does an eight-year-old Israeli girl lend-a-hand during her school vacation
and enrich her own life at the same time?
Considering that Avital had over 20
different types of summer camp from which to choose, including dance, art,
soccer, comics, magic, gymnastics, and sports camps, it is to Avital’s credit
that she chose to spend part of her summer vacation at Beit Issie Shapiro.
Avital and seven other girls joined
their Beit Issie Shapiro friends in an enriching summer program. The summer
camp is a continuation of a year-long mainstreaming program run at the Bilu
Elementary School in Ranaana where Avital is a student.
The day started with tefila
[prayer] led by one of the children and continued with a stick-to-your-ribs
meal. “Everyday we cooked our own breakfast together. Some days we made pancakes,
and some days we made malouwach [fried bread based on Yemenite cookery]
and falafel [ground chick pea balls based on North African cookery].”
This odd mix of breakfast entrees
reflects the multi-ethnic composition of the group of children at the day
camp, including children of Swedish, French, Arab-Israeli, and American parents.
“My favorite thing was `Snoozeland’.
Snoozeland is a room that is totally dark. It was the coolest thing. We took
off our shoes before we went in. It was pitch black. We used our hands and
bodies to touch things, and we could hear sounds.”
“Going to camp everyday made me see
how difficult it is to be a child with problems and how hard people need
to work with them.”