Shalom! My name is Joel Srebrenick and I’m going to be one of the Merakzim for Alumim this summer at Camp Tel Yehudah! After a few great years as a camper here, and a member of the Tsevet for the past four, I’m excited to be back this summer with the TY community. Back in 2006 as a Chanich in Alumim I learned so much about myself as a Jew, a friend, a person, and a leader and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be back here this summer providing that opportunity for our amazing Chanichim this summer here at camp.
I’m currently a student at the University of Maryland in College Park studying Government and Politics and will be graduating next June. I also work during the year with Young Judaea Year Round programs and teach Kindergarten at a Hebrew school in Washington, DC.
Our program in Alumim challenges our Chanichim to look at where we come from and what our people have been through, which makes us who we are as Jews and as a community. By looking through our history, we explore essential questions to our Jewish Identity and how they play a role in the everyday lives of our Chanichim.
So glad to be back here in beautiful Barryville this summer with Alumim again. It’s an amazing feeling to know you have your dream job, even if it is only during the summer.
Privet! My name is Naomi Simanin and I am a Merakezet for Alumim, this is my fifth summer working for Tel Yehudah, and second summer working as a Merekezet. I moved from Petah Tikva, Israel to Potomac, MD at the age of 7. I majored in Speech Pathology and Linguistics at the University of Maryland with a focus on Russian. I’m fluent in three languages, English, Russian and Hebrew.
I’m a huge history buff — ask me about the Royal bloodline of England! — and love learning about the past in order to have a better future. My hobbies include reading, swimming, playing tennis, and arts/craft. I am looking forward to this summer because it’s going to be the best session yet!
Shalom from Barryville! My name is Maya Yair and I am a Yachad Merakezet (unit head) for B3, G7 and G9! This summer marks my 4th year as a staff at member, and the 7th year that I’ve called TY my summer home. I’ve had the pleasure of serving on National Mazkirut, as well as working as an in-bunk madricha (counselor) for two years. I grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey, where I began my journey with Young Judaea as a 3rd grader attending local club events. I could not be happier to be back at camp this summer to sing in the rain, rikud in the sun and help give our chanichim an incredible experience!
I graduated from Binghamton University this past May, where I studied political science and took advanced photography courses. I’ll be leading the Tzilum Intensive and I’m so excited to teach our chanichim how to capture the art of New York City.
This summer is going to be an incredible one; my tzevet (staff) and I have been working so hard, and there is no place that we’d rather be!
A little bit about me – I’m 22 years old, and I recently graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder. I studied political science and Jewish studies, focusing in American government and Israel studies.
I started working at camp in 2010 in the office. Since then, I’ve returned twice as a madricha (counselor) for the yachad age group, and this is my first year as a merakezet (supervisor). I was a camper here several years back, I went on Machon, a 5 week Israel trip in 2009 and went on Young Judaea Year Course, a 9 month gap year program, in 2010/2011. In high school, I was involved in year round Young Judaea, serving on the West Coast mazkirut (board).
I’m so excited for this summer – it has already gotten off on a great start. We’ve gone to the pool, to ropes course, to sports, and all sorts of other fun activities. We’ve talked about what it means to be a member of a community, and we’ve began preparing for our special interest week outside of camp. I am leading the tzedek (justice) intensive, which will be going to New York for four days full of volunteering in the city.
As the first week of camp is already coming to an end, I’m most looking to the first Shabbat to spend time relaxing, appreciating the space around us, talking about Israel, and continuing to get to know the campers in my unit.
Shalom! My name is Hannah Grossman and I am very excited to be working as a merakezet for Yachad this summer! After spending seven amazing summers as a chanicha at Sprout Lake and TY, I enjoyed a tremendous summer on Machon. Soon after I participated on Year Course 06-07! I am overwhelmed to be back at TY this summer to help make this summer the best it can be for your children!
Aside from the many summers I spent at TY, other recent programs in which I have participated have prepared me for the work this session. My degree in Jewish studies from UMass Amherst, the year I spent studying Talmud at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a year of volunteer service with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in India taught me an immense amount about the Jewish tradition and fostered my close relationship to it. In addition to working at YJ camps I spent time working at the Szarvas International Jewish Youth Camp in Hungary and another at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. I am currently entering the second year of an MA program in experiential Jewish education at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
This summer the fantastic Yachad tzevet and I are excited to plunge into a curriculum on Judaism and Community. We will be defining community through multiple lenses, exploring what our responsibilities are to Jewish and non-Jewish communities and discovering the relationship between identity, individuality and community.
Along the same theme of community, in just a couple of weeks Yachad chanichim will be embarking on the various trips connected to their respective intensive program tracks:
- Masa (wilderness and trekking)
- Etgar (health and physical challenge)
- Kayamut (sustainability)
- Tzilum (photography)
- Tzedek (social justice)
While chanichim will spend four intense days either hiking, biking, kayaking, participating in social justice work or exploring the art and meaning of photography they will also be spending significant time in camp with their peers exploring the various intensive themes and creating friendships beforehand.
It has been just a few days since Summer 2014 has begun and it is already clear that this will be an unforgettable summer of fun and growth!
Shalom! My name is Tal Sasson and I’m from Yehud, Israel! I’m so excited to be back here at camp since I was here as a Garin ATID scout in 2009!
I’m excited to begin helping our teens find their identities within the TY community. In Yachad, they’ll have the opportunity to explore their program through various intensive trips, offering them a more comprehensive understanding of Tel Yehudah, their chugim, and themselves.
Looking forward to connecting with our teens and shaping them into one big collective TY community!
My name is Judith Tankel, and I am the Rosh Machane of Aleph! I was born and raised in Dunedin, Florida, but have spent the last 8 years trekking up to New York to spend my summers in wonderful Barryville. I have had the absolute delight of serving as everything from a member of the National Mazkirut, to kitchen staff, to in bunk counselor, to Yachad Merakezet. This summer I look forward to making sure our teens are having the best summer Camp Tel Yehudah has seen yet!
I am a third year law student at the Florida State University College of Law, so you can imagine what a relief it is for me to be out of the classroom and back out into the great outdoors. As a camper I attended both Camp Judaea and Tel Yehudah, and I have two brothers who also grew up in Young Judaea. My favorite part of Young Judaea is watching the teens that I had when I was a madricha (counselor) grow up into incredible Madrichim themselves, and even into supervisors that I get to work right alongside this summer. Our entire tsevet (Staff) this summer is full of ruach (spirit), and I know that they are already making sure the chanichim (participants) are having an amazing time. We’re already off to a great start here at Tel Yehudah!
Shalom from Barryville!
My name is Seth Finkelstein and I am excited to be back home at Tel Yehudah this summer as Rosh Machane Bet. I am a third-generation Judaean and past National Mazkir, and am thrilled to be back in the mix in 2014 helping to lead the Hadracha program.
A few things to note about myself: my favorite Young Judaea songs are “Singing In The Rain” and “Shir L’Shalom,” the Aleph Beit Ha’am is my favorite spot in all of camp, my favorite memory from Young Judaea is when I lit the Maccabia torch on Machon, and I think Adam and Julie Finkelstein are the coolest Judaeans of all time!
Having spent the last 3 years working on campus at Maryland Hillel, it is a great honor to be back at camp and working to inspire the next generation of YJ leaders. There really is no place quite like Tel Yehudah!
Even after Shira Shketa, Rikud, and TY Unplugged with Noah Wilker, our staff still finds the time (and energy) to wish the TY community a Shavua Tov!
Shalom from Camp Tel Yehudah!
I may be a stranger to these shores but I share your passion, commitment, and enthusiasm to generate the next level of Jewish leaders. I am Broude, a Brit, who first interacted with Young Judaea in FZY and joined the TY community back in 2008 when I came for my 1st summer as a Madrich (counselor).
After a long-awaited return to TY last year as Head of Ropes, I will be spending this fantastic summer as Rosh Moomchim. For those who don’t know what that is, I will be managing all of the specialty areas, their tsvatim and the chanichim that participate and appreciate them. Moomchim (specialists) are split between seven departments; Sport (Sports), Chavalim (Ropes), Tsofiut (Scouts), Teva (Nature), Brecha (Pool), Omanut (Art) and Omanuyot (Performing Arts). Each specialty area engages chanichim in new experiences, teaches new skills, builds character, and creates opportunities to share TY and Young Judaea’s vision and values.
Each specialty area is unique and has a mix of creative staff running them. A Moomcheh/ah (specialist) takes up responsibilities of both in-bunk madrichim and moomchim. That means they not only ensure chanichim welfare but also run educational activities for them. Alongside this their priorities are creating and running active, experiencial activities in their specialty field. An in-bunk Mo Moomcheh/ah on a typical day could wake up their Alumim bunk, go to tfillot and then after breakfast run team-work, communication and trust games at low-ropes for 40 Hadracha chanichim, then return to lead a discussion about what Jewish Identity Ethiopian Jews have in Israel in the current political climate.
In this way, specialists hold the key to camp-wide intergration. They meet everyone at camp — from a nervous first year chanich who has never been to camp before to the future Director of Year Course who is finishing their 3rd year at TY in Hadracha.
I believe the experiences that chanichim have in specialty areas shape their character and bring them out of their shell to learn new things about themselves. It all stems from the incredible, outgoing, active puelot, that at this current time are being created by the excellent team of Roshim and Moomchim.
Specialty areas aren’t just a place at TY to have fun, they are the Devek that holds Machane together!
By Judith Tankel, 2014 TY Rosh Machane
This past weekend, some U.S.-based members of the Leadership Team (Merakzim, Roshim, Tochnit Tsevet and Hanhala) for Summer 2014 gathered at Tel Yehudah and started getting ready for the summer! While it was quite a shock (for me at least) to see our camp covered in snow, it was beautiful and great to be back home!
Over the course of the weekend we had a chance to celebrate Shabbat together, but also to discuss a lot of exciting ideas for the rapidly approaching summer. Together, we explored upgrades to specialty area programming and opportunities, discussed ways to improve our daily schedule to fit the needs of our program, got a jump start on staff pre-summer preparations, and just generally discussed how we can make camp better than ever.
It was wonderful to be back at camp and I think I can safely speak for the group that we can’t wait for Summer 2014 to start!
Judith Tankel went to Camp Judaea, Tel Yehudah, Machon in Israel, Year Course, worked at CJ, and has been a TY tsevet member since 2007 as a National Mazkirut member, madricha, kitchen tsevet and Merakezet before joining us in 2014 as our Rosh Machane. We could not be more excited to welcome Judith to TY’s senior staff and cannot wait for another summer of amazing Onegs:)