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Tel Yehudah Stories

Luana Turovskaya

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I began my journey at TY in Havurah in 2009. Coming into camp, I had very limited exposure to Jewish education and the only Russian teens I knew were the ones I encountered when I came to weekly dinners at my parents friend’s house. Upon arriving, I was ridiculously excited to see so many kids my age that had the same background! In this comfortable environment, I opened up my heart and my mind and began to absorb Jewish education that my incredible madrichim had presented to me in an interactive way. I returned the next year, mainly to be with the Russian Jewish kids again but also to continue my Jewish education. I made lasting friendships and discovered new things about myself and my religion and background. Camp was a major contributor to the pride I have today about my background.

After camp, I was inspired to continue with my Jewish education. In 2010, I traveled to Israel for the first time with my mother and grandmother to meet a lot of my family. It was amazing to see all the places I learned about in camp. I became involved with an orthodox youth group that focused on Jewish education for Russian speaking youth, and later went back to Israel for an entire month. In college I became involved with Hillel, and was so excited to be offered the chance to work at camp. Now after working at camp, I can feel how the curriculum continues to change and grow. It really does engage campers even more and plants a seed of curiosity in them that is just waiting to blossom!

Working as staff is very different from being a camper. The whole principle of dugma ishit (setting a personal example) really applies! The most nourishing part of all of this is that I can feel myself making an impact on the kids and helping them become the leaders of tomorrow.

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