By Hannah Kravatz, NFTY-PAR Communications VP and incoming NFTY-PAR President
Two weekends ago over 100 teens from around the Pennsylvania Area Region gathered at URJ Camp Harlam for NFTY-PAR’s Spring Kallah. This event was our last event of the year that the seniors could attend and it was full of fun, learning, and good-byes. One of the highlights of the weekend was the Saturday morning service. Each PARite had the choice of attending one of three services; there was a nature, meditation, and music service for everyone to choose.
The nature service was led by the NFTY-PAR SAVP. It was an outdoor nature walk that went all around camp. PARites walked and prayed as they witnessed and experienced nature first hand. They kept nature in mind as they engaged in prayer. It was striking to hear this service move around camp and hearing the prayers echoing around camp.
I lead the meditation service and which took place in one of camp’s rec hall spaces. PARites sat on the ground in a circle as they relaxed and meditated through prayer. They participated in a walking meditation as well as a writing meditation. The service ended with a long guided mediation to help the PARites connect meditation into their everyday Jewish lives.
The third service was led by PAR’s FVP and it was focused around music. This service was very unique. The service creators chose current songs that related to prayers and incorporated them into the service. For example for the prayer Mi’chamocha the group choose to sing the song “Happy” by Pharell because they felt it related to the prayer. It was beautiful way to connect today’s music with our meaningful Shabbat prayers.
After these unique and creative service choices, the region joined together for the Torah service, which was led by the PAR RCVP. Three seniors read Torah and then we finished with the closing song, “You got a friend in me”. Shabbat morning services was a huge success. It was nice to give PARites a choice of which service to participate in. Saturday morning was another positive part of our incredible weekend.