Summer family integration camp

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A report about a summer family integration camp “Shalom Star”

With participation of JDC and Jewish Agency “Sohnut”, “Integration of children with special needs in Jewish community in Russia”, Communities “Le-dor va-Dor”youth organization “Netzer” and Family Service.

With support of WUPJ, JDC, Jewish Agency “Sohnut”, UJA Federation of New York, Genesis Philanthropy Group within a charity program CAF Russia “Jewish communities” and board of trusties “Le-Dor va-Dor” community.

On 2-8 June 2015 an annual family summer integrative camp was conducted on the topic - "Shalom Star."

108 people have attended the seminar - 32 Jewish families, 5 of them with many children. Adult participants: 40 people, children: 49 people.

In each group there worked a couple of madrichim from Mahon or members of the youth club "Netzer", a specialist and a volunteer attached to each "special" child.

This year from the Israel experts was involved Marina Krisov - a specialist in communication and Olga Elshanskaya who has great experience in the Jewish informal education and volunteer support; Marina Tredler provided Skype consultations for the camp participants.

This year the number of volunteers in the camp was significantly more - music director and technician (Maria and Paul), brothers and sisters of special children, the parents and the relatives of special children (e.g. Tatiana Lapteva - one of the mothers, who was holding daily classes in Hebrew, Alena Ryvtina and Elina Arzhanova working with young group, Maria Mukhina - the sister of a girl with Down syndrome).

Over the program also worked the program director (Pavel Miloslavin), the cantor (Dmitry Karpenko) and art-pedagogues (sisters Sapronenko from Belarus, a music teacher).

Classes for adults:

Jewish symbols; Son of Star - Rabbi Alexander Lyskovoy

Symbols of the Tanach; Impact of Jewish symbols on Christian and Muslim cults - David Nesegolts

Yellow Star of Holocaust against Eichmann - Pavel Miloslavin

Hebrew classes - Tatiana Lapteva

Musical symbols of the Jewish people - Dmitry Karpenko

Master Classes

Everyday, in a specially allocated time art-master and dance classes were carried out.

One of the daily events were organized walks, which were held with parents. Themes of the walks matched the theme of a day and were were aimed to improve the communication process between children and parents.

Evening activities are the most exciting and loudest moments in the camp that also have undertaken the active cooperation of children and their parents as well as between the children themselves.

The most touching evening event was a Jewish talents evening, where all children could show off their creative achievements.

During the camping period, specialists were giving individual consultations for the participants – for children with special needs and anyone who wanted or was interested in such consultation.

It should be noted that this integrative camp was conducted successfully. According to general feedback, all of us organizers and participants have achieved the main goal of the camp, which was the integration of children with special needs into Jewish community.

The integration of children with their Jewish contemporary is admitted as successful and progressing.

Those children who have already been to in our camp treat special children sincerely, naturally, try to support and help them out, engage them into cooperation.

Special children communicate and take part in games and activities with a better enthusiasm than in previous years.

This is a unique event, which we hope will continue to develop and pass its experience to other Jewish organizations as well as non-Jewish.

We gratitude our project sponsors, partners, madrihim, volunteers and all the participants of the camp.int9.png

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A report on family integration camp: “Journey to Shavuot”

With participation of RACP, “Integration” project, “Family service” 

Supported by JDC, UJA Federation of New York, the Jewish Agency "Sohnut", RACP, WUPJ and trustees of the community council "Le-dor va-Dor" 

From the 2nd to 8th of June 2014, an annual family summer integrative camp has been run and the theme was “Journey to Shavuot”.

100 people participated in the seminar -32 Jewish families, 3 of which with many children.

Adults: 37 people

Children: 41 people

Children with disorders: 13 people and 2 children with ЗПР (children of “Integration” project). 5 children and 10 families for the first time took part in such event.

Children were divided into 4 groups: 2-4 years, 5-7 years, 8-10 years and 11-14 years old.

Children have been working with 8 madrihim and 5 volunteers – school graduates of Madrichim Moscow youth club “Netzer”, graduates of “Mahon” program in cooperation with Sohnut.

Israeli experts have been working in the camp in Israel – Marina Tredler, a speech therapist and Marina Krisov, a madrichim and a specialist in communication.

On program have worked as well: a program director, a designer-technician, the cantor, an art teacher, a music teacher and a teacher of Israeli dances.

Specialists psychologists-speech pathologists have worked with groups of children.

Class topics for adults:

-          "Shavuot - the historical and traditional aspects of the holiday. Rabbi Alexander Lyskovoj.

-          "Shavuot from beginning to present day." ICC Director Anna Pelivert

-          "The Book of Ruth". Rabbi Alexander Lyskovoj

-          "Jewish kitchen". David Nisengolts

-          "Week chapter". Rabbi Alexander Lyskovoj

"Shalosh regalim". The 1st secretary of Israel Embassy - Shlomo Voskobojnik

 

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Master Classes

Everyday, in a specially allocated time art-master and dance classes were carried out.

One of the daily events were organized walks, which were held with parents. Themes of the walks matched the theme of a day and were were aimed to improve the communication process between children and parents.

Evening activities are the most exciting and loudest moments in the camp that also have undertaken the active cooperation of children and their parents as well as between the children themselves.

The most touching evening event was a Jewish talents evening, where all children could show off their creative achievements.

During the camping period, specialists were giving individual consultations for the participants – for children with special needs and anyone who wanted or was interested in such consultation. There were specially allocated 3 hours according to the time table, 3 specialists and 3 consultations per day.

There also were off-the-programm classes for parents, who conducted the communication specialist.

It should be noted that this integrative camp was conducted successfully. According to general feedback, all of us organizers and participants have achieved the main goal of the camp, which was the integration of children with special needs into Jewish community.

The integration of children with their Jewish contemporary is admitted as successful and progressing.

Those children who have already been to in our camp treat special children sincerely, naturally, try to support and help them out, engage them into cooperation.

Special children communicate and take part in games and activities with a better enthusiasm than in previous years.

This is a unique event, which we hope will continue to develop and pass its experience to other Jewish organizations as well as non-Jewish.

We gratitude our project sponsors, partners, madrihim, volunteers and all the participants of the camp.int9.png

Video

Photos

 

“Mothers, fathers and children of Jewish people”

It has already become a good tradition in the beginning of June for many people and organisations to join efforts and come together in the summer integrative family camp as the project "Integration of children with special needs in the Jewish community of Moscow."

The year of 2013 was not an exception and from 3rd to 9th of June, in the Moscow region boarding house "Friendship" was the integrative family camp “Walking together", organized by the Jewish Agency “Sohnut”, JDC with the financial support Federation of New York and Community of Progressive Judaism "Le Dor va-Dor" supported by the Genesis Foundation.

This year’s theme of the camp was: "Mothers, fathers and children of Jewish people." You might have thought what makes this year different from others.  As always, participants were expected to have interesting activities with their favourite madrihim, volunteers and professionals.

Parents were anticipated for the meetings with the rabbi, the lecturer of Jewish history and tradition, as well as there were many interesting workshops: art therapy and Israel dances, animation studio, fun evening activities for the whole family and open air walks. However, all of that would be far too simple for the creative team of the camp, which annually gathers together to make every camp special and memorable for its participants.

This year in the workflow of the camp have taken part 4 madrihim and 6 volunteers from Moscow (all of them have participated in training workshops for the preparation of guides and volunteers of the CAF project “Walking together”), experts of the CCP, a cantor, as well as 2 madrihim from Israel and a head of speech therapy department in Haifa Hadassah Hospital–MarinaTrejdler, a specialist in working with children requiring special needs.

A few changes have been made among the participants of the camp, along with the “regulars" (families who participate in the camp every year), this time about a third of new families have come around for the first time participating in the integrative camp. In total, the camp was attended by 30 families (a large part with many children) including 15 families with children with special needs. These are the children with mental problems, Down's Syndrome, rare genetic diseases (Rett syndrome), children with autism spectrum disorders and some children with congenital deafness.

A new challenge for the team was to make sure that the program was relevant and interesting for both experienced participants and beginners, to pick a topic understandable for children with HIA and their peers, and of course to remember about the Jewish informal education and inclusive approach.

Solving this puzzle, for the basis of the topic we decided to take a very close and understandable notion to all — “Family”. Not just a family though, but the first "Jewish" family of Abraham and Sara from which the first Jewish people have been created and called “Jews”. 

On the first day of camping participants have found the "Magic Book", which spoke to them from the screen. The book was missing pages and participants had to find them during camping period and create a "family album" of the Jewish people.

And here it goes. Every day children and parents have been travelling on the waves of history: Isaac and Rivka, sibling rivalry and a sold birthright, love of Jacob and his 12 sons, tribes of Israel, from Abraham to Judah, everyday adding a page in the history of the book.

Previously developed convenient timetable of the camp has been left unchanged. Everyday participants were awaiting for interesting interactive thematic sessions that were held in groups twice a day, a walk, master classes and an evening event based on the topic of the day.

Within the framework of “Walking together” project of Grassroots contest 2013 in preparation of activities with experts taking part in were involved integrative approaches, multimedia materials, purchased in advance gaming equipment especially for inclusive activities (running tracks, gaming parachutes, balls, etc.) All of this has allowed to make the camp rich and interesting for all its participants.

“So what?” — said Sonya from the younger group, — “in the end are we all going to scatter abroad like the Jewish people?”

“And what about us?” — Yasha replied.

And that “us” has become the last page of the Jewish people "Family album", and again we want to believe, work and strive in order for our people as well as for the "Integration" project to have many more new pages ahead.int9.png

Photos of integrative camp

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We thank

The community "Le-Dor va-Dor” for the fifth year is already helping us create an integrative environment in the summer Jewish family camp, being one of the main partners of the project "Integration of children with special needs in the Jewish community of Moscow”.

The management of the joint "Integration" project, in the face of the Jewish Agency "Sohnut" and JDC, expresses gratitude to authorities, parents and children of "Le-Dor va-Dor" community for their active participation in the realisation of “Integration” project, within the frameworks of integrative Jewish family camp and for their kind permission to use their photos in the information production of "Integration" project.int9.png

 

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“Walking together” camp - the annual final

Annual final of the project “Integration of children with special needs in the Jewish community of Moscow” is the conduction of summer family integrative camp, which is called “Walking together" and is held in June every year.

Family members of the project participants are also involved in the camp activities, where children with special needs are being brought up (30%), along with regular families (70%). A unique platform was created, where children with HIA are going through process of socialisation and adaptation in a uniform environment with their peers.

This is the only camp of such kind, its specifics being not only in its family oriented nature but in its capacity to accommodate children who due to their diagnoses were rejected by therapeutic camps. Here such children find their place and socialize. The rest of the families get a great experience in communication and development, which further affects the education of modern tolerant civil society.

Within the camp, sessions for parents are being held, in which they are not only being educated on Jewish history and tradition but also psychology and pedagogy; special trainings are being carried out with parents aimed at their assistance and adaptation, appreciation of their child’s characteristics, development of tolerance and responsibility for the upbringing of the future generation.

Lack of diagnostic criteria for selecting children (with one illness)requiring special needs is complexity and peculiarity of the camp at the same time, namely, the camp is visited by children with HIA, regardless of the diagnosis; the program is attended by children with such diagnoses as Down's syndrome, Asperger (autism), mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness, ADHD, and others.

The camp is not just integrative and educational, but also has a theme and ethno-cultural (Jewish) occupancy. Classes on Jewish culture and traditions are held in the camp with the rabbis, cantors and leading lecturers of Moscow. 

Every year a comfortable base (with separate rooms) is provided for families to live by the camp, taking into account the characteristics of the families. Participants are provided with 5 meals daily according to the "Kosher Style" (principle of separating dairy and meat products, excluding all forbidden foods in the nutrition).

A strong team of professionals is working in the camp:

  • 6 counsellors (madrichim) who have completed preparatory training on special training seminars.
  • 8 volunteers who have completed preparatory training in special training seminars.
  • Specialists-psychologists, speech pathologists, pedagogues from Russia (Centre of Medical Education, the specialists of psychological and medical faculties of Moscow universities). 
  • Experts from Israel (Department of Speech Pathology, Hospital Bnei Zion in Haifa, according to the experts with autistic Hadassah Hospital).
  • Program leader of the camp.

 

Program leader of the camp:

Pavel Miloslavin