Israel. Zionism. Torah Va’Avodah. Aliyah. These words represent the unique mission of Camp Moshava and its affiliate youth movement, Bnei Akiva.
When campers ride through the gates of Camp Moshava, they enter an environment whose essence is defined by history. Not just by the camp’s own history, which dates back to 1939, but by 100 years of modern Zionist history, and by 3000 years of Jewish history.
At Camp Moshava, campers don’t learn Jewish history, they live it. Campers eat in tents like Avraham Avinu did. They walk through the desert to receive the Torah at Har Sinai. They carve out the Burma Road and deliver food and supplies to Jerusalem. They await the United Nations vote to create the State of Israel. And they grapple with challenges Israel faces today.
At the same time, campers learn the inextricable link between Eretz/Medinat Yisrael, the Jewish People, and our rituals, tefilot, and traditions. They learn the ideology of Torah Va’Avodah: that building the Jewish nation includes every task, from the mundane to the sacred. That each member of the Jewish people must contribute to the greater community. That our obligation to our people comes before our obligation to ourselves.
Torah Va’Avodah remains as critical today as it was at Bnei Akiva’s inception in 1929, when Zionist pioneers were building up the land of Israel. It remains the perfect balance for a healthy religious life that integrates ritual practice, Torah study, and communal commitment. Thousands of olim, and many roshei yeshivot, Jewish community leaders, and even members of Knesset, have their roots in Torah Va’Avodah, in Bnei Akiva and Camp Moshava.
At Camp Moshava, Jewish observance, Zionism, and Israel leap out of the classroom and into campers’ lives. This is the place where Moshe Rabbeinu, Theodore Herzl, and Rav Kook come together every day. This is the place where campers have a great time and develop lifelong friendships while learning and living Jewish history. This is the experience that stays with them for a lifetime.