Below are speeches given by our chanichim at the end of Bloc Two this summer. Read about their experiences at TY.
Hi! My name is Miles Dybner and I am in Peleg’s chug in Yachad. I love TV and I am so happy I got to spend the summer with all of you. I’ve learned a lot this year. For example in my Tzofiut elective we tried to make pita. Whether or not it succeeded is up for debate. In Yachad we learn about Jewish pluralism and what it means to be a Jew. TY does a great job of accommodating this, from helping the kids who asked for the 16th of Tammuz to accommodating for people who have never prayed in their entire lives. Another thing I loved about this Yachad year was meeting teens from all over the country. In Alumim you only really meet people from the Northeast. But now, I have friends from all over the country like ri in Colorado, Ari in Chicago, Justice in Georgia, Avram in Maryland, Hallie in Texas, and Rose from Boston. I’ve had a blast at camp, whether it was trivia in Maccabiah, playing Ultimate Frisbee with my friends, or everyone teasing me about my choice to read a book about Jewish Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia. I’m so grateful for TY and the YJ movement for giving me the opportunity to experience these important memories that I will remember forever! These special moments are what makes TY and YJ unique. My hope for the movement is that we continue to make these cherished moments a reality. I can’t imagine my life without TY and YJ and I am so excited for what the future brings to the table. Le’tiferet Machane Tel Yehudah and Mediant Yisrael.
Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Krro Aronson. I am in Tay’s chug in Yachad and I am 15 years old. This summer was my first at TY and it was a great experience. I’ve learned a lot about how I view Judaism and how I identify with it. Through the past 4 weeks, we’ve talked a lot about our experiences with our respective forms of Judaism and ways we’ve faced anti-semitism. I learned that a lot of people don’t have the freedom to show their Judaism in public. I am lucky because I have the privilege to walk down the street, chai out, and I don’t have to worry about being harassed on the street. There is still anti-semitism in my town, but I was able to evade it by going to a small public charter instead of the main school. I am so fortunate to have a good support system, and that group of friends has only grown since coming to camp. I found a group of kids for my mental and physical help. During Covid, I hit a really rough point in my life. I was doing bat mitzvah prep and I had just moved across the country from Houston, Texas to middle of nowhere New Hampshire, AKA Keene, the place where Stu Stein went to college. Small world! Anyway, when my Kesehr year at camp was canceled, I was heartbroken. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Then, a year later, camp re-opened. Knowing I’d go to camp was a light at the end of the dark tunnel that was 2020 & 2021. Camp continues to be that light for me. In a few years, I’ll come back to TY as a counselor, and I hope I’ll make campers feel as happy at camp as I did and do. I am so thankful that TY and CYJ Texas have been a part of my life. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am without it. Thank you to the people I’ve known since I was 7 and to the friends I made this year. Thank you to the counselors of my past (looking at your Barak) and to the ones that keep me safe now.
M: We’re Matthew Levy and Nathan Ginsberg. We’ve been going to camp together for almost ten years. During this time together we have both found a unique love for camp.
N: My love for camp stems from the connection I have made to the community of Young Judaea and those a part of it. During my time with Young Judaea I have learned the majority of the skills that have helped me thrive both socially and professionally.
M: I fell in love with not the organization of Young Judaea but the people. Through my years of going to both CJ and TY, I have met so many people that I would never have gotten to. One of those people was Nathan.
N: We met on the first day of camp in 2016 and have been best friends ever since. This friendship grew through our experiences at CJ and now through our time here at TY. FInding people from different camps and connecting with them has been one of the highlights of my time at TY. During our time in Hadracha we have developed our leadership in a way we can carry into our time as staff.
M: We put our leadership skills to use yesterday at Tzedakah Palooza, where we became leaders and utilized the skills we learned in DC. We could not have gained the leadership skills that we did without our amazing merekez Aran. He has shown great leadership skills as not only a single parent to 14 beautiful 6B campers but also as the merekez of his chug.
N: We would like to thank all of the staff and in-bunk counselors for making this summer as special as possible.
Hi, my name is Ethan and this is my second year in YJ. Last year, my friends Arron and Nate brought me to TY for Yachad year and I fell in love with the place. I had the amazing bunk of B7 and now to 7B. I feel like camp is the only place in the world where you can meet people and know them for only a month and still become better friends with them than any person you know from at home. No one in my family has ever been related to Young Judaea and I am glad to say I have started a new tradition in my family for my future. I’m now in Hadracha and we have used our pst four weeks to learn about our tikkun olam groups. At the start we voted on our topics and I chose anti-semitism. Our amazing counselor Aran that ran this group helped us do in depth research on the causes of anti-semitism and how we can stop it. During trip week, we went to Washington D.C. and lobbied with Senators and Congressman about our topics, attempting to get them to sign bills and acts that help our cause. This entire Hadrracha experience is really what I love about Young Judaea, the opportunity to make a change for our world and advocate for topics we’re truly passionate about. The idea of teen leadership is one that can be completely misinterpreted but Hadracha in Young Judaea is a perfect example of how it should be. Thank you, Young Judaea, for this amazing experience you gave me. I’ll never forget this and the people that I met here.
Hi everyone! My name is Nell, I’m in Sara’s chug, in Bunk 4B. This is my first year at camp in my life and it’s been one of the ebay experiences. I was originally looking for a sleepaway camp to go to and my cousins (shout out levones) recommended coming to Tel Yehudah. It took a little convincing and I have to give a shout out to Emma dn Amalya for staying on FaceTime with me, a random girl, asking questions about their camp. Anyways, fast forward some time, I arrive at camp. I’m a pretty anxious person, as many of you probably know. When I first got to camp, I was overwhelmed. I was worried I would regret coming to camp and that I wouldn’t make friends, or I would be anxious all the time. Now, I leave tomorrow, and I’m up here, in front of all of you, talking about my amazing time at camp. At this camp, I have grown as a person, friend, and activist. When I went to DC, though I didn’t always feel like I was really making a change, I knew I was trying, and that was good enough for me. DC was just one of my highlights of camp. I can’t even start to list off more, but I’ll try. Whether it was DMCs with my friends like Stella or Lana, Noa and Eden making me laugh, or dancing my heart out during Rikkud and losing my voice during Maccabiah, these experiences, as cliche as it sounds, I will never forget. Shout out to my counselors Maya and Natalie for being the best, and always making me feel supported. As someone who often feels alone, this community makes me feel connected and safe. I want to thank everyone for that. I don;t regret any of the experiences at camp. The great, the less great, whatever. I’m grateful for all of it. All the caravan, staying up a little too late, gossip talks, all of it. I’m happy I came here. Thanks to everyone.
I’m Carmel, I’m in Alumim in Noga’s chug. My YJ journey started in 2017 and since then I have formed lifetime connections at camp. I have learned so much about the importance of trust and friendship here. Some of my favorite camp memories have been nights with my bunk mates, Maccabiah, Yom Israel, and trip week bus rides. During those activities my connections with my friends have deepend and I will remember these moments forever. YJ has also deepened my connection with Judaism and Israel. I hope to come back for the next three years, work at Sprout and TY, be on Maz, send my kids here, and continue visiting Israel. I am forever grateful for YJ since it has a special part in my life. Letiferet Machane Tel Yehudah ve medinat Yisrael!