The middle school students spent last week up in Clayton, GA at Camp Ramah Darom for their yearly retreat.  It’s a time for all of the students to get to know each other better, develop new bonds, learn some important life lessons, and have a great time. Here are a couple of the students’ reflections about their experience.

By: Julia D.

This week the whole middle school went to Georgia on a retreat so everybody in the middle school could bond. We stayed at Camp Ramah Darom in the Georgia mountains. We went to do Whirlyball, rollerskating, and ziplining. My favorite thing that we did was ziplining. As well as having fun, we also learned many new things. We learned about the problems in Israel, taking responsibility for your own actions, and having empathy for other people.

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The problem in Israel is getting pretty bad. People are beginning to call it the third intifada. Palestinians and the Israeli people have never gotten along well. Both groups really want Israeli land. The Israeli people have tried to make deals with the Palestinians where they would both share the land, but the Palestinians want all of it. The problem in Israel is that Palestinians are going out on the street with kitchen knives or axes and just trying to kill as many Israelis as they possibly can. It has gotten so bad that the police are now ordered to shoot anybody trying to do this.

Everybody needs to be responsible for their own actions.This is what everybody learned in this educational activity. We were split up into groups to reenact a case that has actually happened. The one my group did was about this boy named Alex. He was in the Junior Honor Society, about to be the class valedictorian, on the basketball team, and was very popular. Because of his popularity, he was invited to many parties. He took a selfie at the party with his girlfriend, but in his hand he had an alcoholic beverage. He was suspended from the basketball team, removed from the Junior Honor Society, and is not the class valedictorian, because he was not responsible for his own actions.

Cursor_and_mjgds___Flickr_-_Photo_Sharing_It is very important to be able to have empathy for another person. We learned this by doing another educational activity. This time, we each took off a shoe and put it in the middle of the room. Morah Eta put a slip of paper in each shoe. We took our shoes back and read our paper slips. Everybody’s slips said an example of something bad that had happened someone. Everybody took turns saying what we could do to help these people.

In conclusion, this year on the retreat, I learned many new things. I learned about Israel, empathy, and taking responsibility for our own actions.I also had a ton of fun doing it!







By: Ben D

Starting on Monday, we went on the Middle School Retreat. We learned about personal responsibility by acting out court cases that all were considered “accidents”. One of them was when someone had received a red card in soccer and punched the referee; he died two days later because of that. He was guilty for murder even though he did not mean to do it.

We also learned about Israel and Palestine, and what is going on there. People are stabbing and shooting Israeli people. It is happening all over Israel to all kinds of people. You can help by spreading the word to friends and family.

We also learned about sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is when you feel sorry for someone. Empathy is when you are standing in someone’s shoes which means thinking how they feel. Empathy is better by meaning you can actually relate to them rather than just feeling bad for them.

My favorite part was ziplining. I had never felt so alive in my life before, it was awesome. There were seven of them. Each were longer and longer until the seventh. The second had us go through a cave, on the sixth it was long, fun, and scary. The seventh was when we were in pairs,and you had to pull the other away from the water.

We also did other activities like roller skating, and pranking each other. What we did was that we made the floor slippery and made the other bunks really stinky. What the girls did was that they put tape on the wall spelling “Girl’s Revenge”, they tied some stuff up, stole things like snacks, and belongings, they set our alarms to 4 AM, fortunately we found out before they went off. Our prank was on the first night, and theirs’ on the second.

We also did something called Whirly-Ball. It is similar to bumper cars except there is a ball that you pick up with lacrosse sticks and you shoot at a target, when done your team gets 2 points. It was fun but we got hurt.

This retreat helped me bond with friends, have fun, and become less dependent on my parents.

By: Jack H

    The middle school as a whole recently went on a retreat to camp Ramah Darom in Georgia. It was very fun; we played a lot of games and learned about a lot of things.

    We learned about what is going on in Israel right now. There has been lots of violence and stabbings by Palestinian people. They would go out on the street with knives and cleavers and kill Israeli people who did nothing. The media has been treating this terribly by putting out headlines like: Cops in Israel have recently shot a Palestinian man who did nothing at all except for stab 10 Israelis. Long story short, it is a very bad situation.Cursor_and_DSC_0075___Flickr_-_Photo_Sharing_

         We learned about empathy. Empathy is when you put yourself in somebody else’s shoes or feel what they feel. What my group did was we took off one of our shoes, and Morah Eta put a slip of paper in it. We took the paper and discussed what we would do if this actually happened. I got, “Somebody in the community recently lost his/her mother/father.” I said that you could comfort them and mourn with them even if you don’t know their parent.

We also role played court cases that were based on true events. My group got a case that was based off a cheerleader who was valedictorian and was on the National Junior Honor Society. She was popular and invited to a lot of parties. At one party she took a beer that was handed to her and took a selfie of her holding it with her cheerleading squad. She was taken off the National Junior Honor Society and suspended from the cheerleading squad for four games. We did not use her however, we used a kid named Alex who was on a basketball team for the case. I was on the prosecuting side and we won. I was the basketball coach who suspended him from the games.

    That was what we learned about on our trip. I had lots of fun in Georgia and made many new friends like Noah G and Jona K. Everyone hung out and did fun activities like Whirlyball and Ziplining.

By: Emily T.

This past week our middle school went to Ramah Darom for a four day retreat. Every year the middle school does this to bond with people that we probably wouldn’t bond with at home. On the retreat we do so many fun things like zip lining, roller skating, and so much more. Even though we had many fun things, we also had very serious conversations.

Cursor_and_Pictures_-_stephanie_teitelbaum_mjgds_org_-_Martin_J__Gottlieb_Day_School_MailOne of the discussions we had was about Israel. In Israel there has been so many terrorist attacks, killing many of people. Palestinians risk their own lives, just to kill Jews. People even think it is the third Intifada. Even on headlines on the news they are on the Palestinians side. “Two Palestinians killed after attack,” was a headline on an article on CNN. In the title, people would think that two Palestinians were killed. Although, if you read the article, you’ll see that the two Palestinians were shot after they attacked soldiers with knives.

Cursor_and_Pictures_-_stephanie_teitelbaum_mjgds_org_-_Martin_J__Gottlieb_Day_School_Mail 2People need to know about what is happening in Israel. We were talking about putting something on social media, handing out flyers or stickers, and even communicating with people about it. We might not stop the attacks, but we will have people knowing more about what is happening so all together we can do something.


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