Archive for February, 2013

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Building Kehillah (Community) at Kallah

Koach Kallah 2013

To understand the following blog post about my Jewish weekend at the University of Pennsylvania, there are some basic things I must first define:

    Within Judaism, there are many different denominations. These separations go from Re-Constructionist Judaism to ultra-Orthodox. KOACH is the college outreach program of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.  In a way, it is an extension of Camp Ramah and USY programs designed for elementary through high school aged students.  Problems with funding and organization make it hard to truly define what KOACH is as compared to Ramah and USY both of which are known and well established. As of now, KOACH has only eight college-campus interns throughout the U.S. (I am one of them), and KOACH hosts one yearly convention…
    It came to my attention that kallah is not specifically related to KOACH in general, but is a term that has been used since the Babylonian captivity (thank you Wikipedia!).  Though traditionally referring to a convention of teachers, the word kallah is thought to be derived from the Aramaic word meaning “totality.”  My interpretation of this translation means that a kallah is a convention bringing an entirety of a community, of people, together for some higher purpose. In the case of KOACH Kallah, we were all brought together to strengthen the present and future foundations of Conservative Judaism.

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