unforgettable summer which helped me grow to the best of my abilities.

 

Mach Hach

Shira Abadi

 

In my opinion, what makes up the best summer is the people you’re with, the long term friendships you make and having fun. The connections you make in camp are so different than the friends you make during the year. In the summer, you go through everything with them, long bus rides, climbing masada, anything you do, you work together. During long hikes you can talk and bond with people and make close friends. It’s really impossible not to make such close friends during this experience.

 

Mach Hach was amazing because they weren’t so strict, you can have chill time when you want and even though you do a ton in a day, you can still have a relaxing time. Everything, even the free time, was so fun. Mach Hach also helped educate me on Zionism and really made me love Israel. I didn’t grow up knowing a lot about Israel, but Mach Hach taught me all about it and made me really want to make aliyah.

 

I think Mach Hach is a really good choice for a summer program because there’s so many busses, so you can meet so many people from all over the world. Everyone on the program wants to meet new people and grow together. It was really amazing. You do tons of hikes which are always fun. It’s really a different experience because as opposed to other programs where you’re focusing on the learning, on Mach Hach you’re focusing on the state and appreciating the land. They give you an option to go for four days to do army training or go through the desert and other crazy things and it’s so fun!

 

While each program has unique factors: Yad B Yad and inclusion, Sulam and its options of activities, Jolt Israel and its smaller warm environment, Mach Hach and its appreciation for the land of Israel, Michlelet and its amazing learning and growth opportunities and Give and its chesed, everyone can agree that each program has the potential to be tons of fun! Every program has opportunities for growth, whether religiously or zionistically, or both. I hope that everyone chooses the best program for her specific factors of what makes up the best summer ever!