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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Azriela Jaffe

This week, bochurim all over the globe are back at their shtenders, after the rest and recreation of their summer vacations. Yet some have returned to their schedules with an extra dose of nourishment — the rare satisfaction that comes from a vacation spent giving of oneself to others. Mishpacha speaks to a lively assortment of boys who describe the choices they made this summer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“This summer, AishConnections offered me the opportunity to be a madrich, or mentor, in a trip for college men, age 19 – 23, from all over the world, most of them unaffiliated and disconnected from Judaism,” Chaim explained. On the trips, the college students learn about Judaism in a frum, fun setting. “The job of the madrich is mostly to hang out with the guys, to dispel any stereotypes they might have that frum guys don’t know how to have fun, or are completely isolated, and to answer their Jewish questions as they arise. These college students tends to harbor a lot of misconceptions about frum Jews – like we don’t know how to have fun or we’re completely isolated. Our time together broke down those misconceptions.” – Chaim Thaler

“When I was at HASC, I really came to love the entire camp,” he says. “I would pass by campers I had worked with only once or twice and they called out my name, and I felt so happy, knowing that I made an impact on these camper’s lives. From working at HASC, I can honestly tell you that I have grown. It’s no more selfish personality and caring about myself.

“There were times in camp where I cried while watching either the camp recap videos on Fridays, or at the concerts. These kids are given the best summer of their lives, year after year. They dance and sing and smile and play and they just want to live like everybody else. That’s what we did at HASC. The slogan of HASC is ‘Heaven on Earth’. Now I understand why.”– Gabi Haller


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