Essay 2 - Sarah Levy Gender and Judaism The Gilboa Shuffle...

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Sarah Levy 11/21/04 Gender and Judaism The Gilboa Shuffle I learned sexual freedom at my Jewish summer camp, Machaneh Gilboa. I attended a machaneh associated with Habonim Dror, a Zionist youth movement affiliated with Israel’s labor party. In addition to canoeing, playing soccer, and celebrating Shabbat, we learned how to stage protests and start uprisings. I remember participating in activities where we would lock arms and sit in a circle singing while madrichim would prowl around us, then reach into the middle of the circle and try to break us apart. I went to camp for the first time when I was 12 years old. But perhaps the most educational experience of camp was taking group showers. There were no stalls or curtains, just a row of shower heads in a big, tiled room. Every Friday afternoon, everybody was expected to shower. We would go in order of age, with the youngest kfutsa starting first and the oldest going last. That first summer, I was in Ameylim , the youngest age group. The first time, we filed into the shower area, modestly covering ourselves with our towels. We looked around shyly; no one wanted to go first. Then our madricha , Ellen Friedrichs 1 , entered the bathroom. She looked around. “What’s going on here? Why isn’t anyone in the shower yet? Everyone is waiting on us!” She waited for an answer. No one knew what to say. Ellen shrugged and started stripping. We stared at her in shocked silence as she ripped off her shirt and pants, and finally, nonchalantly, cast aside her bra and underwear.
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