From Camper to Builder

“During my first summer at Tel Yehudah, I realized for the first time that the world is bigger than me and the people around me – that we are connected to a Jewish history stretching back thousands of years, and to people living thousands of miles away (in Israel) whom I had never met"

Teddy Collage (L) Teddy at TY in 2003; (R) Teddy in Israel today

Teddy Dov Fischer is an engineer working on one of the biggest projects in Israel – a light rail system that will transform the way people get around in Tel Aviv. And being a camper at Tel Yehudah, he says, is what set him on the path that eventually led to his playing a key role in the development of Israel’s largest city.

“Being a leader in Young Judaea helped me hone skills that have helped me in the ‘real’ or working world – picking up the phone and making a call, organizing and speaking to a large group, planning talks and lectures, and much, much more,” recalls Teddy, who describes himself as an “Engineer, Rap Connoisseur, Pancake Specialist, and Zionist.”

Being in Young Judaea also gave Teddy a supportive network. “When I made aliyah four years ago, all of my contacts and friends in Israel were from Young Judaea – Israelis who had been at camp as part of the mishlachat or other Judaeans who had already made aliyah,” Teddy says.

My time in Young Judaea also helped me become an organizer of communities,” Teddy says. And he put those skills to good use: after making aliyah, he helped form a Zionist book club, an egalitarian minyan, and an environmental meet-up group for English speakers. “Through Young Judaea, I learned that wherever you are, you can work to make the Jewish state and the Jewish people stronger.”

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