As the current New Jersey president of Young Judaea, I was ecstatic when I read the June 19 article “Youth movement had lifelong impact, says former leader.” It was great to read about Young Judaea’s history as a movement. However, I felt that as detailed as the article was about past Young Judaea accomplishments, it did not emphasize the current nature of the nationwide movement.
Just as Mr. Dworkin’s teenage years were shaped by Young Judaea, so too does the movement thrive today in shaping the lives of America’s Jewish youth into Zionist leaders.
Our summer camps and Israel programs still help thousands of American Jewish youth build a stronger connection to the state of Israel.
Even during these trying economic times, New Jersey Young Judaea holds many national and local events year round throughout the state. We hold programs from national conventions and an alternative winter break to local Jewpardy (Jewish Jeopardy) or a Memorial Day BBQ.
As Mr. Dworkin said, the unique beauty of Young Judaea is its peer leadership. I and my mazkirut, the executive board, are thrilled to have the power as trained teenagers to create fun and educational events for our peers and kids younger than we are.
Like Mr. Dworkin, I started my Young Judaea career in Camp Sprout Lake at age 8. I used to be one of the Judaeans who only went to camp and disregarded the movement during the school year. However, as one who recently became involved in year round Young Judaea, I sincerely encourage every kid and parent to try Young Judaea once – I promise they will fall in love with this unique, pluralistic, Zionist movement.
If your readers have questions about New Jersey Young Judaea or local events, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.