With our annual #IHeartTY month beginning in just a few days, we will be featuring new #TYLoveStories each week in February. But now is an opportunity to read previous #TYLoveStories
We always say Camp Tel Yehudah will be here for you no matter what and here's a story to prove it:
By Stu Stein:
I grew up in YJ camps, but after years as a camper and even more as a staff member I still hadn’t met Ms. Right. So, when I got the opportunity to go back to camp at 30 while making a career change I jumped at the chance to take one more crack at finding my true love along the banks of the Delaware. Before camp, I wanted to stack the deck in my favor and I asked Seth Schwartz, the Director, and Lisa Samick, the Rosh Machaneh, if there were going to be any women at camp at my age. Lisa mentioned “Lisa Wolk" -- and then they both looked at each other and shook their heads and said “nah". Had “How I Met Your Mother” been on the air in 2000, I would have replied “Challenge accepted”.
Ironically enough, Lisa Wolk and I both got to camp on the same day as we both spent the previous night in Baltimore at weddings. I left my wedding at midnight, drove up to camp, still in my tuxedo, took a nap along the way and walked down to the Chadar Ochel. Lisa arrived a few hours later (a harbinger of things to come - she was late on the day we met, she was late arriving to YJ -she grew up in USY, and she’s been late ever since…) she introduced herself, took a look at my tux and suggested that I was “a bit over dressed for camp”. Well, I wasn’t overdressed four years later when I wore the same tux at our wedding…true love along the Delaware had finally arrived, late, but well worth the wait.
Time to go down memory lane..
By Dov Wilker:
It was the summer of the millennial (Y2K), my first summer as a madrich and my cousin Peri Kaplan (nee Bombart) told me to meet Julie Jacobson. She was the older woman who stole my heart, but I was getting ready to go on Year Course (and had another girlfriend). Little did we know that after being co-madrichim that summer for Alumim, it would take two years for Julie to realize how in love with me she was smile emoticon. But really, it was my hair cut after my day off that sealed the deal a couple of years later in 2002. Since then, we got married, lived in Israel twice (!), made Aliyah, have been back to visit TY and birthed a little Zionist (and future TY camper!)
By Scott Copeland:
Ronit Tuchman and I met at a regional convention when David Weinstein and I were on the National Mazkirut. On Year Course, I basically bugged her until she agreed to go out with me… and the rest is history. The summer before we made Aliyah in October '87, Ronit came up to camp to visit me. I was Machon Merekez in Bet. We went out for dinner at Rebers – sat by the lake and as Van Morrison was playing in the background – I proposed… We had already decided to get married – but you know – you gotta have a nice proposal!.
Read Marvin & Debbie Lackowitz Crane's story of life, love, aliyah, and so much more...that all started on the road at Tel Yehudah!
"My wife Debbie grew up in YJ Brooklyn in the “60’s”. It was a time of intense upheaval in the US. But YJ in this period was probably at its highest membership level with clubs all over. I lived in Union NJ, where our region had hundreds of members and a vast number of clubs. Deb and I both attended Tel Yehudah in the heyday of Mel Reisfeld and other iconic madrichim of that era.
We meet in TY on the road by Hill House in July 1966 when she was in Machon, and I worked in the Kitchen. We both spent August in Machane Avodah where our friends thought it would be cute to make us Sadrani Avodah, (work managers). Together we spent our first night on Guard, shared our first kiss, and the rest is history."
Check out the rest of Marvin and Debbie's tale, including life in Israel (through multiple wars), three children who all grew up in Young Judaea and attended Tel Yehudah, and even a few grandchildren who might just be coming up the ranks soon, too!
Lauren and I met at CYJ Midwest in 1991, but she was a few years younger so I didn't really notice her until we were at TY in 1997 (when this photo was taken). We would see each other from time to time, fairly often when I was National Senior Advisor and Lauren would staff conventions, and once or twice when she came to visit TY while I was Assistant Director.
When I saw Lauren in Houston in 2005, where we were attending the same conference, I found myself making excuses to keep running into her. I was a little worried that Lauren was still upset because I took a very long time to get her a paycheck for a convention she staffed for YJ back in 2001, but it seemed like she was making excuses to run into me, too.
We found this photo during my first visit to Lauren's parents' home in Ann Arbor. We also found quite a few blurry photos of me from CYJ that looked like they were taken secretly from far away. Lauren confessed that these were evidence of a crush she carried from the time she was a camper.
Lauren and I were married in January of 2009, a year after I took the job as director of CYJ Midwest. Our time together each summer at CYJ Midwest is extra special. We've even made it up to Tel Yehudah together a few times (we tried, unsuccessfully, to re-create this photo).
Our twins turned one year old this week, and they will be starting their second summer at CYJ in a few months. We're hoping to get them up to Tel Yehudah before 2028 (though they will surely be at Tel Yehudah in 2028 as campers!).