Tel Yehudah Stories

Alec Deborin

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My experiences as a camper in Havurah made the summer of 2010 one of the best of my life. I met life-long friends and while I left the camp in body, I would also forever be a part of the culture and spirit of TY. The memories and experiences I made not only help me find and solidify my Russian Jewish identity, it also made me a better and more thoughtful human being. Camp Tel Yehudah was not simply a “place” anymore, it become a sacred ground close to everyone’s heart. It was the site of the greatest staff, awesome activities, and the best friends anyone could ask for. Believing in the idea of TY and all the fun that came with it, I yearned to come back.

I became a madrich (counselor) this summer to relive and to pass on the magic for next generation of kids coming through the gates of TY. I’ve been so fortunate to get to know so many amazing kids this summer, and I’m blessed to be passing on the traditions and fun of Havurah and Camp TY. What’s so special about the Havurah program, especially, is that kids come from similar backgrounds, cultures, and traditions. I was never with such a large amount of Russian Jewish teenagers before joining Havurah and I loved every bit of it. Although Camp TY is a Jewish Zionist camp, it also highlighted my Russian heritage. As a counselor of this innovative program, I get to see campers experiencing the same Russian-Jewish education, fun, and bonding that I was once was exposed to as a camper. And for that, I am honored and grateful for the opportunity TY made by including me in their staff this summer!

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