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What We Do

This program introduces Tevila as a sacred ritual in which to experience and reflect upon the profound changes of adolescence.   Camp counselors and staff will be trained in creating Tevila ceremonies for their campers and given a toolbox full of skills with which to recreate the curriculum with their campers.  Tevila baTeva presents the ritual of Tevila and the practice of Mikvah from a body-positive angle, while showing and modeling respect for privacy.  This is a bathing suit ON activity!

The only requirements are a body of water and abundant creativity.

Participants in Tevila baTeva trainings will:
Wrestle with texts about the power of water in Judaism and learn about how immersing in either an indoor Mikvah or a natural body of living water connects a body to the Source of Life.  Key concepts include water and nature in traditional Jewish sources, the water cycle of the planet, and the exploration of embodied Judaism.

Construct a sacred space out of resources they find in their natural environment.  Examples could include a tallit, branches or sheets.  They will create a temporary structure that provides privacy and that delineates a sacred space during an immersion.

Sing blessings for immersion in Hebrew and English and incorporate the text into their structure via their choice of methods (calligraphy, wood carving, silk screening, etc).  A camp art specialist could participate in the implementation of the design and a music specialist could compose a melody for the blessings.

Experience the essence of Tevila—marking a transition from one state to another by immersing in living water—and will connect this to other Jewish concepts of liminality and separation (Shabbat from the rest of the week, kosher from non-kosher, holy from not holy, etc).

Engage in group dialogue about transitions in adolescence that can be celebrated with a Tevila ceremony.  They may include birthdays, anniversaries of a bar/bat mitzvah, going from camp back to home, beginnings or endings of a certain period of one’s life.  Tevila can be understood as something that a Jewish person does to celebrate a simcha or to find strength during a difficult time, and relevant moments will be discussed.

A primary goal of Tevila baTeva is to impart the understanding that the body is holy and sacred while maintaining respect and modesty surrounding immersions.  Although construction of an enclosure is an important part of this project, the underlying message is that the body itself is a ritual object.