Monday, August 11, 2014

Cohort 5 Summer Retreat in Narragansett

By Zoe Federman, Cohort 5

Since our seminar to Israel was postponed until December due to Operation Protective Edge, I thought it would be a fun and meaningful experience for everyone to go to my Narragansett, RI house for the weekend. Leading the weekend with Isabel Feinstein was amazing, especially because almost everyone was able to come. On Friday afternoon everyone met at the JCC to head off to RI. After facing some tiring traffic we all arrived in Narragansett ready to start the retreat. To kick it off, the Shabbat Committee led a short but beautiful service at the lake near my house. After, we headed back to the house for a staff led Ma’agal Lila. During it we were blindfolded and led into the backyard. There was a maze of strings set up crisscrossing and intersecting all around. We were all placed at different points and were told to start our “journeys”. Along the way we found little objects that we could choose to take with us or keep moving. The objects were scrolls of paper with different quotes on them, which we read aloud and discussed. 

We then devoured the Israeli chocolate brought back from Israel by our very thoughtful JCs and hung out until we all fell asleep. The next morning we decided to go to the beach pavilion to play board and card games, which shows how no one let the rain ruin the day. After lunch and a little relaxation, it was time for a beautiful Havdalah service. We then all piled into the cars to go get ice cream! It was delicious and super fun. We then all settled down for a fellow led Ma’agal Lila. We all stood in a circle, facing outwards, holding an unlit candle. The first person lit their candle and then chose the next person and lit their candle. Once everyone’s candle was lit, together we lit the fire pit. It showed how we all shine on our own, but when we come together we shine even brighter. 

After a full day of fun, we were all exhausted and went to sleep. Sunday morning the staff held a quick meeting about our future plans for our Impact Projects. We were all just throwing around ideas, but it made me very confident that our cohort’s projects will be a great success! Then, we all loaded into the cars to head to the Newport Cliff Walk. It was a great time to all sit together and take in the view. We took a little walk and then piled into the cars one last time to drive back to the JCC. This weekend was a great way to reconnect with the fellows and talk about the change of plans about Israel. 

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