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Op-eds

Habonim Machaneh - a summer like no other

  • David Schwartz1
There is perhaps no better way to encapsulate the Habonim Machaneh experience than with the popular song our campers sing every December - “Habonim Machaneh makes my life so beautiful!”. That’s because what each and every channich/ah (student camper) experiences and gets out of our incredible three-week machaneh, is truly unique and life changing.
by DAVID SCHWARTZ – ROSH MACHANEH 2017 | Nov 09, 2017

Maybe it’s because of the beautiful Onrus beach (only a 30-second walk from their tent); or maybe it’s the unforgettable memories and friendships they make with like-minded Jewish youth from across South Africa; or perhaps it’s even the incredible variety of educational activities and inspirational guest speakers which the channichim get to interact with on a daily basis.

And that’s because what Habonim offers, is unlike anything else a Jewish child could experience in their summer holiday - three weeks of fun, friendships, sport, crafts, learning, love, Judaism, safety, and a beautiful campsite to call “home”.

This year, Habonim has seen incredible growth and strengthening - proving yet again the power and importance of what we provide each child which sets foot onto our Onrus campsite.

We’re proud to say that campers leave Habonim Machaneh with more confidence, greater leadership skills, a deeper and more meaningful connection to their Judaism, an understanding and love for Israel, and a drive to change the world for the better.

With peulot (educational activities) ranging from equality, Jewish identity, SA challenges and how they can help, to democracy, Zionism, and how to be a powerful youth. With all of these, the education at Habonim Machaneh is well-rounded and inspiring. Our madrichim start planning three months before camp, in order to keep up the internationally high standard of peulot.

Our beautiful Onrus campsite has also recently seen great upgrades, such as our action-soccer court, upgraded ablutions, state-of-the art kosher kitchen, and brand-new luxurious tents for our campers. Not to mention the Zula which is constantly filled with different arts and crafts, Israeli music, and delicious snacks.

And did I mention the breath-taking Onrus beach on our doorstep? With over five hours of beach time each day, channichim get to spend time with all of their friends, soaking up the summer sun and swimming in the warm ocean, all under the supervision of our dedicated lifeguard team and CSO, of course.

I could go on and on about Habonim Machaneh, with its beautiful campsite and facilities, inspiring peulot and guests, fun and relatable madrichim, and everything else that the Habonim Machaneh experience uniquely gives our campers.

And that’s because I have been to 12 Habonim Machanot and cannot wait for my 13th this December. Habonim Machaneh is a place to grow as a person, make new best friends, fall in love, and strengthen your Jewish identity. Most of all, it’s the safest fun a Jewish teen could have this December.

This year Machaneh17 Na’aleh is from December 8-27, with shorter options available for grade 3-5 children.

* For more information please visit www.habo.org.za or e-mail david@habo.org.za

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