Educational Activities at Summer Camps in Australia and Argentina

The KKL-JNF Education Division's Overseas Department is an invaluable resource for summer camps in Australia and Argentina, for educational activities in Ecological Zionism.

Throughout the month of January KKL-JNF Education Division’s Overseas Department is conducting a variety of Zionism-and-ecology-oriented activities for Jewish youth in the Southern Hemisphere currently attending summer camp. At the Hineni youth camp in Australia, enjoyable and enriching activities focused on Israel’s independence and Zionist values. In Argentina, activities were held at dozens of summer camps, with the help of a mobile educational-activity unit dispatched from KKL-JNF’s Overseas Department in Israel. 

Summer camp group photo during a KKL-JNF educational activity in Argentina. Photo: Courtesy KKL Argentina

Photo: Courtesy KKL ArgentinaAlthough KKL-JNF accompanies and supports the activities of youth movements in the Southern Hemisphere all year round, its main focus is the summer camps that take place in December and January. In recent weeks KKL Argentina, with the help of the local educational coordinator, has been conducting a variety of educational and ecological activities for all camp participants. The first camps at which KKL-JNF was active were Noam and B'Yachad, which were attended by four hundred youngsters from five Jewish schools and youth movements in Buenos Aires: Benei Tikva, Bialik-Devoto, Betar Argentina-Dor Hadash, Centro Hebreo Yonah and Jerusalem.

Activities are currently underway in camps belonging to the following youth movements: Hehalutz Lamerhav, Habonim Dror-HaNoar HaZioni and Sionista Paraná, which are attended by a total of six hundred members, former members and leaders from Córdoba, Rosario, Santa Fe, Tucumán, Chaco, Corrientes, Paraná, Neuquén, Mendoza, Rivera, San Luis, Bariloche, Bahía Blanca and Mar del Plata.

The principal activity, known as “The Map of the Land of Israel,” is conducted by the mobile education unit sent out by the KKL-JNF Education Division's Overseas Department in Israel. This activity is designed to enable youngsters to acquire a deep knowledge of the historical geography of the State of Israel and its landscapes by helping them to locate towns, forests, rivers and geographical characteristics of different regions on the map. The youngsters compete among themselves in a variety of enjoyable games and quizzes that teach them about Israel’s geography, principal cities, water resources and soil characteristics, and show them the achievements in Yatir Forest in the Negev and ways of combating desertification. Some youngsters have made their own models of water reservoirs.

Photo: Courtesy KKL ArgentinaKKL-JNF Education Coordinator for Argentina Ariel Nahmod summed up: “For me it’s a pleasure to take part in these remarkable camps where I’m surrounded by nature, able and helpful instructors and young people who appreciate the activities we offer and the resources that KKL-JNF places at their disposal. I hope that we’ll be able to continue with a variety of activities all year round and that the youth movements can take part in events organized by KKL Argentina. At the same time, we face the constant challenge of extending our achievements and reaching more camps with more educational proposalsunder the twin banners of Zionism and ecology.”

In Australia, too, inspiring activities took place at the Hineni youth camp. JNF Australia education emissary Yigal Nisell wrote on KKL-JNF’s international educational emissary forum: “The activities related to Israel's Declaration of Independence are the best I’ve done so far.” This remark gave rise to a lively debate on the forum as participants asked for details of these new activities that form part of a new educational curriculum entitled “Zionism with Meaning,” which was launched in Israel this year by KKL-JNF.

Photo: Courtesy KKL ArgentinaIn the first week of January, the Hineni youth camp held a stimulating and enriching activity on Israel’s independence and Zionist values. Around one hundred movement members aged from thirteen to eighteen took part, under the direction of Yigal Nisell. The youngsters began the day by watching films about KKL-JNF activities and the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel. They then divided up into four groups, each of which represented a different sector of Israel and its population: religious people, right-wingers, left-wingers and minorities. Each group received a scroll on which its members were asked to write down the points they felt it was most important to add and which best represented the sector to which they had been assigned. After this the groups summed up the main points of the scrolls in a few defining sentences and combined them into a single declaration that represented the entire community.

Both the young participants and the educational staff all greatly enjoyed extending their knowledge of the state-building process and reviewing the values on which the State of Israel was founded. Over the next two weeks, thousands more Jewish youngsters in Australia will enjoy taking part in this activity as they attend another four youth camps.