Summer in the northern hemisphere means summer camps. Normally, these camps are for children and teens, but not in Poland. A family camp (funded by the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation) attended by 130 people, families with old and young, took place, incorporating learning programs, fun activities and excursion in the local area, particularly alongside the nearby picturesque Vistula (Wisla in Polish) River.
On one of the evenings, Straus-Amiel Emissary Rabbi Moshe Bloom took part in an ‘Ask the Rabbi’ Q&A panel. Questions raised included: What happens to us after death? What is the Jewish perspective on abortions? What is the Jewish approach to gender and relationships? Why do rabbis wear black trousers and white shirts?
“For many Jews in Poland,” noted Rabbi Bloom, who attended the 12-day camp together with his wife, Chava, and their children, “this camp is the only opportunity to maintain and strengthen their Jewish identity through lessons, daily prayer, and most importantly, through spending quality time with other Jews. The children enjoyed the fun activities and outings, and the youth participated in daily ‘yeshiva-style’ learning, engaging with other youth and teachers through the teachings of Jewish texts.”