For kids across America, these past few weeks have been the start of something exciting: a new ChillZone season! With over 35 locations from Baltimore to Boston to Manalapan to Bensalem to Hollywood, hundreds of children and teens showed up for opening week. (And that’s not including ChillZone Yerushalayim!)
Chillzone, is an offshoot of TheZone, Oorah’s summer camp, but word spreads a lot further than just Zone campers. Many locations that started with just a handful of attendees last year opened with dozens this year! It’s a movement that is quickly picking up steam, with more communities hosting ChillZone programs every year.
ChillZone is the answer for parents who want their children to learn more about their Jewish heritage in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. With exciting hands-on programming, Yiddishkeit comes alive, enriching the lives of hundreds of youth nationwide. And judging by the effort some children make to be at ChillZone each week, it’s an opportunity they aren’t willing to give up.
The ChillZone program is a vital way for Oorah to keep up its connection with children and their families throughout the year. Boys and girls alike look forward to ChillZone every week for the opportunity to “chill” and learn with friends and Oorah volunteers. Besides the warm atmosphere and learning one-on-one or in small groups, there’s hot pizza and fries, exciting prizes, and activities that make each week fun.
One father told us that his daughter is so excited for ChillZone every week that she chooses her ChillZone outfit at the beginning of the week! As he says, “Kids wake up, go to school, do homework and go to sleep. ChillZone is something exciting for them and an out from school. It is a program that is entirely about the kids. I love that they are learning, there are fun projects, raffles, pizza, soda, candy… I know that they are in good hands and taken care of.”
For kids who are beginning to take on mitzvah observance and adapt a Torah outlook on life, having a place where they can both reinforce and decompress is essential. At ChillZone, they can dive right in, surrounded by like-minded kids and encouraged by enthusiastic volunteers.
Yehudis, a ChillZone volunteer shares: “I walk out every week on a high; I genuinely can’t get enough of it. All types and all stripes just come to bond and grow together, and that feeling just carries me throughout the week. It’s incredible to see volunteers coming in from all over so that they can help make a difference.”