As you may know, I am a member of the Camp Tel Yehudah Board of Directors. But, more significantly, I am a TY alum and now a parent of one too.
Despite a decades-long absence from the YJ and TY community, it's remarkable how quickly one is reminded of the power of TY and how much it has shaped the person I am today. It took only a few conversations with David Weinstein and a few TY and YJ board members to remember how formative this experience really was for me. And, over the past three summers, I witnessed the impact it had on my daughter, Cara.
I am writing today because we need to make sure the opportunities that Cara and I had, decades apart, are always available to Jewish teens here in the U.S. and beyond.
The foundation of TY's growth plan is to increase the programmatic scope of what we offer at camp, and to continue to build enrollment each summer. The last two summers have been a success, with enrollment numbers up for the summer of 2015.
With increased enrollment comes the opportunity for new and innovative programming, as well as scholarship resources. In addition to the standard TY camp fare, such as leadership training, discourse on hot topics related to Israel, social action and some plain ol' fun in the form of trips outside camp, some of the TY highlights include:
- A unique program for kids of Russian speaking Jewish families (called Havurah) that is in its seventh year, and that has received several awards for excellent community building and programming among a particularly disconnected part of the Jewish community
- Programs about to be implemented that will truly make TY a global Jewish community including a dramatic increase in the number of campers coming from Israel and the UK
- A brand new leadership program which will train the next generation of madrichim for all Young Judaea summer camps
In our efforts to keep camp affordable, we have not raised tuition for this coming summer. However, we will still need to raise over $100,000 to keep Tel Yehudah within reach of all of our Jewish teens.
It would mean a lot to me if you would consider making a year-end donation to our Give Thanks Campaign benefiting the Tel Yehudah Tuition Assistance Fund and extend the light of Hanukkah through to Summer 2015.
Warm wishes for a healthy and prosperous year ahead.