A few weeks ago, NCSY – the OU’s teen program of education and outreach – hosted its annual and legendary Yarchei Kallah. Teens from across the country chose to give up their normal winter break pursuits; instead of spending time in pure recreation, they convened for spiritual re-creation. For five days, these public school students left their world behind them and entered an environment of davening, learning, and spiritual growth – an atmosphere that can only be described as transformative.
This year’s Yarchei Kallah was the largest ever, attended by 380 teens, with many more on a waiting list. The vibrancy of the Yiddishe neshamahwas apparent as these young men and women joined together in exploration of Jewish learning and experience, and sang and prayed with passion and excitement.
This year’s theme was Jewish prayer, and the NCSYers studied, in the most creative of ways, the berachot of the Shemoneh Esrei. Aside from the traditional learning model, the program included the use of innovative educational techniques, including music, art, and drama. In one magnificent creation, the teens joined together to produce nineteen large canvases, each one depicting, through creative artwork, another berachah of the Amidah.
Read the rest of this article by Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of Orthodox Union on the Jewish Press.