Jewish Federation hosts Members, Friends, Campers for July 4 event at Temple – Oklahoma City Sentinel

Posted By on July 6, 2024

Oklahoma City -- On July 4 Eve, the Jewish Federation of Oklahoma City hosted an Independence Pool Party providing food and fun for Members, Friends, Families.

The event drew many youngsters and parents participating in a venerable local tradition, Camp Chaverim, will (like the pool party) is held at Temple B'Nai Israel.

The party featured delicious Kosher meats (hot dogs and hamburgers) with ice cream and other treats (including Gluten Free "Flax" Brownies for those with allergies to wheat.

The camp's programming varies from week to week, but features physical activity in the campus gynasium, swimming in a well-ap-ortioned pool, outdoor activities, arts/crafts and other activities. Chaverim means "friends" in Hebrew.

Camp Chaverim is a beloved annual summer institution in central Oklahoma, drawing children (Jewish and non-Jewish) ages 2-14, with youth counselors high school and older and constant adult supervision.

Each week and at the end of the summer camping, the staff hosts guardians, parents, grandparents and other caring adults for a time of sharing, song and celebration, to thank those who support the activities of Camp Chaverim.

Founded in 1941, the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City was originally known as the Jewish Community Council. It has become " an umbrella organization sponsoring a wide variety of educational, cultural, and community outreach programs and services as well as serving as an important safety net for individuals and families in need.

In addition to the camp, the Federation promotes cultural and educational programs, Torah Study, the annual Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Remembrance, education resources, missions to Israel, and social programs.

The host institution for the camp and the annual July 4 event, the Temple, was founded in 1903. On the congregation's website the Temple is characterized as "the thriving center of Reform Judaism in Central Oklahoma. We are an inclusive, divese congregation, welcoming all who wish to worship, study and develop cultural and social ties" in that tradition.

Each summer, the Temple hosts a visit from young adults Israeli Scouts who travel the world telling the story of the Nation and People of Israel.

The groups bear names of women and men -- some living, other of beloved memory. Shanker, Blumenthal, Bennett, Korenblit, Rubenstein, Levine, Roodman, Reshef, Price and many more.

The Temple affirms leaders deem "core Jewish values" such as: B'tzelem Elohim- In God's image, Lev Tov/Nedivut - A generous heart and spirit, K'vod Habriyot- Respect for all people, Kehilla Kedosha- Creating a sacred, spiritual community, Torah Lishmah- Lifelong learning, Bakesh Shalom v'Rodefhu- Seek peace and persue it, Brit Olam- Sustaining Jewish Continuity, and Tikkun Olam - Repairing the World.

In the Bible are found the words of Isaiah 56:7: "My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all Peoples."

The preserved original cornerstone from the Temple B'nai Israel in Oklahoma City, resting at an honored place on the campus, bears those sacred words.

NOTES and Disclosure: Pat McGuigan has covered diverse communities of faith and faith-based organizations throughout his career as a journalist, author and educator. A Gentile, he is a dues-paying member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City. He attended many Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, weddings, funerals, Israeli Scout visits, Martin Luther King, Jr. gatherings and a range of Inter-Faith events at Temple B'Nai Israel in Oklahoma City regularly since 1990.

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Jewish Federation hosts Members, Friends, Campers for July 4 event at Temple - Oklahoma City Sentinel

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