Common Hebrew terms we use at CYJ and their meanings

posted by on Nov 8, 2019


At CYJ, we like to use Hebrew words to replace common English terms. This small habit brings the sounds and rhythm of the Jewish state to camp, bringing the experience of Israeli life just that much closer to our hearts.

Keep reading to learn some of the Hebrew terms we use and see if your child remembers any from their time at CYJ!

CHAVERUT – Friendship

At CYJ, we have the Chaverut, or friendship, period every morning. This is a chance for kids to choose programs with their counselors that they can enjoy with their bunk. They could spend more time at the zip lines, doing craft projects, or even having a water fight! It’s called Chaverut because it promotes bonding and building new friendships. 

AIDAH – Large Groups

For many activities at CYJ, we divide campers into age groups of all genders called Aidot. But we’ve also found that combining several Aidot into a larger Aidah makes for an incredible dynamic. The bunks in an Aidah share their Tefillot (prayers) and evening activities, but the afternoons are when they really become a family. When they’re scheduled for activities they’ve often never tried, the group ends up relying on each other as they learn and explore. They laugh together, discover new talents together, and impress each other with their skills and drive. By the end of the session, they know each other well enough to be siblings!

CHUGGIM – Electives

On the first day of camp, campers get to decide how they want to spend their free time from a list of electives, or Chuggim, we provide. This is when campers get to make crafts, play basketball, learn gymnastics, or go fishing. 

NIKAYON – Cleaning Time

You might have heard about this one in a letter from camp. When you live in a communal space, cleanliness should be a group effort. We emphasize this every day before lunch, when each bunk gets together to clean their cabin during Nikayon, or cleaning time

MENUCHA – Rest Hour

Menucha, or rest hour, is a time after lunch each day when the campers and counselors go back to the cabin to have some quiet time. This is when campers receive letters and write home. They have a chance to read a book, listen to music, or play quietly with their friends. Or if they’re tired from the day’s fun activities, Menucha makes for a perfect naptime!