1. 2018

    Camels and More

    This morning, we woke up to the sounds of goats and camels moaning at a Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert, at the ripe hour of 6:30 am (may I remind you that the night before we had woken up at 2:00 am to prepare for our sunrise hike up Masada). Our breakfast consisted of eggs, cereal, pita, pudding, and other various foods. After breakfast, we made our way to the edge of the village, where we met our new friends, camels!  Our camel ride was a blast. We rode around the desert and saw a beautiful view of the Bedouin village.

  2. 2018

    Masada and the Dead Sea

    Saturday was a chill day as it was Shabbat; we stayed in the hotel, hung out, and ended the day with havdalah. We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to see the sunrise on Masada. We left the hotel at 3:00 in the morning and we were climbing by 4:45. The group climbed at different paces but we all made it to the top of the mountain before the sun started rising.

  3. 2018

    A Great Day

    We woke up and went to breakfast at 8 in the morning at the hotel. We then boarded the bus and made our way to a lookout point over the Old City and greater Jerusalem. After looking out at the city, we heard some music and ended up joining an impromptu Zumba class, before we sat down for a discussion on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

  4. 2018

    Other Cultures and Viewpoints

    Today we learned about other cultures and viewpoints in Jerusalem. We began with a presentation about Christianity and the many denominations present in Jerusalem. We then set out to the Old City. At first we were in the Christian Quarter, where we visited the most holy church in Christianity, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We then went to the Muslim quarter, where we shopped at a street market.

  5. 2018

    The Day of Tunnels

    Today we got an early start and went to explore the Old City of Jerusalem. We walked the walls of the Old City and saw some beautiful views.

  6. 2018

    Our First Day

    Shalom from Jerusalem!

  7. 2017

    A View from the Kinneret

    On Thursday morning, we started off our day with a beautiful hike down into a valley with a natural spring at the bottom. With joy from the hike being over, we jumped into the spring, some of us accidentally bringing our phones into the water with us, and enjoyed some fish nibbling the dead skin off our feet. And suddenly we realized that we had to hike back up the mountain. Although the entirely uphill hike back to the top was excruciatingly difficult, everyone made it! We then traveled (by bus, thankfully) to a cliff side grotto where we saw a stunning overlook and walked through some natural water tunnels. Afterwards, Igor (our driver) graciously took us to a Druze community. With an organization named Yahel, we spoke with representatives of the Druze community, learned about their culture, and got to meet some of the 16-year-olds who lived in the village. After a long day, we went back to the kibbutz and had a well-earned rest.

  8. 2017

    Heading North Along the Coast

    On Monday, we visited the Ayalon Institute, where we toured the once illegal underground bullet factory that was used to assist Israeli forces during the war of 1948. We then went to Kibbutz Gezer, where we were greeted by Ben's Aunt Su! She gave us a tour of kibbutz where afterwards we enjoyed a fine lunch and took a dip in the pool. We then headed over to the beach in Bat Yam, where we rode the waves of the Mediterranean and learned about an organization that allows troubled youth to refocus their energy on surfing.

  9. 2017

    Exploring Tel Aviv

    On Friday night, we welcomed in Shabbat with the Beit Tfilah Yisraeli congregation in a beautiful service on the boardwalk looking over the sea. The leaders had amazing singing voices and tons of ruakh (energy)! Watching the sunset throughout the service was an amazing sight. It was easily one of the best Shabbats we had ever been to.

  10. 2017

    Week in Review

    Boy have we had a WEEK. Last Shabbat we enjoyed services at Kol Haneshamah. Then Sunday we left Jerusalem to begin our descent to the lowest point on Earth -- the Dead Sea! After floating and mudding, we hiked to a waterfall and ended the day in Eilat. It was חם רצח (kham retzakh/hot murder -- our Hebrew word of the day). Monday we spent the morning at the beautiful Eilat beach, swimming in the Red Sea. In the afternoon we explored Timna Park and learned about ancient copper mining. The next day we visited two kibbutzim -- Lotan and Ketura -- and learned about community life in the kibbutz. We ended the day by riding camels and enjoying Bedouin hospitality.

Camp JRF is now Camp Havaya.

Worry not! We have a new name but, deep down, we’re still the same incredibly diverse and welcoming community where kids explore Judaism in their own ways and become the best versions of themselves.

Learn more about why we chose this name or click through to visit our website. Either way, we can’t wait to welcome you to Camp Havaya this summer!