The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Joint Distribution Committee traditionally hold the A Mekhaye winter camp for Children and did so late last year in 2016 as well. The camp is held in Dubingiai, Lithuania. It usually includes about 90 children who spend the holiday period together. This year as in earlier years we assembled a great team, people who know their work and who have been part of camp staff for several years now.
This year the theme was “Hanukkah in the shtetl,” since the camp coincided with the holiday. Each day camp counselors introduced a new topic and taught the children about it. Besides just being fun, the camp is very educational, even if information comes through games, as it often does. The children and staff say they feel right at home in Dubingiai now, as if it were their second home.
This year we redid the program significantly, and there were special activities with Griogorius Riuminas. Experienced counselors prepared the program of events in the evenings. Michailis Frišmanas, who has been a camp counselor for several years and introduced innovative technology to the camp, led singing lessons. Fayerlakh ensemble member Valerija Jūrevičiūtė taught dance at camp this last year. Another new member of the team was Karolina Palionis.
Rabbi Daniel Samson Izakson also visited and taught lessons to the children. He led evening prayers as well during the lighting of the Hanukkah candles.
report by LJC Youth Programs coordinator Pavelas Guliakovas