Dear Tel Yehudah Parents:
I wanted to take a personal moment to thank you for deciding to send your teens to Tel Yehudah this summer. I know there are lots of exciting choices out there for teens these days and lots of other ways to spend your money. In these challenging times for Israel, the Jewish People and the world, Tel Yehudah is a home and a community where our teens can feel safe, make great friends, delve into the difficult topics of the day, engage with real Israelis, and commit themselves (still) to the old Young Judaea theme song - Ani V'ata Neshana et Haolam. "You and I WILL change the world" As we watch the difficult news each day, it's simply amazing that the community we build this summer will STILL be one of optimism and empowerment. I am already excited about the upcoming summer and being surrounded by staff and teens who are truly committed to the Jewish future.
My wife Amy and I met in Young Judaea and our first conversation was in the field at TY so many years ago. Our oldest daughter, Mika, is currently on Young Judaea's Year Course in Israel program. We worry sometimes as we read the news 10 times a day. We worry about her and her friends and all of our TY staff who live in Israel. We worry about our country and all of its inhabitants. BUT we remember that WE share the responsibility for Israel's future. And one way we do that is by deeply connecting the Jewish people with Israel. That is what we do at TY every summer - we create lifelong commitment and engagement with Israel. We don't all agree on politics or religion in Israel nor on the best place to get humus. But we build the commitment that will be critical if the Jewish People and Israel will remain inextricably linked. I hope that each of our campers will feel that same sense of responsibility as they spend time at camp. In just three weeks, Amy, Kira (our younger daughter and TY camper) and I, are off to visit Mika and, while we worry, we are so excited to see her and to be home with our friends and family all over the country.
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude for your support of Tel Yehudah and of Israel. I feel so very blessed to be a part of THIS community at THIS time.
May this be a healthy and happy Thanksgiving for you, your family and for Israel.
Director, Camp Tel Yehudah