We are excited to share Jonathan Fox’s article about Tel Yehudah! A TY parent and writer for New Jersey Jewish News, Jonathan Fox describes his experience dropping his son off at Tel Yehudah last week while exploring the values of community, pluralism, and Zionism. This insightful (and humorous!) piece touched our hearts.
“Although this is my son’s third summer at Tel Yehudah (TY), it occurred to me that I had never visited the place. So last week I took the morning off from work and drove him up to Barryville, N.Y., to drop him and his enormous duffel bags off for the first session and to see for myself Young Judaea’s national teen leadership camp.
The loudspeakers were blaring the same playlist of Israeli pop that I hear at events at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy (JKHA), the Modern Orthodox yeshiva in Livingston which my son attended until eighth grade and his brother still attends. On the outside wall of TY’s chadar ochel (dining hall), a large colorful mural included biblical verses, in Hebrew and English, describing the Land of Israel and its seven agricultural species. It wasn’t any different from the hand-painted banners with Land of Israel verses that decorate the walls of the gym at the Jewish Educational Center, the Orthodox day school in Elizabeth, where I’ve watched the Kushner Cobras take on the JEC Thunder in floor hockey. There should be nothing surprising about these similarities, and yet, the commonalities were a terrific reminder of the reasons my wife and I choose to send our kids to Young Judaea summer camps. Read on.