Song sessions

Group of campers mid-song

A joyful scene

To see what pure joy looks like, you don’t need to look any further than a song session in the third week of camp. By that point in the summer, the community feels like a huge family.

The kids are completely at ease, being their truest selves. For the staff, the friendships are rock solid. The youngest camper knows the oldest staff member and everyone in between. And by the third week, every last person in camp has memorized the words to our songs.

Group of campers and staff mid-song
Young female camper holding hands and singing

What do our song sessions look like?

Just as a particular meal comes to an end, a camper looks up and notices a song leader plugging in her guitar. She quietly hums a melody. A few voices chime in from around the room. Another song leader appears. The humming turns into words. The song starts getting louder. Some campers drum a beat on their tables.

Pretty soon, the entire camp is buzzing. The campers are jumping up and down with pure joy, singing their hearts out. The kitchen staff have left the kitchen and they’re dancing with their arms around each other’s shoulders. The counselors have started a conga line. Everywhere you look, it’s smiles from ear to ear.

It takes a couple weeks for camp to get there, but once it does, the community becomes pure magic.

We like to pass along our most popular camp songs before the summer starts so our new staff feel right at home when they arrive to camp, and so our returning staff remember the starry nights by Hickory Lake.     

We sing lots of songs you’ll already know, like “Lean on me by Bill Withers, “One Day by Matisyahu, and “I’m yours by Jason Mraz.

We also sing songs you might only hear at camp, like “Od Yavo Shalom” (until there is peace), “Brich Rachamana” (a post-meal song of joy and gratitude in Aramaic), and the official Camp Zeke song!

Our very own Cantor Melanie Blatt, one of the most talented song leaders in all of Jewish camp, made a couple videos of our harder-to-find camp songs so everyone can learn them before camp starts.  The lyrics are below. Enjoy!

View camp video #1 View camp video #2

Lyrics

Od yavo shalom aleinu (Let there be peace among us)

Od yavo shalom aleinu

Od yavo shalom aleinu

Ve al kulam (x2) (and everyone)

Salaam (Peace)

Aleinu ve al kol ha olam, (Peace among us and the whole world)

Salaam, Salaam (x2) (Peace, peace)

I am strong – Koach! (strong)
I am proud – Ga’ave! (proud)
Stand with me – B’yachad! (together)
Sing out loud – B’kol! (one voice)

We grow faster, we grow stronger than we ever thought we could
Here at Zeke our minds and bodies and our souls are understood
With great friends and great adventures healthy living is a blast
I only with that my time here at Camp
Zeke would last….foreverrrr….

3. Brich Rachamana – Aramaic
Brich rachamana malka d’alma ma’arey d’hai pita (x2) (Blessed is the Compassionate One, Ruler of the Universe, Source of this Food)
Na na na na na na, na na na na na (x2) English: Na na na na na

Brich rachamana malka d’alma ma’arey d’hai pita (x2) (Blessed is the Compassionate One, Ruler of the Universe, Source of this Food)
Na na na na na na, na na na na na (x2) English: Na na na na na

Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho
Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho
Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho

Adama Veshamayim
Chom Ha’esh
Tzlil hamayim

Ani margish zot begufi
beruchi, benishmati

Ani margish zot begufi
beruchi, benishmati

Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho
Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho
Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho

Love the earth
Love the sky
Heat of fire
Sound of water
I can feel it in my body,
in my spirit, in my soul.

Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho
Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho
Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Heya Ho

Ameh, Ameh, Ameh Yisrael Chai
Ameh, Ameh, Ameh Yisrael Chai
Ameh, Ameh, Ameh Yisrael Chai

Ohhh Ohhh Od Avinu Chai
Ohhh Ohhh Od Avinu Chai
Ohhh Ohhh Od Avinu Chai

Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Wow Wow Wow

Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Wow Wow Wow

Hinai matov umanaim shevet achim gam yachad
How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this day

Hinai matov umanaim shevet achim gam yachad
How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this day

Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Wow Wow Wow

Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Wow Wow Wow

Hinai matov umanaim shevet achim gam yachad
Hinai matov umanaim shevet achim gam yachad

Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Eeeeh Ohhh Ohhh
Wow Wow Wow

How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this lovely day
How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this day
How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this lovely day
How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this day

Our campers have made thousands of friendships, millions of memories, and lifelong skills in athletics, cooking, and joyful Judaism. We are proudly supported by:

  • Jewish Camp
  • Jim Joseph Foundation
  • Avi Chai
  • UJA Federation
  • The Jewish Education Project

We are fully accredited by the American Camp Association