Friday, July 6, 2018

All Hands on Deck: Fingerprint Mosaics at Camp Newman

You may have already read the whole story – how this summer at URJ Camp Newman my wife (Rabbi Shawna B2) and I led campers in the creation of new tallitot (prayer shawls) for the camp, one session at a time.

Each tallit is a fingerprint mosaic, where each camper had a chance to add their personal mark. The idea was that fingerprints are personal, but combined together they create a mosaic-like pattern, creating a communal work rather than an individual one — and that it would take the fingerprints of the whole eidah (session) to create a finished work. (And a big thank-you to Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, who worked with us on all of these talliot!)

If you haven't read that post, please go check it out on the camp blog: But here's something the post  doesn't have: pictures of all of the finished tallitot, which we're pleased to share here.

Avodah is dedicated to community involvement and social justice,
so their tallit is a rainbow flag they took to the 2018 Pride Festival

Tzofim's tallit is a Jerusalem skyline, complete with turrets and archways.

Rishonim is out "nature" session, so they made a tree – with a branch for each of their twelve "tribes."

Bogrim made the seven species: grapes, dates, wheat, barley, figs, olives, and pomegranates.

The CITs are celebrating "C-CHAI-T" this year so their handprints surround a chai, with advisors' hands blessing them from the sides. (This shot is the ALMOST-done tallit; we were waiting for two late arrivals to complete it.)
Hagigah's tallit is an abstract representation of waves,
in honor of Camp Newman's first summer "by the bay."
Faculty and staff made a tallit as well – "Miriam's Well," with a quote from Amos 5:24:
"Let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

And if you want more information on what we can do with your community, check us out on the web at

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