Adventures in Pioneering: Twenty-Five Years of Habonim Camping Introduction During the past twenty-five years, close

to five generations of youth have participated in the Habonim Camps. The pioneers of Camp Kvutza were imbued with an all-consuming desire for creative Jewish living. They dedicated themselves to a form of society based on principles of self-labor and mutual cooperation. These pioneers transmitted their zeal and vision to succeeding generations of Jewish youth in Habonim who followed in their footsteps. Thus, Camp Kvutza enriched the lives of all who participated in its growth and development. It is correct to say that Camp Kvutza is the basic source of strength for the entire Labor Zionist Movement in America. Today's leaders of Habonim are veterans of Camp Kvutza, as are most of our halutzim in Israel. The leaders and halutzim of tomorrow are at Camp Kvutza today, working, studying, playing - creating their own society of the future. Through these years, much has been written both for Habonim and for the Jewish educational world on this unique form of camping. Many were the deliberations within the movement on the development, expansion, and content of Camp Kvutza. Many were the reactions written by campers while at Kvutza and upon their return to the city. In compiling this collection, we were confronted with the wealth of material which has been accumulated for a quarter of a century, and with varying levels of presentation: from that of a thirteen-year old describing his experiences with childish enthusiasm, to that of a leader enlarging on the principles by which Camp Kvutza will function, to that of educators and community leaders analyzing and evaluating the significance of this departure in Jewish camping. Out of these diverse sources, we have not attempted to create a literary unit, but have presented the material in the differing forms in which it originally appeared. Most of the material included has been gleaned from the Habonim archives: News and Views, Furrows, Haboneh, Menahel, convention reports, and internal organizational and educational bulletins. Many present members of Habonim will no doubt discover herein a world seemingly remote from today's reality. But they will find much which may inspire them and will guide them in their movement activities. Many adult readers who experienced the birth pangs and gradual development of Camp Kvutza in the United States and Canada will no doubt find nostalgia mixed with smiles upon the perusal of the articles. We hope, however, that each reader will find herein something of intimate significance as well as informational value. We want to take this opportunity to thank the Chay Commission, Merkaz Habonim, our editorial committee, the office secretaries, and especially our patrons for making possible the publication of this volume. The Editors Summer, 1957


THE BEGINNING An anniversary is a time of reflection; one retraces the years and comes to the beginning: the first Camp Kvutza. Suddenly all is focused clearly and is full of an inner glow - the beginning. So much comes alive: the haverim, the studies, the camp, the campfire with its songs, but above all, the Kvutza: the living and studying together, a mutual investigation of the problems inherent in the ideals which we held in common. Looking backward, one senses how much importance there was to this beginning, but at that time, there was merely the living together at a Camp Kvutza among the gentle hills of New York State. Today the conception of "idealist" has acquired a strange interpretation, and it may even sound boastful to say that we were an idealistic Jewish youth. But in truth and most sincerely, we tried by our own living to create a new world: a world in which the Jew would live in his own country, the forms of living there to be based on Socialism. At the Camp Kvutza these ideals were most meaningful. They guided and directed our lives. It was very hard for we were going against the stream. American Jewish living surrounded us. It was the time of the depression, the economic collapse after 1929. All around us the youth was concerned with jobs, with making a livelihood. Yet we, the tiny group of Poale Zion youth, were far away from all that worried Americans. Our minds and our hearts were concerned with another land and our problems were foreign and distant to American life. We lived in our ideal: a worker's life in Eretz Yisrael. As one looks back twenty-five years, how strange it was, how revolutionary, how "peculiar." Many of us were born in the United States. Some came to the country as young children. Our schooling, our style of life, our thoughts were molded by the country we lived in. We loved this country with its sense of human dignity and freedom, its pioneers, and its absorption of the downtrodden and poverty-stricken millions of human beings who flocked to its shores. We were overwhelmed by its vastness, its mountains and plains, its lakes, rivers, and oceans. There were before us the grandeur of the West, the charm of the South, the beauty of the Appalachians, the awe of Niagara, the breadth of the Hudson. We were conscious of the stirrings of new forces in American literature, art, and music. The life of America was our life: the jazz, the night club in Harlem, the new forms of the dance, the new theater, the politics of the country, the stirrings of the vast labor masses - all this was part and parcel of our day-by-day living. Yet we dreamt dreams away from all that America was, vivid with the hope of the liberation of the Jew, and saw ourselves in our mind's eye with our comrades in the Promised Land. Why? What moved us? How did we come to these thoughts, this tiny group out of the millions of American Jews? Again and again at the Camp Kvutza, it was important to know the reason. I tried to understand why the haverim chose this ideal. What moved these few to meet for a study of Poale Zionism and ways and methods of bringing this ideal to others? So I asked and found that one's Jewish consciousness was awakened by the haunting sadness of the Kol Nidre melody. Or again, it dawned in a crowded college auditorium as the Twenty-third Psalm was read by a Christian clergyman, and moved one to closeness to all people of the Book. Another was fired by the tales told by a recent arrival from Eretz Yisrael who worked in Petah Tikva with the Haverim of the Second Aliya. I learned that often the home and the parents were in opposition and added nothing to these unknown deep springs which lived in the consciousness of our comrades. Some homes were "Bundist," motivated by the thought that Jews need to build a Jewish entity wherever they may be. In some homes, Russian revolutionary songs of freedom and Siberian exile were sung, but not a Jewish folk song. Zionist, Poale Zionist, consciousness grew out of this strange soil, and at times against the wishes of the parents who were aghast at their child's "peculiarities." Why dream of the liberation of the Jews? How about other peoples enslaved by cruel despotic governments? Why far away Eretz Yisracl? There was a working class to be helped in the United States. There were problems to be solved here: tender children working beyond their strength, exploited by those intent on profits; there was a large mass of workers with no job security. Why Eretz Yisrael? There are two million Jews in New York City alone. Much must be done for them, to hold them to some kind of Judaism, to teach their children about their glorious heritage. Why not work here at home?


In the first Camp Kvutza, all the above elements were ever present; they motivated the program of work. We tried to add to the elements already influencing the haverim. In the short span of time spent at Camp Kvutza, there was the singing of the Eretz Yisrael songs which linked us with our unknown comrades. The rhythm, the poetry of the words, the sentiment of rebuilding and heroism, all spoke deeply to us. Around us was the camp fire, bright and cheerful, amidst the dark shadows of the trees, the tense young faces lit by the flame, and young voices filled the air with Hebrew or Yiddish songs of Eretz Yisrael and Jewish revival. We wanted to know more and more about the ideal we so earnestly believed in. For Poale Zion ideology, we went to the writings of Borochov and Syrkin. To the Camp Kvutza was brought much out of the American life in which we found ourselves. We well understood the pioneering life of Eretz Yisrael, for in America we were still close to pioneering, and American history glorified the pioneer who moved West to build up the great United States. To the Camp Kvutza we also brought the new educational theories just coming into being in the United States. I had just received my Bachelor of Science degree in education from Teachers College of Columbia University. My special contribution to Camp Kvutza was to bring to our studies the new educational philosophy of John Dewey, William Kilpatrick, and E. T. Thorndike. These, my teachers, were breaking new ground in education. Twenty-five years ago their educational philosophy was a complete departure from what was then prevalent. It was new, challenging, and audacious. It was a theory of freedom in education and especially John Dewey's philosophy, opposed to all forms of absolutism. The personality of the learner was stressed; he was motivated, he studied on his own level, his personality was respected, he was taught to work and think in a group. The project method was concomitant with these new theories. Adult education was assuming its rightful place. All these methods admirably suited our need, namely, to study our ideology and to pass on our ideals to many American Jewish youths. How happy I was that I was privileged to study under John Dewey, Kilpatrick, and Thorndike! I was fired by the new philosophy of education which they taught and I had learned the new techniques which they advocated. Both in planning the program of the Camp Kvutza and in carrying it out, the haverim wholeheartedly accepted these new methods which I so enthusiastically advocated. My share in the program was to teach and demonstrate those new techniques so that the haverim could take them to the clubs of which they were the leaders. The new methods were so well fitted to our Poale Zionist ideal, which was to give the Jew inheritance in his land. The new education stressed respect and dignity of the individual. It aimed to enrich the individual by giving him the tools whereby he could continue his investigations. These new methods taught the individual how to motivate a study not by committing to memory many facts, but to study for the love of the subject - study deeply and creatively. So we studied the creative discussion method. We sought to draw out every individual to full participation. Especially suited to our Camp Kvutza idea was the fact that these new educational methods stressed group work and participation in group discussion and reaching conclusions by group thinking. This group work was in complete accord with the cooperative ideals of Labor Eretz Yisrael. What a new world these fundamental methods of learning opened up for us! We sensed the democracy of these techniques. The study of E'retz Yisrael problems lent themselves particularly to the new project method. I had some years of organizational work behind me, but never bad I enjoyed a more innerly satisfying experience. It was group living and learning which was deep and lasting in its influence. Camp Kvutza twenty-five years ago was a small pebble thrown into the vast ocean of American Jewish youth. The small ripple it caused has moved farther and farther. The waves in its wake have reached the Promised Land. For haverim from the Camp Kvutza have settled on the soil of the land. By their example they have influenced others to come to Israel. They were on so-called "illegal" boats, they were in Cypress, they fought in the War of Liberation of Israel, and they served in Sinai. Their children are growing up in Israel. And the genesis was that first Camp Kvutza twenty-five years ago. Happy are we to have been comrades and partners in that great adventurous undertaking.


Sophie A. Udin, 1957


with leadership abilities. New Jersey. and two. However. then National Secretary of the Poale Zion. something other than a mere replica of the senior Poale Zion. who came to visit their families. under those primitive 5 . I found the campers a most heterogeneous group. The reasons were: one. YPZA should utilize that in every way possible. who immediately instituted a program of Hebrew. I saw then what such a camping experience can mean in the development of the spirit. and leadership of a youth movement. Jacob Katzman. Margolin. we decided to make an experimental beginning in Unser Camp. in which one labored and which was governed by its own members. The lingering memories found their expression when in America I became a member of the Central Committee of the Young Poale Zion Alliance. It was held in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. whose task it was to bring some modicum of civilization to this wilderness. I took over for the remaining period. was lacking. One of the first media that came to mind was the establishment of a YPZA summer camp similar to the one I had seen in Galicia. But most of the other leading haverim of the senior organizations were skeptical and some were even opposed. young people with organizational tradition. and assign work for the daily work crews. The council took its task seriously. the insistence that inasmuch as the movement already has a children's camp. I bad to conduct all the discussion groups and Shabbat programs. With the help of Golda Meir. the use of a beautiful spot in the Catskills was gotten. including K. who was then National Secretary of the YPZA and directed our first Kvutza at Accord. our senior haverim started to look upon the camp as something worthwhile." Representatives to a camp council were elected by all the campers.P. therefore. First of all. brought back to the city good reports of what was going on in Accord. They came because after all. The first substantial help came with the arrival of Mr. a Hebrew teacher. to most of whom. the tuition was only $7 a week and where could one get such a bargain even during the Depression? Under those circumstances. had to participate in K. without exception. The first few weeks were the hardest. But Katzman had to leave in the middle of the season to help prepare the forthcoming YPZA national convention. To this day I don't know how it happened.. Meyer Brown and Shmuel Siegel. strenuous efforts were made to obtain a campsite of our own. Berl Locker. Everyone. Kinderwelt. In the summer of 1932. One of the four tents consisted of ten boys from Orange. but her report to the senior movement was of even greater importance in bringing Camp Kvutza to its attention. Her discussions on halutziut were inspiring to the campers. Work was assigned judiciously and without favoritism. Sophie Udin assumed the leadership. Many of us began to think in terms of making of the Labor Zionist youth movement a youth movement in fact. Little by little.ACCORD 1933 Shortly before I came to America. and upon his insistence and that of our Central Committee. Among them were some of the best members of the YPZA from several communities. The following winter and spring. The camp reached its maturity when we instituted the forms of "self-government. Other members of the YPZA Central Committee were like-minded. has already related the story of its birth elsewhere in this -volume. it was generally felt that the real spirit of a Kvutza. to mold a cohesive group. supervise all the camping activities. I attended a convention of a Zionist scouting organization with which I had been affiliated. and to institute self-rule and discipline. provide wood for the stove. enthusiastically accepted the idea. keep the grounds clean. it was very hard to improvise a program to keep the campers busy. of a place that one built with one's own hands. the lack of funds. which. and while all who participated gained considerably in their knowledge of Labor Zionism and techniques of leadership. carry water from the well.P. Jewish history. and a multitude of other jobs. and a fine Jewish background. we also had some newcomers who could not even pronounce the name of the organization. camping and the Young Poale Zion were quite alien as yet. Of inestimable value in this respect were the several days which Golda Meir spent with us. ideology. but we succeeded in instilling the proper spirit of cooperation and a form of self-government. and geography of Eretz Yisrael.

We emerged from the dining room and began a snake dance to the tune of Chopin's Funeral March. history. The taller and older haverim had to carry the younger ones. In retrospect. The council proved its effectiveness by seeing to it that once a task was undertaken. when the velocity of the wind was of hurricane proportion and the rain came down in sheets. we even had the whole camp sit in judgment of a camper who broke discipline and left camp without permission to go to a dance in a nearby hotel. this experience became a highlight of that camping season. with the exception of a few. The first season of Accord was the proving ground for the concept of a camp run by youth for youth. our clothing was soaked. 1957 6 . and to lay the groundwork for what later became Habonim. and we were all sleepy. and it proved that a camp of this kind lends itself to the pursuit of serious study of the ideology. he got wet. they were carried out in a responsible fashion. Most of the campers attended the Young Poale Zion convention in Philadelphia. it was during this emergency. One vividly recalls the morning after-the sky was overcast. There is a limit to the punishment which even a secondhand army tent can take from the elements.circumstances (without a heater for hot water). were transferred to a nearby hotel. The first Accord Kvutza was also rich in adventures. It was most gratifying when months after the close of the first season. It was mainly due to their stand and influence that this convention decided upon the reorganization of the Young Poale Zion. One would like to characterize some of the campers but that would take too much space and would be unfair to those not mentioned. the camp found itself without a single tent standing and without a place for the campers to sleep. During that time. lent dignity to the camp and helped to establish the reliability of Camp Kvutza in the minds of our senior haverim. to introduce tzofiut. on their backs to the other side. wet. the brook had overflowed its bank and the water covered the bridge. and cold to the marrow. our cooks. the roof leaked. It pointed the way toward self-discipline and self-government. Jacob Lemberger. the tents were put up again. was quite a chore. It is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that more campers of this first group went to Eretz Yisrael than of any other group since. All the campers. The advice of the good people around to break up camp was not heeded. and problems of the organization. The age range of the first season in Accord was probab1y older than any of the subsequent seasons. and no matter which way one turned. held immediately after the close of the season on the Labor Day weekend. while giving the campers a practical demonstration of communal living. but by their presence. and share in whatever manual labor was required. The few that remained on the camp grounds tried as best they could to sleep on the tables in the dining room. a decision arrived at. But this did not diminish the spirit of those who remained behind. especially the haverot. By the time the exodus began. There was quite a large proportion of haverim who had completed their preparatory training and were awaiting aliya certificates. This was taken in stride. the cots and all the possessions of the campers were put out to dry. The basic idea of the camp was that no member of the staff was paid or received any other special consideration outside of the authority deserved for good leadership. so it was not surprising when occasionally a tent was blown down. participants got together to evaluate their achievements and to speak of their experience with a yearning and nostalgia of summer months well spent. help police the cleanliness of the grounds and tents. But one stormy late afternoon. a program mapped out. who not only saw to it that the food was adequate and wholesome. Many have made their mark in Eretz Yisrael as halutzim and leaders in the Labor Movement. As soon as the sun came out. However. Mention should be made of the contribution to the camping experience of Rachel Siegel and Leah Brown. If ever the spirit of the camp was manifest.

and then all return to their respective different places. yet one is surprised to what a great extent the essence of Kvutza life is retained. These instrumentalities are limited in scope. one's entire personality must be overhauled. from the educational viewpoint. which makes him place all his ability at the disposal of the group without measuring how much he receives in return. but from following those paths in common. In the Kvutza. cannot be complete without the Kvutza. What are meetings? They signify that all present have come from different directions. worry. one does not meet with another. which aims at creating an individual who will not only have definite ideals but also realize them. Sleeping with one's comrades in tents pitched with one's own hands-eating food prepared and served through one's own labor-learning some important fact about Jewish life one hour and the next chopping wood or playing ball with the same comrades-spending rainy nights on night watch. and the consideration for the welfare of others which years of preaching could never develop. Ben Zion Ilan 1937 7 . self-reliance. that true self-esteem and esteem of others. guarding the health of others-enjoying starry evenings of collective singing and group dancing the sum of all these moments which make up Camp Kvutza life is that self-discipline. They cannot put what should be into being. does not arise from common outlooks on the paths to be taken. and no number of meetings in the city can accomplish this. those ideals which motivate our movement. meet temporarily. a triumph for our idea. therein is contained the keen desire to realize personally. Deeper emotions must be stirred. communal labor. study. attitudes and states of mind are not created by speeches and lectures and discussions. one lives with another. The differences between a Kvutza in Eretz Yisrael and our summer Kvutzot are quite evident. This attitude toward one's fellow men is the essential ethical motif in our educational program and represents the only true socialist mentality. though expressed in different forms. in as great a measure as possible. the responsibility which the individual feels to the group. but from a heartfelt recognition of the value of one's haverim. as if final judgment would be pronounced by the words "yes" or "no. play. One can master the art of living together only by living together. That true comradeship. All these are expressed through communal living. For what are the great values introduced by and embodied in our Kvutzot in Eretz Yisrael? The mutual relationships between haverim. and joy. deeper roots must be sought. the true equality which arises not from an abstract philosophical belief that all men are equal. However."KVUTZA" AND KVUTZA Probably the query most frequently flung at me during my sojourn in our Kvutzot was : "Is a Kvutza in Eretz Yisrael really like this?" The answer was awaited anxiously. They can indoctrinate a theoretical acknowledgment of what should be. Thus our education." Both the question and the intense anxiety for a positive answer represent.

we would choose other avenues than Zionism on which to live. the individual" and to be so challenged as to take upon himself the task of realizing that future. everyone must be made to have an interest in every phase. this means that we want to develop an individual who is awake and sensitive to his world. and social selves. To understand the significance of being pioneers in in a new form of living. If he is too young for this. because of the sensitivity within himself. In the place of this narrow view of life. it is absolutely vital in the Kvutza. When we speak of new society and new values. We believe that there must evolve a new society of cooperation where mankind will develop new values. To experience. management of the kitchen. Individual Development at Kvutza Haverim who come to Kvutza must create the Kvutza. he is a young Jew who understands what is happening to his people in an alien world and. He will create the atmosphere and the spirit. O Our aims for the haver who participates in Kvutza may be summed up as follows 1 1. he should have a part in the actual planning of construction. 2. our haver must be made to feel that he is going out on a pioneering adventure to work out a way of life with a group of boys and girls his own age. His participation in this renaissance becomes the foremost factor in his life as an individual. art. scouting. and we point the way to return to nationhood as our only means of survival and our way of participating in the further development of our people and of society. 3 3. In order to translate these ideas into human living. In the new society that we seek to create. takes part in the renaissance of his people. study. the lifes struggle of our people today. re ligious. for all individuals. Unless the individual is part of the day's activity. he should bear witness to all the excitement of preparation. For in 8 . crafts. We seek to take the word equality off the lips of our haverim." that concept which makes man struggle to fill his pockets so that he and his small family may enjoy the fruits of the world. The Madrich of Kvutza Upon the madrich rests the Kvutza. In other words. he will develop-or fail to developall the individuals who come to Kvutza. and who creates within himself a force that drives him on to selfrealization. Even before he sees the site. discipline and attitudes of the little community. he should become a part of Kvutza. political. 5. and put it in their hearts and in their way of living. we are not dreamers after Utopia. In specific terms. music. development of creative interests such as. we will fail in our attempt to develop him into the person we a responsible boneh. To deal with the problems of life in a group through the creation of a society based on equality and c cooperation. 4. And this concern would be demonstrated in our economic. We believe in the right of man to be free as an individual. Were we to believe only in man's right to be a free individual. we try to erase the narrow concept of "me and mine. otherwise there is no equality. While still in the city. We believe in the right of an entire people to be free as a group. photography.THE MEANING OF KVUTZA Camp Kvutza is our way of making the ideas we have developed and the ideals in which we believe real for ourselves and for the haverim whom we lead. who dares to participate in every phase of its life.of the day's activity: work. for our people. This equality and this concern for mankind will become real only when man is judged by his selfless contribution to society. but living is by far the greater teacher. But it is because we believe in the value and the necessity for national living that we are Zionists. Equality must be expressed in every phase of life conomic. To learn to live with a large group of individuals. and educational programs. Discussion is an important part of education. Everyone must become interested in the management of Kvutza: the government. and only when he is a laborer for the improvement of that soci * ety. cultural. and sports. prepare himself to go to Kvutza. dramatics. social. we interpret our present struggle. through special programs and in daily living. If he. That is our best way of developing the new individual. To know that the future of our people depends on "me. through discussion and dramatics. food and equipment purchasing. We familiarize our haverim with our historical past. help to raise funds. Once at Kvutza. but followers after the pattern of life being created now in Eretz Yisrael. we would implant a concern for mankind. appearance and cleanliness of the settlement. we must educate an entire generation of Jewish youth along new lines of thinking and acting. If his role is important in the city. In Camp Kvutza we live our ideals.

he makes them aware of the role they play in their group. with notebook in hand. turn them loose. He sees that they sleep enough. lie.the city. wins their confidences. Rising. each thing in its place. The madrich must come to Kvutza prepared for his duties." Camp Kvutza is our instrument for inspiring and remaking individual young Jewish lives. he discovers their hidden talents and interests. the madrich sees his haverim only once or twice a week. is not freedom but a weakening of Kvutza spirit. The rosh and madrichim must keep them in mind always. He must foresee problems before his youngsters create them so that he can divert energies to other channels. At the very least. Now there is only day-by-day living. must understand that Kvutza is not merely an educational experiment. they are likewise entrusted with a great responsibilty to the Labor Zionist movement. he should be ready with his discussion material. The luxury of experiinents in education for their own sake we must leave for people more fortunate than we. but more is needed to make this orderliness complete. other institutions may be created to assist in the order of the 9 . Haverim must live on schedule. Freedom with a Pattern Herein lies a real problem for all madrichim. He faces a serious task. must know how to put across his way of thinking and the desired way of acting. games. Exactly what is his responsibility? First. There should be clean-up committees of campers. goes far toward creating the orderly society. meals. keep themselves and and their sleeping quarters clean. The madrich must be wide awake. be is responsible for their development as individuals. For no one in Kvutza is on a vacation. it is our training ground for the tomorrow of our people. A day filled with activity. Kvutza must be a symbol to us-a symbol that we will eventually make real. the day's program-all must add up to steady living. together with the marichim. at times. An Orderly Society Kvutza must be an orderly society. promotes friendly relations among them. He explains Kvutza and people to them. We need this for the education as well as for the spirit of the Kvutza. he is responsible for the physical well-being of his haverim. We are trying to "turn men into a nation and sand into a country. and then. songs. and only one who understands the responsibility should be entrusted with it. How far can we go in allowing the haverim of Camp Kvutza to go their own way in managing Kvutza? Will we create any sins against progressive education and against individual freedom if we guide all activities and if we are. No amount of "freedom" is real or desirabTe if it destroys our Kvutza spirit or discolors our Kvutza design. If possible. neat haverim. Staying awake until all hours of the night is ruinous to health and humor-it is not freedom. but at Kvutza he is With them during all their waking and sleeping hours. He must be a good pal and know how to have f un with them. At the same time. "firm" in stating our point of view? The rosh of every Kvutza. and spends many hours in just speaking with them about all the big problems we face together and all their personal problems. Our only sin can be the failure to make Kvutza what it must be: a pattern of life for our baverim. in any group activity. he draws them into every activity. write up our scientific observations. eat enough. clean buildings that are nicely decorated. We want our youngsters to create their summer Kvutza because that is the way to teach them that they must build the real Kvutza in Eretz Yisrael. The appearance of Kvutza must be orderly-clean grounds. and rainy-day activities. The program should be full so that haverim know that one activity follows another regularly. Failure to participate in discussions. The rosh and madrichim are entrusted with young lives and young minds. Now there are no "company manners" between them. in work. Third. He helps them adjust to their surroundings. Second. he must be preared with the proper attitude. he is responsible for their psychological well-being. The madrich directs the training. We do not bring together a group of youngsters. That symbol and its realization are the prime forces behind Kvutza. Let them not be frightened by terms or by name-calling.

2. Before going out to Kvutza. Our mahaneh has a good group of Kvutza "vet-' erans. complete leadership within the Kvutza and within the mahaneh. This year. our haverim. rosh and madrichim should have discussions oil the weaknesses and strengths of the mahaneh and its needs. the fewer problems will arise. With our awarenes of what is happening to our people in Europe and in Eretz Yisrael. but beyond that and greater than that. Miriam Biderman. the mahaneh in which I am now living has chosen its Kvutza committee. Poor enrollment of movement members. with this committee I have h had one discussion from which we concluded: 1. Therefore.Kvutza or in the handling of haverim who refuse to be a part of the general orderliness. wherever necessary. Therefore. like last. all these problems should be settled between the madrich and the individual concerned through talks. our first aim for Kvutza is to integrate these new haverim into t the movement. No general rule may be given for "order" or "discipline. poor participation. Our mahaneh has expanded rapidly so that only about half of our haverim have been to Kvutza and have an understanding of the movement. not only for the development of our haverim individually. our movement faces a serious lack of leadership for our summer Kvutzot. Thus there will be an understanding among those who will lead the Kvutza. Summer Kvutza can do much. as well as a goal toward wilich they will work. we become more certain that we will face still greater responsibilities in the movement here and abroad. Insofar as possible. it cannot be stressed too much: Prepare your members for Kvutza. From these discussions. 1935 10 . This will mean that all who are madrichim must become well acquainted with the objectives of Kvutza before they go. lack of understanding of Kvutza. must feel that in Kvutza they are undergoing training for their role tomorrow. For example. must think a great deal about Kvutza as an educational institution and as a symbol. lack of discipline." They are actually the "backbone" of the mahaneh. a broken common fund-these reflect the city activities. Setting Goals Each Kvutza is a reflection of the city from which its people come." since each case and the individuals concerned must be considered. Therefore. The better the madricb. should come the specific aims of that Kvutza for the season. and must prepare as much as possible for the season. Kvutza should develop the mahaneh. Our second aim of Kvutza is to prepare these sixteen-year-old giveterans" to assume.

Thus we have been hit more than ordinary camps by the current war situation. It was only when I sat down and began to count that I suddenly realized. gave too little room for the expression of the creative abilities of campers.400 or more each summer. that we have hardly had time to notice the years creeping up on us. be concerned simply with supplying a staff for our camps. " What have we accomplished in these thirteen summers? What institutions can we point to? What have we established. worries. It is undoubtedly the strongest educational instrument which we have succeeded in developing. They decided to devote some time each day to discussion of Jewish current affairs. should work several hours a day in and about the camp. New systems for activity have to be worked out. We have found no better way to develop youth toward an intelligent understanding of Zionism than the twenty-four-hour-a-day. we now own all but one of our camps. The eighteen. and business of the the camp. thoughtful. There are several reasons for this. created.and sixteen-year-olds who in the normal course of events would not be groomed for leadership and responsibility have been forced to become the physical and intellectual core of Kvutza. The fifteen. Jewish history. We cannot. Perhaps it is because younger 11 . We have been so occupied in actually preparing for Kvutza. by a small group of stubborn young people who were dissatisfied with Jewish isummer camping as they knew it. They had the impudence to believe that they could operate a camp which could change these things. to my amazement. change them for the better. Programs have to be adjusted to their level of preparation. Jewish problems. It is almost a truism that those cities which have a good Camp Kvutza in the vicinity have the strongest. They felt that the camp should be run democratically with each camper baving a choice in decisions affecting programs and work. to become vitally concerned with our problems. contributed? The first Habonim Camp Kvutza was started thirteen years ago. By their very nature our camps become institutionalized according to a given pattern. and preparing to operate nine next summer.COMING OF AGE The thirteenth consecutive year of Habonim summer camping has rolled around. that Bar Mitzva is upon us. most alert. The inner strength of our camps is showing itself in the way this crisis is being met. so immersed in the every-day workings. with a certain type of background.and nineteen-year-old haverim who would normally assume positions of leadership are to a large extent unavailable. Whereas thirteen years ago all the principles listed above were dreams-according to some. as it did last. like others. and are constantly expanding our facilities. They called the camp "Kvutza. conditions the type of camp we. thirteen years later. we are reticent about pointing to our accomplishments. They were determined that the spirit of modern Eretz Yisrael should permeate the camp. The fact that we are interested in retaining a permanent hold on the camper through the year as well as in the summer months. most Jewish-conscious and responsible Habonim groups. They decided that they. in a highly developed form." Today. have. the campers. an institution such as camp is considered old and established. Despite our realization of these things. even before the official beginning of Habonim as an organization. Our staff must consist of a certain type of individual. of our camping system. Whereas thirteen years ago the first campers "squatted" on a piece of land loaned to them. Habonim is operating eight summer camps throughout the United States and Canada. Ways must be found to draw them actively into the cause which circumstance dictates they must fight for though they be unprepared. at that age. Whereas thirteen years ago there was a group of some ten to fifteen campers. and it is increasingly difficult for even them to devote themselves to camp. entitled to a sedate. and talkative "Bar Mitzva dinner. dreams incapable of realization-today they are part and parcel. and with roots in Habonim. and paid too little attention to intelligent discussion and teaebing of Jewish attitudes and heritage. For although thirteen years is a relatively short period of time in the life of an individual. we now have an average of 1. that we want him to assume responsibility. two-month living course presented by Camp Kvutza. Today Camp Kvutza is integrally bound up with the life blood of Habonim as a movement. The nature of our purpose makes for an extremely high rate of chanfre and adaption to circumstance. They felt it was too occupied with trivialities.

1944 12 . for one. It is more powerful than city propaganda. Given the conviction that Camp Kvutza is a good instrument for the advancement of our approach to Jewish life. Concerted attempts must be made to acquire the greatest moral and material backing possible. is naturally desirable. The extent to which Habonim should actually run the camp. We have encountered many problems along these lines and to this day.people all over are becoming accustomed to a greater degree of responsibility. more powerful than Hebrew schools. am convinced that Camp Kvutza is the most powerful instrument Habonim has created for the attraction of young American Jews to its cause. comes into question. plans for new camps are under serious consideration. In others. in those places where the senior movement has become interested. The extent to which the traditional element in Kvutza should be stressed is something which has caused much discussion. we have not succeeded in completely solving them. thus acquiring contact with our ideas and principles. I. new ideas are being contributed. That nonmembers should attend Kvutza. Three new permanent sites have been acquired. But it is the general feeling that their number should be limited to a certain percentage of the campers in order to preserve the Habonim character. We have always felt that an important element in shaping the character and initiative of the campers would be lost were these and other responsibilities removed from us and given to our senior haverim. All that I have mentioned can definitely be considered on the credit side of the Camp Kvutza ledger. receiving enthusiastic backing of all its segments. In general. The extent to which non-members of Habonim should be permitted to come to camp is also debatable. our younger haverim have reacted in a way which leaves no doubt as to the future of Habonim camping. In others. the Labor Zionist movement as a whole has failed to recognize its value and gives it no more than perfunctory backing. In some cities Kvutza is the summer camp of our entire movement. All these questions must eventually be resolved. the advisability of younger people being entrusted with financial and physical responsibility for what in some cases is a big business. so good. other ticklish problems arise. there exists no Kvutza because the movement there has failed to become enthusiastic enough about it to undertake the establishment of one. perhaps it is because to an increasing extent they are concerning themselves with problems which have hitherto been considered the domain of their elders. Murray Weingarten. lies the road to the establishment of a really alert Labor Zionist youth. Whatever the reasons. But there is another angle from which the whole picture can be viewed. have we exploited as fully as we could have and should have? Have we succeeded in getting the Labor Zionist movement as a whole to recognize it and actively support it? Have we succeeded in bringing it to the attention of the Jewish public as a whole? The answers to these questions are doubtful. it has been left up to the individual city to decide on this question although certain minimum principles such as no work on Shabbat have been adopted nationally. In the establishment of a network of twice and thrice the number of Kvutzot we now have. On the other band. camps are being expanded. We have continued to develop during the last two difficult summers. So far. and its preservation and strengthening is perhaps the greatest contribution Habonim can make to the cause of Labor Zionist youth in this country.

to conform . comfortable feeling of being Jewish. No individual accounts are kept. D. We strive to develop within him a community mindedness: the ability to live within a group. needs. we must regard it as if we. We approach this through our Shabbat and holiday celebrations. Each person at Kvutza puts in as much money as he can and whatever food he may bring or receive from home. discussion groups. We want to develop the desire to participate personally in the upbuilding of Eretz Yisrael.without losing his individuality. This is in keeping with our belief in the dignity of labor and with t the ideal and policy of the Histadrut-that a man must not be exploited and that he. I Judaism A. are experiencing these things. even construction of buildings. Camp Kvutza and the Movement I I. d dancing. to give the haver an intellectual understanding of Zionism and an emotional feeling of healthy nationalism. Hebrew study. The food is distributed equally. there is never hired labor except where necessary-the cook and the nurse). Self-Government-Here. exploit no one. II. B. C. We want to develop in Kvutza. discussions with other haverim and with madrichim. and to be able to influence without becoming domineering. one has a real o opportunity to increase his knowledge. The Group 13 . C. We desire to aid each individual to become self-sufficient. This. the haver becomes a full-fledged member of a community with duties. We expect the haver to develop intellectually during the course of the summer. reading circles. Self-Labor-In Kvutza. in turn. is perhaps the most important part of Kvutza life. suggestions. that intangible Jewish spirit-the folkways of our people. to each individual. We have a meeting of the entire camp community to discuss its philosophy. B.PRINCIPLES AND PHILOSOPHY I I. Through the achievement of all the above. Cooperative Living-In Kvutza. for example. reading circles. and privileges that carry consequences affecting him directly. a haver is more willing and able to be active in the movement during the course of the organizational year. Into this spirit goes the appreciation of the culture and tradition. III. singing. perhaps for the first time. We discuss the desires. Through self-study. II. to be able to make decisions. our common fund of money and food from home. and ways of meeting these needs. each camper learns to live with a large group of individuals and to handle the problems of such a life together with the others in a way most efficient and beneficial to the group. the identification with the people and its struggle. The Haggada says that as we read at the Seder Pesah of the Exodus from Egypt. responsibilities. though it is hardest to define in -words. We strive to develop a historical sense and an identification with the past and present struggle of the Jewish people. program. We have. as in our mahanot. general and Jewish. a and use privileges well. Social Justice A. The Individual A. We want to develop or intensify an appreciation of the Jewish tradition and a desire for participation in and perpetuation of this culture. We want to make him realize his own worth. and where necessary and possible. in our lives. C. carry responsi bility. and at the same time. and interests of the campers in regard to the Kvutza program. to have a healthy self-respect. and in our haverim through Kvutza. We want to develop in our people a feeling of belonging to all that ever was and is Jewish. This is in keeping with our cooperative ideal: from each a according to his ability. personally. sanitation. and a positive. B. Zionism It is our purpose in Kvutza. And we elect our committees and our officers. We want to develop within the individual a respect and regard for his haverim in the group and a successful method of c cooperating with them for the general good. cleaning. The maintenance work is done by the camper: kitchen duty. Each person receives what he needs from the common fund. to each according to his need.

The individual and the group are closely interrelated. the group stimulates him. to feel and understand the tempo of the camp. The relationship between rosh and madrichim is important in forming attitudes and understanding in madrichcamper relations. however. Future relationships between madrichim and campers can stem from impressions received on the first day. If we are successful. B. committee work. I The Mahaneh A. When people have a place in the social setup of the movement. II I Relationships in Camp Kvutza A. B. It is in all of the madrich's behavior as a social being. Meetings. It is his responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of the Kvutza and its people. Leadership qualities are developed Through opportunities for leadership. they are usually anxious to get started on m mahaneh activities and have a lot to offer intellectually and spiritually. Their function is within the group and not above and outside of i it.A. Every person needs a sense of belonging. is a vital part of the community. socially. This is especially important for us because it makes for strong ties among members of Habonim and for cohesive g groups. stimulating. having had a full. He can influence the entire atmosphere of a Camp Kvutza. cooperative community. For many of our people. and standards. Kvutza is a democratic. they are more willing to devote time and energy to the movement. The madrichim are perhaps the equivalent to elected officers in a democratic society. courage. They are not technicians functioning in the limited sphere of their specialties. The first day of camp sets the tone for the entire period. They have been assigned their roles by virtue of their wider experience and greater insight and understanding. We come together and have an opportunity to live a portion of our lives as we believe and desire. in relation to all others -madrichim and campers alike-that he influences people. " Kvutza Is a Living Community I I. and in a creative manner. like the madrichim. All of the foregoing is important to the mahaneh. become an integral and pleasant part of their lives because it is so for their friends also. The campers. and the hanhaga. B. C. There are satisfactions which an individual cannot obtain alone. He also has the job of making decisions necessary for the best functioning of the Kvutza. KM. a and rosh are integral parts of this group. to make a quick decision where necessary-in other words. or simply through t the group experience." An individual gains significance. educate and induct new members. and having formed strong group ties. He is responsible for Kvutza as a whole and for each of its facets. because of his particular position. Kvutza offers an excellent opportunity to attract. Kvutza is a stimulant to movement work -When haverim come from Kvutza. He stimulates the group and. and enjoyable summer. intellectually. The rosh. in turn. The rosh. He develops loyalties. The madrich that works with a group must be part of that group. I The Movement A. "In unity there is strength. has veto power over decisions of madrichim and campers in matters of health and s safety. The madrichim must exert every effort to make the campers feel at home and must be with the campers every minute of the day to aid in their personal adjustment and orientation to new faces and new surroundings. It is not a vacation from our "real" lives. group attitudes. IV. There is a definite carry-over of attitudes. The rosh and madrichim must work closely together in order to achieve the best possible results for the group. 14 1 . Habonim becomes the social group. many return from Kvutza in a position to influence and lead others. C. we enrich our lives through this relationship. In the course of such participation. The First Day I. The madrichim in a Kvutza are not counselors in the usual sense. The movement is strengthened by the activities and stimulation of Camp Kvutza. " The whole is greater than its parts. III. B. Kvutza Is a Living Community A. his personality develops and a socializing takes place. madrichim. and stimulation in a group. This gives them a greater responsibility to the group.

The Meeting-The first meeting is the most important one of the season. and is wanted. however. Common Fund-Our purpose in advocating the common fund is to teach the first fundamental principle of a Labor Zionist life. As an example of this last. What does such a group hope to accomplish? The group should aim to have a clear understanding of what Camp Kvutza is. provocative. Shabbat c celebrations. scouteraft. This is the first community expression of the campers. with full voting rights and complete freedom of expression. established certain definite and characteristic methods of "getting things across. We must be prepared to conduct more extensive and intensive training in the city for our madrichim prior to their going out to Kvutza. and various haverim can be assigned to take courses in first aid. Let us clarify the question of jurisdiction which will arise in some form. they are equal in right of expression. The Reading Circle-The reading circle is a pliable "tool. Others can begin to think in terms of preparing for the discussion groups. in our movement and in Kvutza. that a discussion on the educational aspects of camp can be a positive thing. This coming summer. creative group activities." We realize that informational lectures seldom move a young person or change his attitudes or ideas. there is certainly an opportunity for a reading in circle. Educational Tools I. sports. as well as independent of them (Zionist classics. B. and only by carefully planning and preparing them. There we put into practice our theory that Kvutza is a "living community. is to discuss the group life-the community life such as common fund. The madrichim will deal with our general educational policy and health and safety measures. In Camp Kvutza. and daily schedule. B. will be younger than ever before. The madrichim responsible for camp work should begin to meet once a week.A. We have. The facilities of the city can be utilized. then they c certainly are acceptable. it is practical. Methods t that are interesting. In many cases. dramatics. swimming. and Shabbat and holiday p programs. rainy-day programs. what we hope to accomplish with our campers. to impose such a decision on Kvutza. pleasurable (isn't it more fun to do things together as friends?). where there are a number of Hebrew-speaking haverim. evening programs. Personal Preparation I. C. The following items must be understood thoroughly: 1. the madrich should be ready for the necessary personal preparation. There we will determine the policy and principles of Kvutza. on the other hand. This c can be accomplished in various ways. " It can be used in connection with the discussions. office work. B. Our approach should be: How do you want to handle spending money and food packages? We can get across the point that beside the educational value. Our discussions have often been reduced to information-giving periods. work committee. The "workshop" and individual preparation do not rule out the necessity for frequent meetings of all the m madrichim. It should aim to have an understanding of what to do with children and how to m make decisions on practical and technical problems of Kvutza. A. " We utilize the discussion. cooking. etc. Our job must be to educate in such a fashion that the haverim will decide themselves that it is practical and necessary. Health and safety requirements and standards 15 1 . for instance). A.inal or translation may help in developing an understanding of and feeling for the literature and folkways of our people. It can also be a device for transmitting certain attitudes and feelings. It is not advisable. The primary function of the goneral meeting. carpentry. how it differs from the average camp in this country. however. madrichim in our Kvutzot. reading stories and poetry from Hebrew and Yiddish literature in the orig. on the average. It is clear. crafts. The madrichim must have an appreciation and an understanding of all other camp problems. that an explanation of the guiding principles of our health and safety measures is necessary. We have considered it our chief "tool. It is also one of the biggest factors in the tone and atmosphere of the camps. After concentrated discussion. can we avoid making lectures of the discussions. evening programs. Conferences with individuals and supervision of individual assignments is an important aspect of our training. The madrichim also are an integral part of this community meeting. though it is natural that the rosh and the youngest tzofeh are not equal in influence. this means that the madrich will be lacking in experience and background. If the thoughts of the campers on this aspect of camp life are feasible. the reading circle. This "workshop" is to serve as the instrument whereby the madrichim obtain basic attitudes and ideas for camp work. The Discussion-The discussion has traditionally been our way of disseminating information. and what the ideas of Habonim are. and the work program. and attractive must be utilized. " We want the haverim to understand that. These are our educational tools.

Kitchen setup and rules 3 3. Role of the madrich in Camp Kvutza 6 6. Discipline D. General educational work 5 5. Handbook for Madrichim. thrashing out plans. From the beginning we should strive to create the feeling that the madrichim are working as a group.2 2. Daily program 4 4. discussing theory and practice. and helping establish the basic principles which govern their tasks. The job of this group becomes increasingly important since training and supervision are paramount to achieve the necessary continuity of program and stability of approach. 1952 16 .

operated on a most primitive level. realistically enough. It is actually a description of a typical "work camp" of which there are many. our camps. which created the material for "chizbatim" told to this very day. though educationally Jewish camping has caught up to us. Perhaps parents-and especially those from socalled "Jewish homes" -felt that the uniquely Jewish content which we had to offer their children in such a creative and dynamic manner more than offset the primitive environment to which their children were exposed. The foundation is about to be laid. ranging from agency camps. " While we may take pride in the fact that a B'nai B'rith camp here employs so successfully a technique long known to Habonim. have never fully evaluated or appreciated the new and progressive approaches we developed in our first camps. Alongside the most progressive educational techniques and values. such as the one described above. The camp individualist. On the other hand. For instance. Our program was outstandingly different from other Jewish camping programs.. And. Whatever the reason. camps were situated in virtually inaccessible sites. introduced new and revolutionary methods and concepts into the field of camping generally. in 1954. surprisingly enough. in most phases of camping. Others are busily mixing mortar and cement for the foundation of the house . Today. famous settlements. When they entered the kibbutz Yizr'el. Perhaps it was that in the late thirties and early forties the Jewish community had not as yet reached its present economic middle-class level. This is a key job. Campers were generally housed in tents. to private camps charging high tuition rates. Cooperation is essential. we find that we are not the only progressive Jewish camp on the scene. " The day's work is beginning . Every year. Two boys and a girl start to saw wood for the flooring of the house they are erecting . Each site was investigated for its ancient and modern significance. the parents themselves. with corresponding middle-class standards in regard to the camps. So now. Still others are digging a ditch to lay the sewer pipe. There were no special facilities for infirmaries. the business manager. one can find a strikingly familiar description of a day at camp in the March 14.. and Jewish camping in particular. or among the few.. Here. "At a Work Camp of the American Jewish Society for Service. an older havera with relatively limited experience might well be the cook or nurse. which can be drawn from this and other examples. in an article entitled.. or accident. the Jewish parent pays increasing attention to the physical setup of the camp to which lie sends his child. . our camps are no longer unique. from the point of view of progressive educational techniques and values. and their children returned from camp none the worse for wear and full of enthusiasm for the type of creative Jewish camping which they had experienced over the summer-an enthusiasm which to varying degrees was communicated to.THE TURNING POINT Habonim camps. and landmarks of the country." This could be a description of a very successful work project at a Habonim camp. the more enjoyable and satisfying the camp season appeared to have been. In fact. though they complained. The monopoly we once had in the field of creative Jewish living" is no longer ours either. technically we have f ailed to keep pace with the other camps. Frequently. Perhaps we. He must ask for help. Sankel. is a description of a B'nai B'rith camp: " The most popular of the subjects studied was the imaginary trip to Israel . for example. . cannot do the job alone. we led the way and were far ahead of other camps. They visited the cities. for visas at the Israel Consul's office. is that we are no longer alone. There were no si)ecial technical personnel. the more primitive the camp. . which is on the Gilboa. . " by Hyman R. parents sent their children to such camps. Emanuel. issue of The Reconstructionist. from the physical point of view. new camps come into being which stress similar approaches to the very ideals in camping which were once almost exclusively ours. fire. And today. The children were started on this imaginary trip by applying. 1954. they could sense the immense drama which has taken place and is taking place around this famous mountain . He begins to see the value of working together with his fellow camper for a common goal. . using the approach to Jewish camping which such an activity typifies. with its emphasis on the dignity of labor and cooperation among men. And no camp season was complete without at least one good epidemic. Dining halls were small. more than ever before. Now the plumb line and the level go into action. an even more important conclusion. f acing the Arab Triangle. parents sent their children to our camps. not to speak of authorities in the field of Jewish camping. and an older haver. kitchens totally inadequate. at their inception. and shared by. Outdoor plumbing was the rule and not the exception. there are so many Jewish camps from which to choose that he may well be 17 . The cement is ready..

The physical setup and technical funetioning of the camp finally chosen may well be the deciding factors. For in Habonim. as we have set out to do. well-run camp as well as. To defend the primitive camp on ideological terms is to distort the entire meaning of our ideology. A good madrich should be able to educate towards the aims of Habonim in a modern. on the contrary. illmanaged camp in order to educate towards that goal. Habonim camping is as necessary and important to us as it ever was. a time will come when our camps will be empty. The need then is to bring our camps up to date in the physical. in a modern. Let no one conclude from my foregoing remarks that our particular type of camping has outlived its usefulliess. well-operated camp. Dex Srauss. But one need not have a technically primitive. We must face up to the realities of the situation and solve the problems confronting us in a responsible and mature manner. the madrich has more tools and materials at his disposal to aid him in his job. in terms of our movement's needs. and administrative spheres so that we can once again compete with other Jewish camps and be acceptable to the modern Jewish parent. well-equipped. whose first concern is with his child's health and safety. If we do advance. we want to create halutzim. if not better than. 1954 18 . technical. and only our camps can educate towards that aim. Habonim camping is now at a crucial turning point. we may once again find ourselves in a leading position in the field of Jewish camping in America. If we do not advance technically. on the contrary. in a primitive one. unlike other Jewish organizations.particular as to the one he finally decides upon.

Close to 1500 haverim attended the camps in 1940. Habonim was the only Zionist organization to sponsor a Hebrew camp. living and studying together for a month. The first national mahaneh madrichim. Montreal. they ran the gamut from experiments in Lieberman's Creative Camping to semi-military discipline. two madrichim camps were held. the camp accom modated fifty campers. the fundamentals of Camp Kvutza were developed: 1) collective-democratic living. in 1951.Review of Twenty-Five Years It all began in 1932. One of the significant results of Amal has been the proof that under proper conditions. two more Kvutzot were opened in 1935-in Montreal. Connecticut (for New York). was held in the summer of 1940 at Galil for the training of madrichei tzofim. a number of highly successful Camp Avoda seasons were conducted at the farms with groups drawn from within the movement. Philadelphia founded its own camp (Galil). Tel Natan. and set up a systematic program for selecting the volunteers to staff the camps. During the years. and in Chicago at Camp Tel Hai. For several seasons this was a work camp in the process of construction. Its first season in 1948 opened on a rented site in Vermont with 26 campers. but the collapse of the movement in the city brought about the demise of the camp as well. Los Angeles had its first camp. At Amenia (1949) and Killingworth . one national madrichim camp was conducted at 19 . called for the organization of a Habonim Kvutza Committee. In many cases permission was secured to use the site for an indefinite period of time. Amal itself was at Creamridge. In 1950. Toronto. Only a few of the camps were on permanent sites. and became established as one of the foremost Hebrew camps in the country. Inspired by Accord. Accord stands out in the memories of all the oldtimers for its sheer physical beauty and difficult pioneering conditions. there have been a number of sig nificant experiments in Habonim camping. the Cincinnati Habonim convention in December. With the development and expansion of the camps came a need for better planning and direction of both their educational and administrative aspects. it was decided to discontinue Amal as a separate institution and to stress Hebrew at all Habonim camps. Louis had its Kvutza. 1940. Louis. In 1936. In 1952. The objective of this experiment was to create a positive attitude toward collective living and halutziut among nonaffiliated American Jewish youth. During that first summer. Winnipeg.(1950). Chicago. 1946 saw perhaps one of the peak years in Habonim camping when over two thousand campers attended Kvutza. 1600 youngsters spent the summer at eleven camps. 2) a full Jewish life. Mahaneh madrichim is an experiment in the realm of leadership training rather than strictly camping. Dallas. New Jersey. Detroit. St. In later years. This by no means meant that our camps were becoming standardized. a number of interesting and important Hebrew programs were planned at Kinneret and Moshava. New York. By 1939. began to work on the first Kvutza Manual. most sites were rented. In 1945. Camp Avoda was operated for the first time at the Hehalutz training farm in Creamridge. gained the backing of six bureaus of education in various cities which sent scholarship students. Los Angeles. The primary educational factor in Camp Avoda was its proximity to the collective group and the farm. at Galil. Influenced and sparked by Amal alumni. but there was already a feeling that means must be found of assuring permanency and continuity in the operation of our camps. Foremost among these was the national Hebrew camp. Ottawa. Amal. Later. This committee established a series of minimum requirements. 3) self-labor. with fourteen haverim in a tent. for several years. Habonim established its first Camp Kvutza at Accord. and at Creamridge. and during the summer of 1953. Amal was conducted at Moshava. New York. At the 1953 convention of Habonim. As a result. In 1948. New York bought a new camp site at Amenia. in Killingworth. In 1943. The following year. Moshava (Baltimore) and Kinneret (Detroit) were founded. In educational methodology. and in preparation for the 1941 season. This pattern was followed the next year at Montreal and St. The summer Kvutza had become Habonim's most powerful and most effective educational weapon and had also become a "big business" operation. new camps were projected for Texas and Winnipeg. one in Vermont for the East and one in Detroit for the West. fairly large numbers of non-movement people can be attracted to our camps and integrated into the movement. Baltimore.

New York. will be conducted: Camp Habonim. 1950 also saw another experiment long under consideration. New York. Quebec. There has been a trend to put the administration of our camps on a semi-commercial basis. The past few years. The national Habonim Camping Association has been showing steady but slow improvement in the handling of national aspects of camp. Camp Kvutza. During 1957. Midwest Camp Habonim. Three Rivers. have seen a number of interesting variations and experiments in the Habonim camping picture. Kvutza Manual. Camp Miriam. in which all the campers participate. There has been an awareness that existing Habonim camps must be put on a more efficient and permanent basis. all on permanent sites. was purchased in 1953. Saugus. and increasingly aware of its potentiality as an instrument for expansion." A number of haverim inade a long trip by truck. Each subsequent summer has witnessed large seminars of madrichim. Ottsville. too. Camp Kvutza Galil. Faustin. 1957 20 . Red Hook. most camps have conducted training programs for prospective madrichim. The three camps in the East have conducted an annual Maccabia. Camp Moshava. Gabriola Island. Michigan. Annapolis. and noar. New camp sites were purchased for the Midwest in 1956 and for Camp Miriam in Vancouver in 1956. British Columbia. and preembarkation seminars for the Habonim Youth Workshop in Israel. bonim. Camp Naame. the sports and cultural festival. In addition. Toronto conducted a "rambling camp. carrying full supplies and equipment and camping nights at previously selected sites. Pennsylvania. St. Many more camps are on permanent sites into which large investments have been put by the local Labor Zionist movements and Merkaz Habonim. Maryland. California. We are aware that Camp Kvutza is our most effective educational instrument.Kinneret. the following seven Kvutzot. The permanent New York Kvutza at Red Hook.

No money? We'll beg. get lumber . . Summer is knocking at the door and still no Kvutza site. Nerves are on edge . Thursday noon. 21 . and the more primitive the better! Next year we must learn not only theory but also how to provide for ourselves. Granite. Next year we must have a real Kvutza.. Our hearts sink. down below. it was a camp and not a Kvutza. . spirits flag. Haven't heard from Buffalo . Three hours. And how about the program? . The haverim have learned much and have had a lot of fun. A few more minutes and we find ourselves on the summit of a hill. Persuade some Pioneer Women to come out as "cookies. dusty. . . we accept this bid as meaning us. No shelter? We'll build our own. and the old farmer's stove bought for $4 refuses to get fired... . Here. Here. . Mid-June. and from an unexpected quarter. How are registrations coming? . .. no matter what the difficulties. Friday all day they come trekking in.. bumpy. The fourteen pioneers have been together for a full month and have valiantly tried to imbibe three lecture and discussion periods a day.. . We were guests and not creators . the product of our own labors. . Everyone is working against time . . we'll owe . .. . The closing hours are devoted to evaluation and self-criticism. And through it all. back in the city. . We've got to finish the kitchen first. and in the near distance. . the answer to our prayers. A bavera in California met Golda Meir and told her of a sister in New York who is part-owner of some land in the Catskill Mountains.CAMP KVUTZA IS BORN The last days of August. with two or three lectures in each period. The Kvutza is scheduled to open Sunday. We are getting panicky. The first Young Poale Zion Kvutza is winding up its four-week session at Unser Camp. . . This is the place. Who can forget the day when the big truck came rumbling across the wooden bridge to unload the first $400 worth of lumber . Somehow. . efforts. cots . But the cookies work hardest of all. Unser Camp offered too many comforts and too many distractions. There. What will they eat? Who will cook for them? . only a deep-rutted. Two coming from Rochester . a glorious tingle in the blood we are building our own Kvutza! Yes. 1932 . Kerhonkson-never beard of the places. an undreamed of opportunity. The sister would like to do something for "the Jewish people. enthusiasm waxes high . the earth is parched... We need a car . . farmers' dirt road into a wilderness. Every newcomer is pressed into service as soon as he has a bite to eat . Suddenly. Over the dining room we can stretch canvas if necessary. Far? What of it? Wild? We've got a job to do. the outhouse. and ingenuity. So much to do . we will build platforms for the tents . 1933 . really building! . silverware? .. . Every hour brings one or two more haverim. And how about discussion leaders? .. we'll borrow. the original number of the work group is more than doubled. here is what we have to do. Feverish days and nights . a beautiful valley below. Ten haverim want to build a dining room and platforms for the tents . .. and it seems as if everything is still to be done. Take advantage as much as we can of the cement floor of the burnt-down barn. Soon there is no highway at all. Can you borrow dishes.. lay it out cross-wise so that the kitchen part will come right over the spring.. By nightfall." For lack of a more speciflc address. There is only an indescribable shack occupied by our benefactress and her partner in the summer . but the country gets more and more beautiful as the road becomes steeper and the hairpin curves sharper. . A series of interviews. The cookies become more and more exasperated as the number of mouths to feed increases. All right now. . . Life in the big tent has been most congenial.. Time is short-so short! A matter of days now . a meeting of the National Executive is hastily convened. Finally one morning we are off to the Catskills: Accord. . . Farband summer colony at Highland Mills. yet everyone feels that something was missing . New York. . Raise money. . . Buy tents. . . we have lost our way a half-dozen times. .. . A singing brook cascades over the rock ledges forming crystal pools every few hundred feet-and on "our" land! We are filled with joy at the sight of all this beauty. The next day.. . no house (it burned down when the place was abandoned seven years before). a ring of mountains that seems to change color before your eyes. too. but also with sadness when we see how the land lies waste and neglected-grass and weeds waisthigh. four hours. Clear the site on top of the hill. ." . it wasn't our own. .. .

and decked with flowers. They form a thrilling silhouette against the sky. 1942 22 . In the deepening twilight. Jacob Katzman. should be received with rejoicing. twenty-four of us. set with dishes and silverware. The long tables in the dining room are scrubbed clean. We fulfilled the mitzva with overflowing hearts.In the meantime. The Shabbat. our sages tell us. miracles have been happening." sit down to break bread together. The seven-year growth of grass and weeds has been cut. ready for the first Shabbat in our own Kvutza. The single pyramid tent that had housed the work crew is now joined by three others. scrubbed clean at the brook and dressed in our "best.

Modeled after the Eretz Yisrael collective settlements. Experimentation in methods and program materials varies with the personal predilections of the camp leaders. physical environment. These camps. The reader must not overlook the importance of the words. known as Camp Kvutza. The objective is not only to provide a change of physical environment and healthful recreation. The Montreal camp. test their validity. develop socialized attitudes and patterns of behavior. conceiving their work as an extension of the program of Jewish group work agencies in the city. and in general. 6. to enrich his personality. The staff and leaders are all members of the organization who contribute their services and regard 23 . where a camp is located on rented property. as members of the Histadrut Haovdim. Neither is he exempt from any of the chores which are a. Habonim has the following purposes: 1. it does not follow that they are identical in character. At Camp Kvutza. the camps conform within the limits indicated to certain principles and patterns. based o on the principles of economic and political democracy. Equality of all persons in the camp is a cardinal principle.A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE IN COOPERATIVE JEWISH CAMPING Modern educational camping has increasingly emphasized experience in creative group living and learning. knowledge and skills. the camps are the extension as well as the annual climax of the Habonim program. which caters to young people of the age level of 14 to 21. in a sense. The camp setting provides the opportunity to help the camper increase his range of interests. To strengthen the bonds between American Jewry and Eretz Yisrael. In keeping with the practice of the collectives and cooperatives in Eretz Yisrael. To prepare young Jews for the defense of Jewish rights everywhere. toward a feeling of identification with the Jewish rights everywhere. The vegetable garden is a bigger undertaking in California than in Winnipeg for obvious climatic reasons. 4. for instance. 2. Jewish camps conducted under communal or semicommunal auspices have sought. in Eretz Yisrael and. and at the same time. Nevertheless. it is deemed inadvisable to put too much effort into construction projects. To prepare young Jews for" participation in the upbuilding of a new social order throughout the world. To educate young Jews toward the revitalization of traditional Jewish values. Educational Objectives of Habonim In order to properly understand the motivation and character of Camp Kvutza. reflects the Yiddish school influences under which the campers live during the year. In one camp there may be more free choice of activity than in an other. and culture. This paper describes a type of Jewish camping program which attempts to apply this philosophy and technique of educational camping. to create a cooperative Jewish Commonwealth. These aims were formulated at the 1940 convention of Habonim as follows: As an educational youth movement aiming to develop within its ranks haverim who shall in their own lives realize i its aims. To prepare young Jews for active participation in American Jewish community life. To train young Jews to become halutzim. is is essential to know something about the aims of Habonim. Habonim members live according to the principles they have been studying and. an effort is made to have no hired labor in camp. 3. Each camp has developed in time a distinctive character. Thus. The camp director enjoys no privileges not available to the youngest camper. part of the maintenance of the camp. ( (General Federation of Jewish Labor of Eretz Yisrael). for the study of Jewish life. and actively to support the rebuilding of t the Jewish National Home. in addition. h history. Habonim. have a ten-year history under the auspices of the Labor Zionist Youth Organization. 5 5." This is a central concept in the educational program of the movement. "who shall in their own lives realize its aims. and personnel. to provide Jewish educational experiences. Principles of Camp Program Although all the camps are the expression of a similar social and educational outlook. Differences exist which are based on local circumstances. to provide satisfying and creative Jewish experiences.

themselves as members of the camp community. Exceptions are made when it is not possible to secure the services of a competent physician or nurse or when, on rare occasions, a cook has to be engaged. Workmen are also hired when, particularly at the establishment of a new site, it is impractical to rely entirely on the campers to build the necessary structures. Self-government is a third basic principle. The regular camp meetings discuss administrative problems, programs, and daily routine, and elect various committees which are responsible for specific phases of camp life. The executive committee meets often with the director and staff members to act upon various problems. Disciplinary cases which are not easily adjusted may be brought to the attention of the designated committee. The functions of the staff members and leaders are to direct the educational activities -the discussion and study groups, the singing, dramatics, reading circles, arts and crafts, scoutcraft, nature study, and sports. Staff and Organization Before any Camp Kvutza opens for the summer, considerable preparations have to be made. A camp committee is established by the local organization. Where several cities in a region cooperate in conducting a camp, such committees are established in each community and contacts are made by correspondence and personal visits by their members. Representatives of Habonim and the adult Labor Zionist organizations constitute the committees. The committees assist in raising funds, recruiting campers, purchasing food staples, and in other ways. The local Habonim take the initiative in all this work and carry the burden of responsibility. They determine the fees to be charged and establish the differential in tuition as between members and nonmembers of the organization. Campers may register for varying periods, the minimum being two weeks. Prior to the arrival of the first group of campers, an advance crew arrives at camp to prepare for the opening of the season. This is a group of members who generally remain as staff members and leaders. They open the buildings, set up the tents, clear the grounds, repair the plumbing, and get the camp generally ready. No attempt is made to do a complete job of renovation, as one of the major activities of camp is to carry forward the program of improving facilities, enlarging the camp, putting up new structures, and beautifying the grounds. In addition, the advance crew spends the evenings outlining plans for the summer, outlining projects, and preparing for the discussions and activities they will conduct. With the arrival of the campers, the full program is initiated. At a meeting of the entire camp, the director or an experienced camper outlines the purposes of Camp Kvutza and indicates some of the specific objectives for the summer. The executive committe is elected, its responsibilities and functions are discussed, and the various functional committees are named. In speaking of staff and leaders, it is necessary to bear in mind that we are considering here individuals generally much younger than their "opposite numbers" in other camps, both communal and private. The year-round program of the Habonim organization provides for the continual preparation of members for or leaders of groups of younger children. It is very general, then, to find, both in the cities and in the camps, boys and girls taking responsibility for the leadership of groups of younger children. These leaders are themselves active members of groups of their own age at the same time that they are leading the younger children. Work Projects Some aspects of the camp program and some of the "institutions" which have developed in the course of years merit detailed description. Work projects are a consistent feature of every Camp Kvutza. The nature of these projects varies, as has been suggested, with the local circumstances. In the kitchen work, the cook, who is usually a member of an adult Labor Zionist group, is assisted by campers, designated daily by the committee in charge of assigning individuals to various tasks. The campers help prepare meals, wait on tables, and clean up after meals. In the process they learn menu planning, some elements of nutrition, and problems involved in maintaining the camp within budgetary limits. No one at camp is exempt from taking his or her turn at this work. The maintenance of the grounds, buildings, and tents is likewise the responsibility of the campers. Building projects are planned and executed sometimes within one season, and in some cases, over a period of years.: This phase of the program has been one of the most fruitful sources of creative expression. There have been instances where it was necessary to curb the eagerness of the campers to devote themselves to work projects to the virtual exclusion of other activities. This has been particularly true where the camp was established on a new site and had to be built "out of nothing." Using hired workmen only where the tasks made this


unavoidable, trees have been cut down, ground cleared and ploughed, and buildings erected. In a four-week period one summer at Kinneret in Michigan, the group finished waterproofing the roof of the dining room and kitchen, dug a tile tunnel for the water pump, put up screens and shutters on the doors and windows of the dining room, built shelves and drawers for kitchen equipment. The girls painted the dining room and screens. The following year they added a shower house, new tent platforms, sheds to cover the pump and washing machine (the campers conducted a cooperative laundry), new garbage pits, and the beginning of a storage bin. The greatest adventure was that of "bringing light to Kinneret." Five trees were cut down, trimmed, painted and erected so that electric cables could be drawn from the nearest sources of power. The complete electrification job was done and celebrated late in the summer when the lights were turned on in the dining room, shower house, and recreation hall with impressive ceremonies. I have watched the camp at Killingworth, Connecticut, acquire an enlarged dining room, infirmary, shower house, log bridge and dam over a stream which fed the swimming pool, an outdoor amphitheater dug out of a low hill and furnished with a stage platform, and the beginnings of a small building intended for use by activity groups in bad weather. All this was done in addition to clearing two large wooded areas to accommodate the tents. This emphasis on work has several motivations. It is an end in itself inasmuch as it fills immediate needs and serves to beautify the camp. The campers acquire considerable information and numerous skills. Moreover, it serves to inculcate in the campers a positive attitude toward work and collective self-sufficiency. It is a real-life demonstration of the values inherent in socially useful labor. In recent years, efforts have been made to introduce gardening with varying success. Girls have taken to this activity particularly. The advance crew usually prepares the soil and plants a variety of vegetables which mature during July and August. During the weeks of camp, the produce from the garden is used in the kitchen. In some of the camps, the practice has developed to sell produce to visitors, the income being contributed to the Jewish National Fund. During the 1942 season, interest in gardening was heightened by associating this activity with the need for maximum food in this country. Study Activities The casual visitor to any Camp Kvutza would probably be struck by the amount of time devoted to more or less formal study. Definite periods are set aside for this in the daily schedule, but an atmosphere of purposeful learning permeates the camp at all times. The subject matter, derived from the basic aims of Habonim, covers a wide range of topics of Jewish and general interest. Group discussion is the dominant method, with projects involving related activities being used to a fair degree, particularly among the younger age groups. Talks by visitors from nearby communities, representatives of the Eretz Yisrael Labor Movement, and staff members serve frequently as points of departure for discussions. Reading of relevant materials goes on simultaneously. The topics range from the aims and organizational forms of Habonim, to the causes of war and the prospects for permanent peace, from vocational problems of American Jewish youth, to the effect of rainfall on the economy of Eretz Yisrael. Groups have discussed and read about Jewish historical subjects, anti-Semitism, problems of Jewish adjustment, Jewish community organization, personalities from Jewish and Socialist history, "famous unknowns," phases and problems of life in Eretz Yisrael, Jewish migrations and refugees, the Bible and modern Jewish literature, and elements of Socialism. The subjects keep changing as events suggest the timeliness of various problems. At the end of the 1939 season, when war was imminent in Europe, long and personalized discussions as to the implications of the war took place in all camps. Observance of Shabbat Much attention has been focused upon the observance of Shabbat, holidays, and special occasions. Here the empliasis is on creating new forms of observance which will give meaning and significance to the holidays, and which will be emotionally and aesthetically satisfying. Considerable success has been achieved in this area. The Friday evening at Camp Kvutza is the highlight of the week. Preparations for Sbabbat go on all day. Camp is cleaned up, laundry is done, the dining room is furnished with fresh flowers and ferns, tables are covered with white table cloths, and a special nienu is prepared. The ceremonies may begin at flag-lowering, and continue in the dining room before and after the meal. The use of the traditional Kiddush has spread in recent years, symptomatic of the swing back from an earlier rejection in radical Jewish circles of all that smacks of the old and "outworn. " Groups have prepared special readings from the Bible and the Prophets, and from their extensive repertoire of Hebrew and Yiddish songs, they have drawn those which lit particularly the spirit of Shabbat. Specific themes may be used as the foci of the program, and when this is done the first hint may well appear in the blessing of the candles. These ceremonials, being original, give to the observance a spontaneity which is so often lacking where the traditional orthodox customs are practiced. At the same time, they do not stiffer from that coldness and remoteness which so often characterize the reformist or "non-sectarian" services in vogue in many Jewish camps.


After the meal the singing normally continues, with or without choral group to provide direction. There may be also a story or brief talk on a subject related to Shabbat. Invariably, the evening closes with folk dancing in the open or in the cleared dining room. On Saturday, all work projects are in abeyance. The day is characterized by more leisure, reading circles, discussions of current events, sports and swimming for longer periods than usual. Some experiments have been made with developing new forms for Saturday morning and with the Havdala services at sunset. The Saturday night campfire, where the diary of the week is reviewed, has become a traditional event. Other Celebrations The anniversaries of Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, and Hayim Nahman Bialik, the Hebrew poet, which occur during the summer, are observed regularly with special programs. Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av-date of the destruction of the Temple), too, is observed, and here the tendency to create new ways of observing old holy days finds expression. In all the camps, breakfast is foregone on Tisha B'Av, and the money normally spent on the meal is contributed to the Jewish National Fund. The effect of such practices is illustrated in the incident reported from Los Angeles where, after the campers had debated the question of having breakfast or not, it was decided that "only the solelim (the youngest children) were to have some fruit juice. This was on Monday. On Tuesday the solelim rebelled. They refused to drink their juice." Reflecting their interest in the general struggle for human freedom and civil rights, it is interesting to note that some camps have observed the anniversary of the martyrdom of Sacco and Vanzetti. The Common Fund One of the most radical features of Camp Kvutza is the elimination of "private capital." In keeping with the principle of collective living, the camps have always emphasized the concept of keeping all campers and staff on an equal basis with respect to money. This has not been achieved without some difficulty, and every year, each camp takes up anew the question as to how to operate the common fund. The educational value of the discussions is obvious, involving as they do questions of equality, individual rights, group responsibility for the individual, means of curbing excessive demands, and the like. The common fund generally functions as follows: All money in the possession of the campers and staff members is placed in a common fund administered by a committee. All requests for supplies such as stamps, stationary, tooth brushes, and combs are placed with the committee which fills the orders as the finances permit. No accounts are kept of what campers give or get. Where a request is considered to be out of line with the budget or unjustifiable for any other reason, the committee advises the camper accordingly, at the same time enabling him to defend his request if he wishes to do so. The only exception to this general practice is made in situations where the camper deposits with the committee some money to be kept for his return home. Experience has varied. As indicated, the common fund is not instituted without prior discussion and acceptance, frequently over the objections of a minority. Occasionally, difficulties arise, particularly with non-members of Habonim or with new campers. On the whole, however, it has been accepted and has worked out very satisfactorily. Where it includes the agreement to share among the entire camp all foods and candy sent to individual campers, the troublesome problems associated with these gifts, problems familiar to all camp directors, are virtually non-existent. How well it has been accepted by the campers is illustrated in the anecdote about the boy who, in a discussion as to whether or not there should be a common fund, asked: "If we don't have one, how will we be able to get stamps and batteries?" After ten years Camp Kvutza has remained true to its original principles. Those who have been identified with it from the beginning have grown with their experiences and have demonstrated the soundness of the theories with which they began to work. (A goodly number of former campers are now living in collective settlements in Eretz Yisrael, or, as members of the American Hehalutz, are being trained in agriculture or trades for settlement there.) The camps remain physically primitive and unadorned, small tent villages with a few "communal" structures, so that the pioneering spirit may not be lost. Camp Kvutza is the climax of an organic educational experience, forming a part of a continuous yearround program of a youth movement, rather than a single -unrelated event in the life of a boy or a girl. The emphasis continues to be on translating into personal experience the concepts of individual and social living of the movement and on providing a wholesome and stimulating Jewish environment. Through such experience the campers learn how satisfying and enriching a cooperative society can be. Concurrently they acquire information and emotional attitudes toward their Jewish heritage and contemporary Jewish life which belp to make of them healthy mid creative Jewish persoiialities. Abraham Cohen, 1943


TEL YOHANAN AND RED HOOK That summer, I was a still-wet-behind-the-ears tzofa, spending my first year in Camp Kvutza. The name of Yohanan Tartakower was completely unknown to me, but Mabaneh Tel Yohanan was a living thing, not a memorial. I'd say that many of us did not know at the time who Yohanan was, but we lived in such a way that he continued to exist in us. That summer of 1951 in Tel Yohanan was a six-week honeymoon with the movement for all of us. When we returned to the city, the great tales of "adventure" found willing ears, and the registration of Tel Yohanan promised to expand enormously. In June, the shock of hearing that Tel Yohanan had been wrecked by vandals was numbing. Who wanted to go anywhere but to our own Tel Yohanan for the summer? Nonetheless, we went to Galil. Since the inajority of the New Yorkers were of bonim age, and the majority of the Galilniks were of solelimtzofim age, the division between the two groups was extremely sharp. The fact that the Galil campers were living in the cabins and most of the New Yorkers in a separate tent-camp, did not help the situation at all. During the summer of 1952, it often seemed as if we New Yorkers were marking time. Despite this attitude, the many friendships and traditions which developed during the course of eight short weeks were to have an important effect on the future of the New York movement. New York was determined to build a Kvutza of its own once again. The Merkaz wore out tempers and tires in everlasting jaunts around New York State looking for a new camp site. Finally, in the early spring of 1953, the news was announced: New York Habonim had a new home-at the (then stupendous) cost of almost fifty thousand dollars. The mahaneh in Red Hook, New York, faced its first meeting with Habonim during a spring session in 1953. The first reaction: We were appalled! It was all too civilized for our tastes. Gone were the days of cold water only, a separate showerhouse, outhouses, no electricity, and (we thought) no halutziut. The first summer in Camp Habonim, Red Hook, served to dispel a few illusions. We had not only to adapt ourselves to a new concept of camping with its attendant responsibilities, but were also faced with a previously unknown problem of incorporating a large percentage of nonmembers. This perhaps was the more serious of the two. In accepting the "luxury" of our new home, we could not afford to let our ideals go by the board. At the same time, active Habonim within the camp did not exceed forty percent of the total population. In Tel Yohanan and again in Galil, the number of Habonim campers from the New York region was under fifty. The population at Red Hook climbed to more than double that number, while the Habonim population remained at roughly the same level. 1954 was the "honeymoon" season at Red Hook. Habonim had arrived at an understanding of the needs of this new type of camp and gathered a staff of the highest possible caliber from every part of the movement. The campers responded. It became as natural for some madrichim to converse in Hebrew as for the campers to try to emulate the actions of the staff. There was a Habonim atmosphere. It was felt in the unfolding of the daily program and in the Shabbat celebrations which were real "productions" complete with interpretive dance and special effects. It was felt, too, in the activities run by the campers themselves. The next summer was somewhat less of a memorable experience-perhaps because the previous season had been so overwhelmingly successful. It will be remembered as the year of the Habonim Maccabia with the summer camp of Hanoar Hatzioni, Camp Hatzofeh. It was a wonderful experience for both camps. A comradely atmosphere from the outset even cheers were carefully censored to exclude any derogatory material about the opposing camp. The spirit of the entire competition may be imagined from the unanimous protest of the two camps directly before the close of the Maecabia-both wanted to "rip up the score sheets." 1955 saw a new venture in Habonim camping-that of a successful Leaders' Training program, with a large number of participants, at camp. 1956 saw the revival of the Habonim Inter-Kvutza Maccabia. Once again held at Galil, it was the high point of the


Galil for Galil. Each summer has seen the development of the concept of Habonim camping-from the tents.cold-water stage to the cabins-hotwater stage. a new dimension of education had been added to the Maccabia which made its meaning even fuller for the participants. Ziffy Entin. with people from all three camps cheering the competitors impartially? Each camp had a theme-Yehuda for Red Hook. and Negev for Moshavaupon which the cheers. In addition to the spirit of comradeship which grew up in the three days. from the concept of halutziut "in the raw" to a more mature understanding of our role in the community and of how we must fill it. 1957 28 . though not until a contest had been waged in which every point was in doubt. and songs were based. evening program presentation.season. As usual. What is to happen to New York camping in the future? That is in the hands of the haverim themselves. the New Yorkers won. Remember the afternoon spent in track events.

and as a result. Had it not been for the camp. who were campers are now in Israel. The woods behind the tents and the hay loft behind the barn served as "rooms" for discussions and Hebrew lessons. I cannot comment on the feverish activity involved in trying to set up the camp for the first time.Lake Ontario. Several ex-G. I was only thirteen in 1937 when I spent one week at Camp Kvutza. Many new Habonim members were obtained through the camp. Permanent fixtures at the camp.KENDALL Camp Kvutza at Kendall.'s (and ex-Habonim) formed the Enzo Sereni Labor Zionist group in Rochester. However. The burned-out remains of a house nearby. the loyalties it helped cement bore fruit after the war years in 1946. It handled thirty to flfty-flve children per week. and was responsible for many lasting friendships. aside from many of the Habonim members. Many of the members of the Poale Zion and the Pioneer Women in the area are people who were campers in those years at Kendell. From my experience on pre-registration camp committees in later years. one-eyed Pete. and the empty "haunted house" down the road gave the camp additional atmosphere. were the cook. thirty miles west of Rochester. and Mark B. our departed haver and teacher. Havera Atlas. It is not difficult to measure the importance of Camp Kvutza to upstate New York. Our camp was not a large-one. It was situated on farm land along. 1957 29 . Buffalo. A large two story barn served as the kitchen and recreation hall. Hanopolsky. and Syracuse. inhabited by the ghost of two-fingered. Danny Owerbach. I can fully appreciate the time and effort expended by the "older haverim. Some of the baverim. opened in 1937 and ran through 1941. This group existed from 1946 to 1949 and was probably as active a Zionist group as existed in this country. however. New York." Camp Kvutza catered to the Habonim of Rochester. 1941 was the last year of Camp Kvutza.I. the Habonim camping experience would have been denied to most of the Habonim in this region.

I got into the driver's seat. Kvutzie became a legend. Then we decided to take a number of haverim 1000 miles to the seminar at Accord. I urged her on by calling out. Before we left. how many flats she would have. for upon her depended all the transportation of haverim and materials for this crucial period and for the Kvutza season itself. Julius Cohen. What should we do? Turning back would mean another precious day wasted. It was hard. tire-deflated 1926 Dodge truck. the super truck driver-to-be. our New York Kvutza. We had her gear fixed so it would stay in high. seat next to me. The fire had left a desolate spot. The haver in whose lumber yard she was stationed after serving some time at our short-lived Hehalutz training farm in Indiana was glad to see her go. the source of the greatest fear. Her every arrival was the source of the greatest excitement. We had no lights. We started her up. even for members of Habonim. Then we went to buy her new shoes at an old junk yard about two miles from Michigan City. Songs were written about her. when she began sputtering over a little hill. but all the way. but he wouldn't advise it. but which had been ravaged by fire. We decided to take the chance. After a few hours' sleep and a little more pushing. who had inherited the junk yard from her father and 30 . With the aid of that flashlight and the full moon. the driver completely new. and then somehow managed to drive to the center. Cries of "ouch" rang out and the people along Western Avenue stared. now overgrown with weeds and grass and ruins all about. three "big shots" were pushing an old. Then on the way. we got the Dodge started on her way back to Chicago-just Julie and I. We decided to continue. She had been given to us for nothing. Julie and Nahum. Here we picked up fourteen brave souls and were on our way. The advance crew would have three weeks of unceasing work to get the place in shape for the opening. shook his head. fearlessly risking their lives. business manager. Those in the back were frozen from the cold night air. those in front roasted from the heat of the motor. We could take the chance of using her that night if we wanted. Kvutzie was the cause of most of the joy and sorrow of that first season. After a harrowing hour and a half we were finally out of the city. and said he'd see what he could do. we had received our first application with $1 deposit. got into the. The streets of Chicago are renowned for their holes and bumps and I didn't miss one of them. and down Douglas Boulevard in Chicago. Tel Hai. Michigan. dilapidated. She needed a new generator and new battery. We played guessing games as to what time she would return from a trip. aided by a Jewish girl of about twenty. there was spirited singing and joking. and that this little scene was actually the first practical beginning of Habonim's second Kvutza in America at New Buffalo. It was now about midnight and the traffic was not very heavy. she served us through the entire summer. Miraculously. she was indeed able to run-but no telling how. rusty-looking. and we were pushing that truck to a garage to get her running. we had to revive a place which was once a beautiful Farband camp. we finally reached Tel Hai. We looked up at the sky and saw that the moon was full. "What? With Kvutzie? Never!" Well. The previous week. "Come on. and so we pushed her slowly to the garage and told the mechanic to get her in running condition for that evening. In the evening when we returned."KVUTZIE" It was a hot June day in 1936. There. But we knew she would run again. we tried to think of a name for our truck because we could already see that she was to be an important factor in the life of Kvutza. for who could tell when or if she would return? The most spirited singing of the summer and the most gleeful laughter took place aboard her on trips to the beach and back. to realize that the three were none other than Nahum Guttman. He looked at us and grinned. Trembling. The Dodge was old. In these three weeks. Kvutzie! " and thus she was named. we'd see. rosh Kvutza. her every departure. and myself. One of the haverim climbed up on top of the cab and shone his flashlight down on the road in front of the truck. and through the grace of an inefficient police force. when the battery went completely dead. and whom and what she would bring back with her. Only three weeks remained before the opening of Kvutza.

the rain. the discussion. New Jersey. the mountains. Others may remember the camp fires. They dismantled her and used her parts on other trucks. and everything was against our getting there. But we survived the trip. and the sixty hours of traveling. she soon died. Frightened parents trembled as Kvutzie pulled out of the dirt road onto the highway at three in the morning. at Accord.who was sitting among old rims and tires and spare parts writing a book. that first season of Kvutzat Tel Hai. But Kvutzie had been run ning on love and sympathy. Only in the wonderful life that is ours at Kvutza could such a spirit come to be. Without them. the overnight hikes. 1942 31 . we found four almost new tires for Kvutzie. There. I remember Kvutzie for she was the creator of that spirit. the wonderful spirit. a spirit which could take a dead object and give it the soul that Kvutzie had. the comradeship. we sold Kvutzie to the Hehalutz farm at Creamridge. What a night that was! We packed eighteen haverim into the back of Kvutzie and started the trip! It thundered and rained. We arrived at Accord amid great celebrating (and without a single flat tire on the entire trip). Moshe Goldberg.

and an official title was given the committee." said a bass voice. Nevertheless. hilly. high land. little did we expect that it would be our last summer there. We took out the trusty telephone book and began paging through it. Well. With eyes closed. It was decided that Wisconsin would be the lucky state containing the new Habonim Kvutza. But it was. Armon Kamesar. and level." said the man on the other side of the line. I supply the blasting powder. All you have to do is put a dozen steamshovels to work for two years and you've got it. 1944 32 . And it's only 9. only thirty-five miles from Milwaukee. "Yes. WHO'S GOT A KVUTZA? When we left Tel Hai at the close of the Kvutza season last summer. R-Radiators-Radios-ah." I thanked the gentleman for his kind offer and consideration and hung up. see? Nothing to worry about. I phoned that number. the Meshugoyim (mad ones). It meets all the requirements and we are awaiting word as to the possibities of our developing the lake into a swimming pool. "Sure enough. Real Estate.KVUTZA. I spun around three times and placed my finger on the page. When at the winter seminar it was decided to leave Tel Hai and look for a new site for the Midwest Kvutza. How should we go about it? Where should we start? Whom should we contact? The method we used was quite simple. none of us were too sad. after calling for enough times to have lost count. Again I went through the same procedure.762 1/2 miles from Milwaukee. we will probably be building for the 1944 Kvutza season. "I have just what you want. KVUTZA. by the time you'll be reading this article. A committee was elected to look for a site." I hung up. a place with real possibilities turned up. None other like it in the whole state. "I have just the place for you. heavy woods.

in honor of sixteen-month-old Donny. During the summer of 1939. the hardy group turned to Farband Camp. under the leadership of Ben Kaminker. 33 . Artie Goldberg was rosh Kvutza. with Dave Katz as his righthand man. Murray Weingarten. a migdal. and last but not least. the rosh. was rosh in 1946. under the tutelage of Yosef Israeli. The hospital was nominally finished and we began our eternal project. We built a cabin. a few members of the group waded through a swamp to find a large tract of unused ground. and Evvy Weingarten made her famous leap from rooftop to Ann Arbor hospital. The washing facilities were enclosed and work began on a real outhouse. A patch of grass surrounded by a D-shaped trench formed the open-air dining table. the storage cellar. and with the assistance of a professional carpenter. and the hills around Kinneret resounded with labor songs. Michigan. A large group of Cincinnati haverim joined the Detroiters. separate outhouses were under way. while Aharon Remez was the fair-haired boy whose experience and muscle were relied on to continue with the building program. That winter. New tent platforms. Joey named his quarters. pooled their resources to purchase a couple of tents which they pitched on the side of a hill overlooking Waterloo Road near Chelsea. In 1944. The rosh was Paul Milgrom (Pinhas Rimon). That was the year of Doris Dombey's bouncing bed. 1947 was the year of Joey Criden. Electricity was installed. 1942 was another year of big construction . We added our annual brick to the storage cellar and spent the rest of the season looking for work.KINNERET In the summer of 1938. Kinneret was a success and ready for further expansion when Mordecai Salinger took over as rosh Kvutza in 1940. Harry Spoon. the greatest stunt ever at Kinneret. We began work on the hospital. Mordecai Salinger. Shalom Wurm set the pattern for cultural activities at camp. This they immediately staked out as the perfect spot for their future ventures. While exploring the area south of their encampment. the Ashkenazy building. Leon Adler became rosh. 1941 was a quiet year. among them Ben Kaminker. our haverim cleared a road through the swamp. their neighbors across the road and owners of their camp site. which was dedicated to Donny Lee of Cleveland. they enlisted the moral and financial assistance of active seniors who helped plan construction of the new Habonim camp to be known as Kinneret. In 1943. and sank a shallow well. Pipeline HaNegev. built a dining hall and kitchen. Several more cabins were built. but for all other facilities. and Danny Ginsburg. enlarged the dining room by moving the kitchen to a new addition. work was again the watchword. 1944 also saw the end of the beloved tower-the termites and old age finally beat the creosote and supports. erected platforms for the tents. but the campers carried on valiantly under the expert whistle blowing of Esty Carson. with Ettie Skidell in charge of camp and the boys hard at work moving mountains of dirt to lay the sanitation distribution field. with Shirley Milgrom who came along for the honeymoon. In 1945. and dug another distribution field for the modern improved shower house. a small group of Detroit Habonim. raising the number of campers to an average of sixty during that summer. Joey brought the overnight hike back to Kinneret and the innovation of naming the tents-remember the famous Dorot and Mishmar HaNegev? And not to be outdone. and all became sweetness and light at Kinneret-for once we were Kinneret. and the arrival of four girls from Cleveland marked the beginning of Kinneret as a regional camp. arrived late. twenty acres of which belonged to the Farband.

Geli Gelfond was rosh." and Blue-White Day was distinguished by its blood and gore. but things picked up. but a marvelous business manager. Detroit had had a very successful year and camp registration was up. Abba (Cherniak) Tzuriel was rosh. and the last year of Kinneret closed with a Bonim Seminar. and the discussion program centered about the False Messiahs. A new truck was purchased. In 1954. Abbie Haklay was rosh." and also a year of strong emphasis on scoutcraft. This was the year of the "flexible schedule. Prior to opening. and assorted spouses and progeny. There was no big construction projects because of the lack of people. modern dance. In 1950. including many younger chidren. 1952 opened with a low registration. drama. Doodle Horowitz led Kinneret in its first year as a Hebrew-speaking camp.In 1948. a group of 9 'old-timers" packed box-lunches. 1957 34 . 1955 was Kinneret's last year. In 1951. Detroit's United Hebrew Schools provided a number of full scholarships and there was a large enrollment. managed to make money even on only twenty campers. There were many midnight "Arab attacks. A madrichim camp was held after the regular season. Camp doubled its enrollment on weekends-an ambitious weekend program. The foundation for the wash house was laid that day and work for the rest of the season had a concrete basis-repairing the efforts of the old folks. art.. The emphasis was on speaking Hebrew. Dvora Frankel was rosh in 1949. and spent a day of labor at Kinneret. the Detroit United Hebrew Schools said that more Hebrew was learned by their students that year than any other. Dani Kerman returned in 1953. baby carriages. Haim Stopak was rosh. Jerry Katz. There was an ambitious work program mainly centered about maintenance-there were no new projects. again including younger children. Of the season. Dani Kerman was rosh and Kinneret was still a Hebrew-speaking camp. Esther Goldberg. Chicago and Detroit combined efforts in staff and campers. Harriet Gelfond. Seymour Salinger. The season gushed with culture.

All that is left of Tel Natan is fond memories. which was mainly older. the camp discontinued operation. Missouri. known to the Missouri State Park Commission as Camp C-1. Nathan Kanter. some photographs. ten large cabins. no one lost any weight (thanks to Havera Kanter. we contacted the movement in Cincinnati. It was unique in having complete facilities. We did not have to struggle and fight to establish our camp. formed the Habonim Camping Association of Missouri. and since the swimming at Cheetham Pond was not too good anyway. and several buildings we never used. We broke even. Perhaps it was too easy. Nate's mother.000 acre park. bought a truck. Louis mahaneh. which we had dreamed of for many years and talked about for several months came into existence early in 1947 when we found that there would be no camp in the Chicago area to serve the St. examined and leased the camp site sixty miles west of St. Louis. created by a slowdown in activity during the war. Nate was killed in an automobile accident at about the time we were beginning to work on the idea of a camp for our area. four sinks. and the activities and discussions excellent. was probably the main cause of failure. I believe that Tel Natan failed because the leadership in the mahaneh. and the two tons of dishes and pots did not arrive till fall. to other movement assignments. Wil Schoomer. who was one of the most sincere and dedicated members of the Labor Zionist movement and represented the best that is found in Habonim.TEL NATAN Tel Natan was the Camp Kvutza for the St. and after one more season. two tons of dishes and pots. we were convinced that we had made a wonderful beginning as the first year-round Camp Kvutza in history. or moved on to other personal activity. Forty haverim spent four satisfying weeks at Tel Natan. no one complained. a recreation hall. shower house. a large dining room. was located on a high hill in the heart of a 6. Quiure River State Park. 1957 35 . This was even more successful than the summer session. office. I'm not sure why the camp failed or what lesson other camps can learn from Tel Natan. plenty of hot and cold water. hospital. This void. a walk-in icebox. and printed application blanks. Perhaps St. We were wrong. We returned to Tel Natan for a winter conference. The camp. guest house. went on aliya. All that we missed was the swimming. and left a void. The cabins were warm. Tel Natan was named for our dear haver. an electric refrigerator. Louis was just not ready to conduct and sustain its own camp. the food was good. who was our cook). and a feeling of deep regret that the monument we began to erect in memory of Nate Kanter in 1947 was never finished. Louis and Cincinnati mahanot in 1947 and 1948. In a matter of days. After we shut down the camp for the winter. The camp and the setting were beautiful and the facilities excellent (two stoves. The first season was a success. Tel Natan. Troy.

with the singing and the dancing afterwards? Those of you who ever attended Camp Habonim. Many fine and beautiful traditions were built here. The first Habonim camp in the Midwest (and the second to be established in the United States) was Tel Hai. Michigan. Can you remember. of work and love and devotion. These are names that really bring back memories of our youth. containing all the necessary facilities. Thus. This was camp Yad Ari. a bold. two of which were spent at a rented camp near Savannah. that resiliency which can change disaster to triumph. of a closeness and oneness that could be achieved nowhere else-the indomitable spirit of Habonim. The physical facilities were not always of the best or the most modern we had our difficulties and tribulations-our lake dried up after the second year. were spacious and comfortable. Illinois. who recall those days with love and tenderness. when it was destroyed by fire. for it has endured (with a few changes to meet the changing times) to this very day and has grown stronger with the passage of time. or perhaps he would forget to loosen the ropes so that the tent pegs could come out of the ground and cause the tent to partially collapsebut nothing. 160 acres of land were purchased near Waupaca. Kinneret. the dignity of the flag raising. so we had to travel ten miles to go swimming. Nothing romantic or exciting or exotic or even emotional about this name. They planted a pine forest. as all good things do. many years. not even the finest of facilities or the most beautiful buildings and grounds. this also came to an end. innocuous name. It was a concept of a place where young Labor Zionists would build their own camp with their own hands from the ground up. The tents. however. Michigan. In 1948. in north-central Wisconsin. Most important of all. This was the idea that the very small. The changing times and the change in the type of youth now coming into Habonim made it mandatory that Habonim go along with these changes insofar as the physical plant was concerned. beautiful dining room. or the simple beauty of a Friday evening meal by candlelight. of singing and dancing. were built. where they would govern themselves in a truly democratic fashion and work out their plans for building a new Eretz Yisrael. Obviously. For Midwest Camp Habonim is today the culmination of our work and our dreams of twenty-five years ago when the concept of Camp Kvutza first took shape in the minds of a few young people who were to be the nucleus a few years later of Habonim-tbe Labor Zionist Youth. with everyone in white. Tel. Louis and Minneapolis. We had to have fewer but much larger and better (physically speaking) camps. near New Buffalo. and they did! They built a big. occasionally someone would get wet at night when he forgot to close the tent flaps. Its tenure came to an abrupt end. Yad Ari. the true Habonim spirit. turn tears into laughter. This was a new idea. Why choose Kinneret over Yad Ari? Mainly because of the location. and one that has proven itself. which served the Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis area. carefree period in our lives where we learned and lived the principles of Labor Zionism upon which we today base our lives and our work for Israel. The name. which doubled as a recreation room. this was Camp Habonim. At the end of the 1954 season. of bonfires and Sbabbat celebrations. haverim. was the fact that the campers and the staff were satisfied and happy. Here the ideals of Camp Kvutza could really flourish. however. A new concept of camping had been born in the minds of the leadership of Habonim. wherever or whenever it might have been. can never forget. more intimate type of camp was no longer feasible. But. Yad Ari was abandoned. could ever be a substitute for the most wonderful of intangibles. of exciting days and romantic nights. The combined areas would now extend as far east as Pittsburgh and as far south and west as St. the combining of the two small camps into one large camp at Kinneret. Then followed an interim period of three years. memories of a glorious. however. Hai. which has since proven to be the most memorable part of the whole camp. and will continue to go on for many. This was Yad Ari. thrilling one for our haverim of those early years. a more modern one. the feeling of real group living. central 36 . names such Tel Hai. And yet this name holds for us twenty-five years of memories-memories of other camps with other names.MIDWEST CAMP HABONIM Midwest Camp Habonim! A rather plain. today stirs beautiful memories among many of our senior haverim. A good concept. and the camp itself was always clean and well kept. and a modern shower house. No other buildings. except for a dispensary. It was a good idea. and so it remained a tent camp. and 1955 saw Camp Yad Ari and Camp Kinneret combined at Camp Kinneret near Chelsea. Here was the opportunity for Habonim to truly build its own camp.

and did it well. modern Camp Habonim. moshavim. democracy. becomes an attraction for newcomers to our movement. the new Midwest Camp Habonim. This is a record that speaks for itself. the new cabins come equipped with these appurtenances. the concept of a common fund. his chances of remaining in Habonim are excellent. Kinneret was never meant to be the permanent new home of the large. that feeling of kinship and real comradely spirit. we believe. as well as the program. The most important features remain-self-labor. in kibbutzim. The purchase itself marked a new phase of Habonim camping in the Midwest because this was the first time that Habonim had used its own resources to purchase a camp site in this region. and of course. 1957 37 . however. but in all parts of the American Jewish community. Lenny Zurakov. With the new buildings we can now house seventy-five campers comfortably and we have enough room to expand to a hundred and fifty. It was too small and lacked the proper facilities for a large number of campers. The next season found us in the new camp. The dining hall is probably one of the most ideally situated spots in camp. But to go along with more modern practices. Kinneret was the choice. is now almost a thing of the past. the physical plant of the camp. The cabins are all equipped with electric lights and even the grounds are illuminated at night. we can honestly say that we have compiled a tradition of living Judaism which would be difficult for any group or organization to match. Does this mean. Midwest Camp Habonim today is. It did just that. we have improved upon many of the primitive physical facilities. Its many high windows overlook the lake and present a truly scenic picture for the diners. The campers are now housed in cabins rather than in tents (although some of the older bonim may still live in tents at their own request).Michigan was much nearer the center of this region than northern Wisconsin-therefore. were purchased by Habonim. It was to serve merely for the transition period until a new site would be found. Negotiations were completed early in May and two additional cabins were begun. and many others have remained here to become leaders not only in the Labor Zionist movement. We feel that we now have a camp. with which all Habonim campers are so familiar. that we are giving up the old idea of Camp Kvutza? Not at all. Michigan. and cities. We now come to the current chapter. For the first time. and a program superior to most. Many graduates of Habonim camp have gone to live in Israel. eighty acres of beautiful grounds near Three Rivers. We have not lost sight of the unique Habonim camping program and we retain that spirit that typifies Habonim. This camp had been a farm resort and was situated on beautiful Kaiser Lake. a combination of the best of the old and of the new. The good old flashlight. In the spring of 1956. self-government. In looking back upon twenty-five years of Habonim camping. that can compare favorably with any in the area. and once a child has had a positive camping experience at camp. All toilet facilities are indoors-in fact. all the modern conveniences that one associates with the best in modern camps are present at our new Midwest Camp Habonim. In short.

as the camp is. and other camp diversions which took place regularly. Swimming was in a public pool. and water had to be brought by car from about a mile away. the Israel and Zionist spirit of all our activities. Here. on a hilly and wooded thirty-nine-acre estate. Camp Program and Activities Our camp program consisted of a general camp theme. The camp has served Los Angeles Jewish youth for twenty years now and several thousand young people have gone through it. Arts and crafts were integrated into this program. we felt it even more in the conversations with the parents of the campers. and Ben Cherner. camping experience in 1937 and Azusa in 1938. they were in a thoroughly children's atmosphere as well as in a thoroughly Jewish one. and the arts. photography. Our general camp theme was: "Jewish Heroism Through the Ages. twenty sprightly youngsters. Four large new 38 . that the idea of Habonim camping ripened and the first camp was established. the permanent camp in the Angeles National Forest. scouting. Situated. fifteen percent of the campers stayed for the entire six weeks. and for many campers for the first time. the discussion of Jewish problems and of Jewish achievements. But spirits were high." Through lectures. the daily Hebrew classes. sports. beginning with our ancient struggles for freedom and independence and down to the modern deeds of courage and valor of the defenders of the Warsaw Ghetto and of the Hagana. In addition. We felt it in the expressions of the children at camp. the following camp activities were open to all campers: swimming. It was during that summer. We felt it in the one hundred percent attendance at the first camp reunion. the Shabbat morning Tanach circle. cooking in an abandoned shack. its original owner's home was remodeled into a dining room and kitchen. Camp accomplished in a very few weeks what efforts by parents could not achieve for years.C. models. and the results were a full camping season which was followed uninterruptedly for the next twentyone years. the children at camp became acquainted with the heroic moments in Jewish history. singing. In 1939. discussions. games. with Ben's arrival in Los Angeles. these were the ingredients of the first Camp Kvutza in the West in the year 1936. as well as some that were specifically camp activities. 173 campers availed themselves of our facilities and spent with us 498 camper-weeks. Camp Spirit We would be greatly remiss in our factual report of camp activities and program if we were not to stress the spirit of the camp. A swimming pool was built and many other facilities added as late as last year. The Shabbat celebration.C. all this left an indelible impression upon the campers. Old-timers remember the C. During the entire period. was bought and the permanent home for Habonim camping established. fifty-five miles from Los Angeles. Sleeping was mostly outdoors. literary trials. Last year's camp was a typical Habonim camping year and the following report is characteristic of most of the others: Camp Duration and Composition Habonim Camp opened on July 1st in 1956 and lasted for six weeks until August 12th. Future Plans All this progress was made possible through a building expansion program undertaken last spring. Campers could register for a minimum period of two weeks. dancing. arts and crafts. the several activities directly associated with it.KVUTZA IN THE WEST A goat farm. the determination indomitable. hiking.

to improve the present shower building. We anticipate doubling our registration this summer. 1957 39 . David Yaroslovsky. We are beginning to receive campers from other cities on the West Coast and are rapidly becoming an all-Western camp. We also extended our camp season to eight weeks. to enlarge and improve our dining and kitchen facilities. an arts and crafts pavilion. to build several new concrete platforms. The sports facilities were improved. Our plans for this summer are to build a staff building. Habonim camping on the West Coast is confidently looking forward to a secure and ever-expanding future along with all Habonim camping in the United States and Canada. including showers. toilets and wash basins.cabins were built. Much new equipment was purchased.

Following a shady quiet path that starts in back of the kitchen one comes to the crossroads where many a heated discussion can be heard. It is also on this trail that we find the path leading to the new cliff. The central field is not far ahead and soon one can be in the midst of activity again. get an invigorating swim in the deeper cold water further from shore. Mosh has changed from a small camp sponsored by Gordonia-whose tents were pitched on the bare ground. whose dining rom had a canvas top. where baseball. gazing at the stars. four large airy cabins. horseshoe. but the setting is so perfect and the scenery so beautiful that we never want to forget it. a newly reinforced dining room. can one see it completely. The capacity is now seventy-five to eighty campers from all over the Atlantic seaboard. Only from the water tower. an outdoor stage." Such is the effect "Mosh" has on its campers. this scene is dimly repeated. 1935. and track events take place during sports periods. however. while Gordonia would have the camp in August. Here on this trail is the well-known "Tree" on whose roots many a couple sit wrapped in the velvety darkness of night. one finds oneself on the bench near the river. one arrives at last at the old cliff that overlooks the Sevem River. The picture Moshava presents is truly a beautiful one. And so Moshava began its flrst season! Needless to say. The center of this circle is the center field. and whose campers came from Baltimore only-to a large camp sponsored by Habonim following the amalgamation of Habonim with Gordonia. basketball. Past interesting coves and the beach. In all directions there is green foliage that beckons to you with its coolness in the heat of the day. a well-filled library. a large roomy kitchen. and far on the distant side of the river. From there. 1939 40 . In 1935 Mr. the tents and stage are arranged in an almost perfect circle. volleyball and basketball courts. One can relax in the mildly cool river water. July. The first month of the summer season. we come to the long uneven trail that leads back to the central field. Scrambling down the side of the cliff. These two cabins begin the camp proper. And it is no wonder that we all love it. and listening to the waves lap on the beach. The two groups were the Hashomer Hatzair and the Gordonia organization of Baltimore.THE STORY OF "MOSH" "Half the year you look forward to it-the other half you look back on it. one sees the side road leading from the water tower to the hospital opposite. or go to sleep on the sandy beach while taking a sun bath. Hashomer would use the camp. a popular place for rehearsals or for a nocturnal group wishing to read Edgar Allen Poe in just the proper atmosphere. a modern hospital with up-to-date equipment. "Mosh" Diary. It is lined with clinging vines draped around the trees. with seven tents pitched on platforms. and here and there. tantalizing monkey vines swing just above your reach. a piano. for flanking them. Following the path further. Sigfrid Sonniborn of Baltimore gave 162 acres of land near Annapolis to two Zionist groups to be used for a camp site. where there was no electricity whatsoever. But this is not all. wide and level. for not only do we spend some of the happiest weeks of the year there. This trail is the most popular of all. spreading below. and electrical connections. many changes have occurred since that memorable year.

The office served as a lounge. And now. Tzip and her hatred of kitchen duty. and ten stall showers which. the bull. Edi and Brown Betty. one of which leaked from the luxurious bath upstairs every time one of the girls decided to miss a discussion. Through mosquito-ridden New Jersey to mosquito-ridden Pennsylvania until they came upon Camp Germinal -former anarchist hangout and spiders' hideout. They formed committees. and nagged the National Executive. contacted sympathizers. In May. Cookie and the chocolate pudding. and the other which had a natural waterfall coming from the center roof every time the dishes fell. the first expedition set out armed to the hilt with mops. Who of us can ever forget Sir Ferdinand.GALIL'S FIRST YEAR It was after their return from the 1937 Accord season that the Philadelphia haverim realized the necessity for their own Camp Kvutza. who often stopped to admire the flowers by the wayside? He carried our haverim down to the swimming hole in the Shamony. three kitchens. Or can we forget our staff-rising and falling like the stock market? One week ten and the next week four. Clara's operetta. They transformed a chicken coop into a habitable shack. named for his predecessor. and Shlomo and his hat. Far and wide they traveled. and soap. They screened and painted. a site for camp. Leo and his driving mania. and dance studio. Galil Diary. Aba Kibbile's drama group. 1938 41 . Yona and her trying girls. Yak and his travels in Ferdy. and then after a sojourn with the flowers. the Sunday of the 23rd. The six master bedrooms did come in handy when the fourteen pioneers increased to sixty. Then came the eventful day when fourteen haverim. And their famous idiosyncrasies. influenced by their anarchist background. Ernst who drowned you trying to teach life saving. Camp Tax became the byword. could be persuaded only by Schmeer up to the hill again to camp. worked with characteristic irregularity. But soon the cash thermometer rose and $250 became a realization. Sossy from Chicago. and a rosh Kvutza set foot on forty acres of poison ivy studded with two outhouses. So the determined Quakers set to work. They slept and ate and grew gray hair over pledges. music room. brooms. Leslie and his hair washing. The manor house after being scrubbed from top to bottom revealed an immense dining room. The scrubbed and rubbed. printed stationary. It was a crime to travel hundreds of miles for the inspiration and learning we could achieve on our own grounds. or on a line to the Delaware. hot and cold water. buckets.

Yak Rycus was imported from the Midwest to act as rosh Kvutza. Guard duty became an important job. or returned to Moshava. Construction went well. the GermanAmerican Bund was active in the area. One remembers nostalgicaBy the first contact with shlihim. Dr. Happily for Habonim. however. and immediately upon the close of the summer. Undaunted.500). as many of our members as possible spent the summer at Moshava near Baltimore. began intensive construction projects to make the site as serviceable as possible for the summer. let alone talk in terms of developing a permanent camp. and staffed mainly by older haverim of Habonim. A county highway divided the cabins from the rest of the 'site. Meyer Cohen. it was impossible to raise the necessary funds or to evoke sufficient interest on the part of the Philadelphia movement to even rent a camp site. All efforts were bent toward getting a camp for Philadelphia and vicinity. In 1939. a magnificent barn. or as inspiration for a new year's activities cannot be minimized. this pattern was repeated. a principal of a Philadelphia Talmud Torah. So much so that at the beginning of the summer. Word was passed around and fortunately. it became clear that the local mahaneh could not really grow. notwithstanding the broken arm of one of our baverim who managed to fall off a roof while shingling it. and frequently more. During the summer of 1939. The summer itself was full of interesting and varied experiences. Connecticut. The most striking memory of this summer. a site was found near Pipersville. which could be rented for the summer. whether as a culmination of a year's work. Irv Sternberg and his wife. however. was the first national mahaneh madrichim. The rampant anti-Semitism which existed and which was manifested so clearly made a deep impression upon our younger haverim. one recalls a most interesting and unusual Hebrew program. was a member of the staff. At that particular period. In retrospect. War clouds were gathering. Conditions brought about by the imminence of war 'unfortunately dictated against a camp of our own in 1941. In addition. and a number of cabins which at one time had beeii4 chicken coops. at the younger haverim. It included a well-constructed farm house. and the first Camp Galil came into existence. the Philadelphia haverim. however. Most of our haverim spent that summer either at Killingworth. The effectiveness of this endeavor paved the way toward the utilization of the summer camp for serious and intensive discussions of mutual problems which were to transfer themselves to each city and each Camp Kvutza in the country. Pennsylvania (for the then large sum of $1. this dream of 42 . no further incidents took place. Upon returning from Moshava at the end of the 1939 summer season. To counteract these activities. Edie. I believe. The White Paper was soon to be issued and the horror of Hitler-Europe was soon to be upon us. we were able to convince enough members of the senior movement of the importance of a local camp for them to organize a camp committee to seek a site. The movement suffered accordingly. had two unfortunate deficiencies. had to do with the last three weeks of camp which was devoted to what. and the swimming facilities were reached by climbing a very steep hill at a considerable distance from the cabins. After much searching. From 1941 through 1945. it became a nightly occurrence for a truckload of these hooligans to drive slowly through the camp hurling epithets. When the war ended and Habonim haverim. did not detract from a very fine summer. for without a camp. a permanent site for a Philadelphia camp. were the roshim.GALIL In 1938. returned from the service. for the summer. plans were made for finding. The site. with the help of some adults. the haverim of Habonim. Haverim came from all over the country and friendships were created which were to last to this very day. and daily Hebrew sessions were a part of the program. Fortunately. This unpleasantness. rented the old anarchist Camp Germinal near Jamison. a very successful summer program was carried out. this dedication to the importance of the summer Kvutza soon manifested itself. The group was small-I doubt if there were more than fifty at any one time-but the spirit was high. Pennsylvania. One must recall the times in which this thinking took place. we were determined to have a camp of our own. The purpose of this particular mahaneh madrichim was to train madrichei tzofim. The impetus of the Camp Kvutza. Our appetites were whetted. Irv approached the local sheriff and received a permit to carry guns. they managed to deface and almost destroy the dock we had built at the creek. at the height of the depression and with much trepidation because of the lack of finances.

The electrical engineers in the group planned. a great deal of Hebrew was always used. one would retain the name Galil and would accept campers from ages nine through twelve only. The idea as finally formulated called for the establishment of two camps on the Galil site. however. which would in turn provide children for the summer season. at the same time. The camp was purchased for the sum of $30.having a camp of our own. Abe Segal spurred on the efforts of the movement to raise the necessary funds to purchase a most beautiful site at a relatively small cost. The cycle was rather vicious. quite a bit was accomplished in both camps. designed. and while the eamps might never become completely Hebrew-speaking. in addition to the everyday terminology. was shared by one haver of the senior movement of Philadelphia. This meant that the facilities of Galil were to be used to their maximum. despite the fact that campers came from as far as Wilmington and the Vineland-Toms River areas. serviced that number-this. despite all the handicaps. Few children came to camp-the camp leadership was not from Philadelphia and. The realization that Philadelphia finally had a camp of its own proved a tremendous incentive in the determination of the young adults to create as fine a camp as possible. It can truthfully be said. Killingworth could no longer be used and the Amenia site was not adequate. Abe Segal. actual classes for study of the language. It was. and installed electricity. the New York mahaneh was having its camp difficulties. While eighty children could be accommodated. if ever. however. and could register up to sixty children. whose membership came from ex-Habonim members. without whom there would have been no Camp Galil today. We are all part of one movement. Interest in the camp was further heightened by the events of 1947-48. was somewhat unnerving. It was agreed that every Habonim camp should have as much Hebrew as possible in its program. there was no leadership for the winter mahaneh. Galil was helped considerably in registering children by the fact that because of the emphasized Hebrew program.000 from the YWCA. that the young Labor Zionist movement of Philadelphia grew and was strengthened because of a program which revolved around the camp. quite clear at the end of the summer that such an arrangement could never be repeated. Camp Amal would register children ages thirteen through sixteen who met the Hebraic requirements. Interesting results followed. Aside from the fact that Philadelphia haverim acquired Brooklyn accents. The camp was quite primitive-there was no electricity. But this was not enough. make use of its facilities by improving the physical plant so as to be able to attract more children. but there are many local differences and loyalties which can be positive. the Council on Jewish Education of Philadelphia approved Camp 43 . they should become Hebrew centered. Registration would be limited to forty campers. the civil engineers in the group directed the building of the necessary footbridge to cross the stream. The best that can be said of that summer was that. The experience for Philadelphia. During our camping history. and the general membership supplied the muscle-power to dig the ditches so that all electric wires would be underground. consequently. Because of the weakness of Habonim in the city. To solve this dilemma an arrangement was made whereby the New York haverim registered at Galil for the summer. In 1953. during the struggle for Statehood. haverim of the Camp Committee were approached by the national office with a proposition to use the site of Camp Galil for the Hebrew-speaking Camp Amal. The lessons learned that summer were to be utilized during the following year. The young branches. the kitchen had an old wood-burning stove. it was at first difficult to utilize the camp to its fullest extent. It was during this year that the movement crystallized its thinking with regard to a central Hebrew-speaking camp. The future of Habonim in Philadelphia was therefore dependent upon those unaffiliated children who could be brought to spend a summer at camp. supplied the necessary labor and technical knowledge to begin improving the camp site. The idea now evolved to include. Almost singlehandedly. Camp terminology was almost exclusively Hebrew. The next few years were filled with gradual growth and improvement. and the water supply was dependent upon an old gasoline engine which worked on occasion. they were somewhat overwhelmed by the influx of the New Yorkers. In 1952. The Camp Committee of Galil wholeheartedly endorsed this approach and determined upon a course which would make Galil a truly Hebrew-centered camp and. The idea of two separate camps with separate staffs and differing orientation was too difficult an undertaking to be of any real success. camp rarely.

But they were neither shocked nor disturbed by "primitive" conditions. those of us now responsible for our camps must take this into account. It should be noted that the national office was never able to supply the total staff needs of Galil. is to no avail unless it leads to an invigorated and expanded youth movement in the city. Habonim camping has traveled a long road in the past twenty-five years. if not directly connected with our movement. were no less concerned about our welfare during the summer than parents today. All members of the Camp Committee are dedicated to this purpose. In cannot be changed without destroying the very basis for which our camps were created. if necessary. The Camp Comtnittee has assumed all of the responsibility of a Chay Commission. however. the water level of the creek continued to fall so that there were times when the pool could not be properly filled. the Kvutza in Israel has also undergone some metamorphases and the American Kvutza must reflect these changes. Our parents. In some cases. In most cases. a number of staff members of Galil were employed from the student body of Gratz College. We are raising a new generation of children and a new generation of parents. I well remember the heated discussions which took place among haverim in Philadelphia when Galil contemplated installing an automatic dishwashing machine. and the problems of the youth movement are an integral part of each camp meeting. The swimming pool was completely rebuilt. at least sympathetic to our program and completely cooperative in carrying it out. the program we offer has been tried and tested for twenty-five years and reflects our philosophy of life. It has made its mark in the Philadelphia Jewish community and its prestige is at its highest point. like it or not. but the well water will be purer and free of algae so that the pool need not be emptied and cleaned as frequently as heretofore. But. Supplementing the Habonim staff were Gratz College students working to our mutual advantage.Galil as one of three Hebrew camps for which it provided scholarships. " This in a sense represented our thinking. for the first time. Parents today seem more concerned for the material aspects of camp life and. " The road of the halutz is a long and difficult one and if it isn't. In addition. Haverim cried that this would violate the principle of self-labor. Several of the largest congregations in the city also announced to its membership that it would grant scholarships to children desirous of attending Galil. The future of Galil seems assured. however. deeply committed to Labor Zionism. A Hebrew Educators Advisory Committee was organized and the Hebrew program of Galil approved. Many of the youngsters bring with them specific requests from their teachers and principals as to material to be covered. During the past three summers many of the campers at Galil have made considerable progress in their Hebraic studies. They are not interested in running a camp just for the sake of a summer business. and in 1957. especially in the case of boys. Educationally. the Hebrew teachers' training institution of Philadelphia." primitive sites and difficult conditions were almost a matter of principle. camp was full. But problems have arisen. Not only will this be avoided in the future. and every meeting has on its agenda a report from the rosh mahaneh of Philadelphia Habonim. immigrants themselves. During the past few summers. 1957 44 . A second well was dug primarily to provide water for the pool and to act as a supplementary water supply for general use. Improvements to camp continue. In the "old days. Being on the approved list of the Council brought help from other quarters. they have covered the equivalent of a full year's work in the city. registration was closed by the end of March. We wanted to simulate the life of the Kvutza in Eretz Yisrael as closely as possible. All of this. Galil depended on the creek for water for the swimming pool. the Gratz College students were. In 1956. The Hebrew program at Galil is flexible enough to be able to provide for these individual needs. In previous years. make it. Daniel Isaacman.

Shimin. forty strong. the staff was small and hybrid. when he was through inspecting aircraft for the day. I ran around like Chicken Licken taking a census. It was David Biderman who wrought the miracle of Habonim in Winnipeg and set the stage for the first camp. special friend of the court.-until the roll call was completed and breathlessly I could report the affirmative vote to the mayor. Aliyah Kare was dean of arts and crafts and second in command of the kitchen. changed overnight from an explorer of the earth's depths to an inspector of flight. while tent-pegs were held in abeyance. The camp site. He became a military aircraft inspector for the RCAF stationed in Winnipeg. but happily there were no experienced campers in Winnipeg and no one withheld his enthusiastic approval. I dashed from one councilman to another. One day before the opening. and for Winnipeg Habonim it symbolized the indominable halutz spirit. about two blocks from the lake and close by a public wooded area. It was in no way distinguished from other cottages in the neighborhood. When David and Sully arrived-no matter what the time of day-the whole camp. The tents could not go up without the mayor's approval. Kasedy was cook-and a good one-and as a special dispensation she was permitted to bring along her son. Mrs. neither in appearance nor in the quarteracre plot it occupied. Winnipeg's first Kvutza would be held at Calof's cottage in Gimli on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. And from the mayor I brought word to 45 . Calof's cottage. But miner or airman. but the town had not yet lost the Icelandic character of its original settlers. The business manager who commuted on weekends was Sully Spector. There was a church of roughhewn stone authentic enough to have been transplanted from the old village back home. The Ford often faltered but it never failed. I was imported from New York to be rosh and factotum. Only experienced campers would have balked at such a plan. quizzing each on his home ground Nielson in a tractor shed. the mayor. The Winnipeg movement was young and vigorous then. a black. There is a large RCAF airbase nearby. a bright-eyed youngster who was under age for camp. There were some summer cottages in 1941. Geulah Green was the registered nurse and lifeguard. high-topped Ford that made the weekly pilgrimage. Olafson in the general store. The cottage itself was a one-story wooden building partly enclosed by an L-shaped screened porch. he went out to organize Habonim at night. Immediately a camp plan was drawn up and presented to the community. A fact not generally known is that the Gimli camp almost died in embryo and had it not been for the great democratic tradition of Iceland. Blond. And the fishing boats that sailed Lake Winnipeg rather than the saltier North Atlantic nevertheless carried salty sailors and bore names taken from the old Norse sagas. was at the outskirts of Gimli. In one of those strange wartime transmutations. David Biderman. in his shirt-sleeves trimming a hedge. That day I had a job on my hands. Thors in a garage. blue-eyed sons and daughters of Iceland dominated the village streets. the advance crew of three set to work pitching tents on the Calof lawn. but special cheers were always reserved for the venerable Bar Mitzva. and no one would have suspected that it came about as a sort of by-product of work for the Royal Canadian Air Force. etc. The constable sent me to the mayor. most assuredly that would have been its fate. Appropriate to the camp site. Once Winnipeg Habonim reached mahaneh status they could settle for nothing less than a Camp Kvutza of their own. by temperament David Biderman was no one-job man. The curious campers welcomed the distinguished guests.GIMLI. MANITOBA Camp Kvutza hit the plains of Manitoba in the summer of 1941 when Canada was already at war and the "United States was still waiting for Pearl Harbor. He used to drive up with David Biderman. who had received a mining engineer's degree from McGill University in Montreal. sent me to garner the opinions of the five councilmen. So. turned out to greet them. and the town itself is honeycombed with the cottages of Winnipeg vacationers. Gimli has changed considerably in recent years. The only clue to his earthbound past was slyly concealed in his home address: He lived on Burrows Street in Winnipeg. The local constable (there was only one constable in Gimli and only one cell in the jail) dropped by to inform the workers that an ordinance forbade the pitching of tents within town limits.

Strangely enough. Pinhas Rimon. . With the tents up and the campers covered.the constable-and only then did the pegs go in and the first tent go up. That tent was not simply pitched. There were frenched beds and a pillow fight that covered the grounds with feather-snow. camp fires at the beach. tired kids. There were earnest daydreams and the stubborn belief that somehow all of this was bringing everyone closer to Eretz Yisrael . Even the cook in the kitchen could not escape them. It is unlikely that campers anywhere lived more closely than the campers at Gimli. 1957 46 . . it was pitched according to law -democratic Icelandic law. The camp had the usual trials and triumphs: rains that came and tents that fell. The advantages in the setup were priceless: No one could be out of earshot of the discussions. parents who were torn between their loyalty to Labor Zionism and their concern for the welfare of their children. the season got under way. somehow it did.

was blessed with the unfaltering benevolence of King Saul. Accord." Moshe Rubinoff. In fact. 1940 47 . one of the rivers (we are at the junction of two streams) brought fond memories of the beautiful showers of that historic site. haverim spoke for the Poale Zion. and one found a most beautiful nook for discussions. the Pioneer Women. Moreover. He hoped the Toronto haverim would choose a name for Kvutza in keeping with our ideals.AFIKIM The opening of Camp Kvutza at Markham. But the wisest of all went exploring in the forests. he stressed the place of America in Labor Zionism in light of the plight of Jewry in Europe. Some inspected the eighty percentfinished dining room and kitchen. and Habonim. After Tehezakna. At first everything was disorganized as everybody went out exploring. Our Kvutza is named "Afikim. In his talk. The opening was held around the flag poles. Yisrael Kvutza. the name of an Eretz. And Harry Spoon gave a talk on the meaning of Camp Kvutza to the movement all over the world as he took over the key to Toronto's Camp Kvutza. still others were disappointed to find the dam unfinished. As a result. the Farband. others looked around the sleeping quarters. Ontario. he offered to rent the spot for every Sunday in the summer. with the iron cots and brand new mattresses. over 125 haverim and friends packed three trucks and several cars and filled the grounds. just at that point.

the existence of Vancouver Habonim would be seriously threatened. the camp of the Zionist Organization of British Columbia in 1950. decided that they would no longer be in the landlord business and that if we wanted to use the camp the following summer. and furthermore. a three-week Camp Kvutza was made possible. At this time there were about eighty-five camperweeks and Abbie Haklay was our rosh. Although several places were located. Camp Miriam in 1954 was located at Roberts Creek. This camp ran for three weeks with Asher Wallfish as shaliah and Allen (Geli) Gelfond as rosh. sold us the camp on very easy terms. thus precluding our use of the site. we again crossed the Straits of Georgia to the Gabriola Island camp site. Now that the Gabriola Island camp site is the property of the Habonim Zionist Society. This was a two-week camp with the shaliah.CAMP MIRIAM Camp Miriam was named after Miriam Biderman and is located on Gabriola Island.F. It is a nine-acre. being fellow Socialists. Fortunately the C. which was again rented from the C. it has a capacity of sixty people. At that time. Max Langer. heavily-wooded camp site with water frontage on a beautiful little cove.C. and they were told that if there was no camp that summer. Plans for the development of the site include especially development of kitchen facilities and playground. It was rented for two weeks. at about this time. And so in 1951.F. however. suffered from being too close to civilization. camp. the C. It was soon realized that as an intensive supplement to the program of the mahaneh in the winter. the problem of its development is up to us and the local parents and seniors.C. Moishe Loffman of Winnipeg was rosh Kvutza that year. The Roberts Creek camp site was even worse than Camp Miriam on Gabriola Island. The 1956 camp was a three-week season with Nahman Goldwasser as rosh. Camp Hatikvah. as rosh. Vancouver Habonim was first organized by Bert and Marian Waldman in 1948. the site of Camp Miriam moved back again to its primitive Gabriola Island site. Because of the primitive conditions.C. it turned out that we would not be able to rent this camp in the future because the Zionist Organization of B. for a period of two weeks.C. This camp was particularly fortunate in having on the staff three Workshoppers. the camp season will extend to four weeks for the first time in our history. we would have to buy it. After much hunting. However. In the fall of 1951. By this time. the idea was first brought forward that Habonim should own a camp site.F. Doodle Horowitz was rosh Kvutza. conditions on the Island had improved from terrible to merely bad and it was with optimism that we looked forward to going back again to Gabriola Island in 1956. Camp Kvutza Miriam was held at Camp Hatikvah. About twenty-five attended this first twoweek camp. itself had extended its own camp period. We have been a long time in acquiring it.F. thirty miles west of Vancouver. At present. lack of adult supervision at that time made the work of the committee abortive..C. The mahaneh set up a Camp Site Investigation Committee. Although we were still unable to purchase a camp. the local C. and so in 1955. In the summer of 1952. it was felt that an alternative to Gabriola Island had to be found because of the difficulty in transportation to the Island and the primitive. Yehuda "Sam" Weissbach was our rosh for that year's three-week camp. Some active parents were approached as well as some seniors of the Labor Zionist movement. unhygienic conditions existing there. In 1953 Camp Miriam was again held on Gabriola Island for two weeks with Al Linden as rosh. a Camp Kvutza in the summer was necessary. 1957 48 . The first Habonim Camp Kvutza of Vancouver Habonim was held in the summer of 1949 at Camp Wordsworth. on the site of a former girls' camp. on Gabriola Island. The seniors then formed an incorporated society for the purpose of buying the camp property. with the growth of the mahaneh. Amram Milner. The problem of financing this as well as down payments on camp is a problem of magnitude completely beyond anything which the Vancouver mahaneh has previously coped with. This committee spent many pleasant weekends traveling around the scenic local fiords hunting camp sites. which are to have priority in the next few years. In 1957.

1957 49 . Who can forget whitewashing the kitchen (to cover last summer's soot) and dining room until it was sparkling in the sunlight. chasing hornets. those who suffered afterwards from lime burn. There in Prefontaine. there was a stable (and it still stands today) which housed horses. those who got many blisters chopping firewood to keep the stove going red hot all summer. the little creek behind the kitchen that was our ice box. Camp Kvutza has changed places. or the famous soups that we had in those days which couldn't be had in the Waldorf Astoria. at a place called Lac Quenoilles. and sort of forgot to come back. Haverim who were at Kvutza in those days have traveled and settled in various parts of the world. having the same wonderful time. Cocoa Cheifetz. Times have changed and so has Kvutza-not like the old camp. the great baseball games at the playing field near the tents. many haverim spent wonderful summers at Kvutza and at seminars. not knowing that one day it was destined to house Habonim. not any more in Prefontaine. trudging through the swamp connecting the pipeline bringing water to camp. the many cases of poison ivy? Years have come and gone. the many times the smoke stack shifted a bit and smoke was heavy and thick? Who can forget the overnight hikes. and then off to another direction for another pit for another purpose. Agathe to get axes sharpened. digging a new garbage pit. but many miles further in the mountains. the day one haver climbed over a fence and stepped into a hornet's nest. but new and sparkling and full of Habonim.MONTREAL Once upon a time. and then a swim in the North River? Who can forget washing the dishes in that quaint sink and lugging hot water from the old stove. the haverim who went to Ste.

and parents in the communities. a madrich of the Dallas movement. Oklahoma. and Yapha (Jennie) Zesmer. Maurice Levy. with the writer of this report. A Camp Bonim. and Hannah Wiederman of Houston-all did a real halutzic job in planning for Camp Bonim and in implementing these plans. called Camp Bonim blessed. all of Dallas. Nad. should be mentioned. Zesmer.000 was contributed through the Camp Bonim. Texas. The implementation of this part of the plan was made possible by mothers of haverim. Association. an occasion for perfect rest. and I. Raphael Levin. would visit the camp for Shabbat and sing the praises of the type of education Camp Bonim offered. In the summer of 1939. in Houston and San Antonio. Weiner of Houston. The entire camp program was geared toward a full and enriching Jewish experience in the spirit of Labor Eretz Yisrael. Some $60. Irving Brodsky. and Yitzhak Groner. of the Dallas groups planned for a summer camping program. and in others throughout Texas. The camping program was extended to an ever-growing movement. It was not until ten years later that such an opportunity presented itself. Isaac Goldstein. The winter of 1945 saw the purchase of a site on Lake Dallas. and Louisiana. opened its first season on a leased site on Lake Dallas. To everyone's chagrin a polio epidemic made it impossible to open camp in 1940 and necessitated postponement of the program. Taubman (currently in Tulsa). In the summer of 1941. and Tulsa. Ami Levin. Camp Bonim. Yapha Chesnick. was always considered phenomenal. the haverim. who gave of themselves so selflessly in order to provide proper supervision. Avraham Groner. worked with the writer to make this success possible. Moshe Smith. David Zesmer. Subsequent years were periods of real Habonim expansion in the region. currently of Minneapolis. committees of friends of Camp Bonim were formed for the purpose of making this decade-old dream a reality. Herman P. Association by friends in the three states for the purchase and improvement of the site. Yaakov Ely. Jacob Feldman. I. Leah Waltman. Gerber. and financial means. study. Several of the Association's members who devoted much time. effort. particularly in the smaller towns where no Jewish education was possible. and Nathan Karin of San Antonio. 1957 50 . and contemplation. M. Bruno Sigel. It was then that Moshe Smith. Oklahoma. From the very outset. was. Shabbat at Camp Bonim.. Among these devoted friends were Harry Sigel. Yaakov Levin. Habonim groups were functioning.CAMP BONIM. Zalman Schneider. then a member of the Dallas Hebrew School faculty. The invaluable assistance of Kalman Shapiro. In each of these communities. in addition to the four groups in Dallas. Bernard Rubenstein. was organized in the course of the year. all of Dallas. Meir Sigel. and the summer of that year brought two hundred campers to Camp Bonim. Zevi Borofsky. I. From time to time. selected a site on Lake Dallas for a Habonim Camp Kvutza. and Abraham Sinkin. veterans in Habonim. as an integral must in any Jewish educational program. Shahna Kahn. from the very inception. New Orleans Louisiana. TEXAS Ever since the founding of Gordonia in Texas in 1929. Camp Bonim observed kashrut (as do all Habonim camps). a group of friends of Habonim dedicated to the precept of Camp Kvutza. senior haverim. A number of Dallas haverim. Zalman Kahn. and Dr. acting as a committee for the Southwest Habonim. This was always considered by the founders and madrichim. Forty campers from Dallas and several neighboring towns spent a profitable summer in a Kvutza environment and returned to their respective homes in the fall pledged to work for the growth of Habonim.

can certainly be handled in this manner. gardening entails certain responsibilities which every camper should experience. they can be counteracted by artificial means. A feeling for aesthetics should be inculcated in Habonim. Flowers and landscaping are also of great significance. Flowers and shrubs can transform a barren piece of land into a beautiful scene. This may be difficult to carry through in some Kvutzot because of unfavorable natural factors. Little by little. near Detroit. 1940 51 . This should rather be spent in gaining experience and learning which crops grow most successfully. and labor is of little significance if it does not go hand in hand with a desire for beauty and freshness. and for this reason. no one will want to stay up past a reasonable hour. even to the extent of killing the idea of a garden. which no Kvutza f. the campers will decide to do the right thing at Kvutza meetings. given the opportunity. and such a principle as the "conquest of labor" should be exploited to its limit. The dining room at Kinneret is by no means a pro. aided me in formulating and developing certain ideas with regard to the basic principles of Kvutza.hould be without. Experience. Arm in arm with work goes gardening. In short. can be discussed at a Kvutza meeting and will undoubtedly be passed with very little opposition. this is a decided advantage since the Kvutza with a garden begins not in July but in April or May. Work. Our camps present a golden opportunity for us to put some of the concepts of halutziut into practice. The garden might even be developed to such an extent that after a few years. In the case of a permanent Kvutza. work. Habonim are builders. will receive much enthusiasm on the part of the campers. but if a discussion of the benefits of an earlier day and the harm done by late hours is carefully conducted. Other projects can be postponed from day to day. and here is a grand opportunity. The best way to give the camp back to the campers is not by merely giving them a voice in their own government. however. work and handicrafts are not being neglected in our Kvutzot. if anything. Those who work on the garden in the spring will naturally be more interested in Kvutza than those whose first connections with camp begin when the season opens. Danny Ginsburg. even such a measure as common fund. and in order to carry out this project successfully. it is necessary to take a trip to Kvutza every week and put in several hours of work. such as poor soil conditions or extreme drought. but postponing work on the garden spells failure.THE COMING SEASON My experience last summer with Kinneret. handicrafts. programs. kitchen duty. Both vegetable and flower gardening must be begun in April or May. however. would have cramped our style last year. I am sure that. and we were probably aided by the fact that because of our inexperience we made plans which we might otherwise have rejected as too ambitious. one or two vegetables could be grown in larger quantities to be sold to neighboring markets. but by giving them an opportunity to be instrumental in the actual building of the Kvutza. if planned properly. On second thought. morning exercise. I should not hesitate to give the campers considerable liberty. Problems such as bedtime. For example. It is unreasonable to expect a crop for consumption from the vegetable garden the first season. even at the expense of a more professional job. and we should certainly be given an opportunity to build. it miglit also be wise to plant trees for ornamental purposes as well as for fruit. but it means a great deal to about ten boys who had a band in building it. We had ideas. of course. and there is no reason why it cannot supply a substantial part of the Kvutza's fresh food products during the latter part of the season after a few years of experience. Gardening can and sbould be of two kinds-vegetable aud floral culture.fessional job. should play a major role in Kvutza activities and. However poor these conditions may be. the garden should develop. The campers may talk about staying up late. Those of us who drew up plans for Kinneret last summer were alike in one respect-we were all inexperienced. and the cost and effort expended on such a project will be repaid if plans are carefully laid out and executed. however. To my knowledge. On the surface this may seem a disadvantage. Gardening also furnishes a permanent work project during the season.

some difficulties were encountered in presenting these discussions. Several campers wanted a room in the house to be set aside as a recreation and letter-writing room. As mentioned before. the work program was not organized in a manner that would have been most beneficial to the campers. the campers gradually began to realize the advantages of collective living. A good part of the discussions. New Jersey. the cultural work was too limited and lacking in intensity-for example. prepared the daily work schedule. and so on. and felt. garden. Purely on the basis of what they saw. questions. Working six or seven hours a day under the hot sun was a new experience for all of them and it was occasionally difficult to maintain good standards of work for the group. built around work. such as picking tomatoes or cleaning chicken coops. in the course of the summer. the campers met to discuss and to decide about the problems that arose in the maintenance and the functioning of the camp. gradu. but the group as a whole was an alert one and there were many lively arguments and debates. One evening a week was devoted to a cultural discussion concerning aspects of modern Jewish life throughout the world with particular emphasis on Zionism.CAMP AVODA. was in reference to our own farm economy. most of us were ready to admit that. Camp Avoda in some ways fell short of what it might have been. by the end of last summer. and except for a few elementary rules upon which we insisted. while several had almost no knowledge of Eretz Yisrael and Zionism. there were also a good many technical shortcomings which should have been avoided. Despite the fact that the group was a small one and that camp life followed a rather simple pattern. Fifteen boys and girls between the ages of fifteen and seventeen attended the camp. and so on. within reasonable limits. they began to adopt more and more of our methods. but it was just the opposite. heard. we feel that we achieved the basic purposes of Camp Avoda. The campers elected their own person to assign the work who. began as an experiment and ended as an established institution. The campers were given an opportunity to participate in the various branches-barn. and suggestions brought up at these meetings. The group was a rather heterogeneous one. of course. The life of the camp was. there were innumerable small problems. we did not have an adequate library of Zionist and other literature which campers could read at their leisure. These discussions aroused considerable h1terest and proved very worthwhile. CREAMRIDGE Camp Avoda at the Hehalutz farm in Creamridge. Because this was our first experience with a camp of this type and because summertime is always a busy and difficult season at the farm. of course. When at the beginning of the summer. we 52 . The campers participated in both cultural and agricultural discussions. together with us. there was a discussion about whether boys have to work in the kitchen and clean house as well as girls. During the first few weeks. it is possible to expose successfully young American Jews to collective agricultural life. cannery. rather than giving them an opportunity to do work which they would find more interesting and which would require a certain degree of skill. we found that almost without any conscious guidance on our part. The agricultural discussions were conducted by members of the farm and were intended to give a general picture of the various branches of a farm economy. This was partly due to the assignment of routine jobs to the campers. the campers. Although we were rather skeptical at the beginning. the idea of keeping clothes collectively. Five or six times during the summer. for instance. They liked us and they liked the way we lived. We naturally tried to have Camp Avoda run as democratically as possible. the campers were given a good deal of freedom of choice and decision. where they received an edu cation along Reconstructionist lines. High school-age boys and girls came to Creamridge to live and work with an established collective group. To our surprise. After a time. a number were students of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism. Most of us thought it likely that they would ridicule. chickens. not to mention halutziut. Because of the varying backgrounds of the began to adopt the outlook and standards of intimate collective groups. an argument ensued as to whether some campers may go to a movie on a day when the others are swimming or whether the whole group must have their recreation together. Yet.

many of them came to visit us for weekends and holidays. The campers went home with a very real appreciation of the farm and at least an acquaintance with halutziut. then it was shared among the campers. that living collectively was better and preferable to any other way of life. as something that did not need further proof. During the year. At first the candy was the private property of the particular tent in which the recipient lived. we met with almost complete opposition. 1944 53 . parents sent boxes of candy and cookies. on the basis of their own experience. they were asked to analyze collective living. A few weeks before the end of the season. later the campers themselves again brougbt up the suggestion and it was accepted. Several are returning this summer to participate in a larger. and finally it was decided that the boxes were to be shared equally among the campers and members of the farm alike. As happens in every camp. better planned. and better organized Camp Avoda. but everyone who spoke assumed.proposed a common ~und. Al Weingrod. to extol or criticize it. There was a good deal of disagreement about whether this type of life was possible on a large scale at the present time.

In recognition of Amal's promise. After three uncertain years of experimentation. the Merkaz assigned Tel Meir. nearly decided to abandon the project. But it might also be shown that Amal's successes have not been achieved without prejudicing the halutzie character of our camps. This was hardly an auspicious beginning. In view of the small registration. We have been too concerned with the very survival of Amal to give adequate consideration to its role within the movement. Prominent Hebrew educators were solicited to add their names to our list of sponsors. in Connecticut. On August 9th. It was no longer an experiment. and great emphasis in the discussion program was placed upon Jewish history. there were but dim hopes of registering an adequate number of campers. Therefore. The 1950 season was most successful. the number of sponsoring Jewish educational institutions increased from two to six. We opened in the summer of 1948 with a handful of campers. It was therefore with great trepidation that the Merkaz finally decided in favor of reopening the camp. and twenty-two scholarships were awarded to Amal by various Hebrew school systems. do not await official decisions. This was to be its last chance. They glibly spoke of the national poet.AMAL IN RETROSPECT Amal. And. It was but three years ago that we hesitantly opened Amal on a rented site in Vermont. on one occasion. We were disturbed by the cloistered atmosphere of many existing camps. This past summer we confidently opened the season with sixty haverim. the camper response was more encouraging. Strong arguments were advanced for giving up Amal-our personnel shortage was acute. Institutions. We ended our second season with the realization that Amal had proved itself. to its fledgling Hebrew camp as its permanent site. The staff had little Hebrew camping experience and was poorly prepared. and gained for Habonim new prestige in the Jewish educational world. Amal's partisans were soon active on all fronts. During the winter of 1949-1950. however. They were fostering a native Hebrew-speaking elite. Moshe Margalit. it has won national recognition as one of the outstanding Hebrew-speaking camps in America. Many observers claimed that our campers spoke more Hebrew than the campers of any other Hebrew-speaking camp in America. Their educational program bypassed halutziut. has attracted a considerable number of new haverim. despite the initial movement apathy. we decided in favor of continuing our efforts on behalf of Amal. in its three years of existence. This time. Amal. Few haverim expressed interest in attending Amal. The movement greeted this venture with singular indifference. Daily formal class work had been introduced. has established its own camping patterns and set into motion uncertain forces. Bialik. Haverim. Amal has realized the dreams of its founders. the Merkaz. We hoped to create a camp modeled along the lines of our other camps. The season began with forty-five campers who were determined to make it a success. we succeeded. They felt that it had failed. and chose to ignore the pressing need of Eretz Yisrael: an American halutz aliya. Nor did our work go unnoticed in the Jewish community. Hebrew educators from many sections of America visited Amal during the season and were impressed with the serious educational work that we attempted. and this we had seemingly accomplished without vitiating our halutzic Zionist program. to a large extent. As evidence of our coming of age. Several Jewish educational institutions were induced to award scholarships to Amal. Habonim has never had an opportunity to determine the future of this nascent institution. and the national budget could not again sustain a financial loss such as it had in Amal's first season. Even a cursory evaluation would disclose that Amal has fostered the study of Hebrew in our movement. a performance of Yitzhak Lamdan's Masada was witnessed and applauded by sixty parents and guests. has completed its third season. Habonim's Hebrew-speaking camp. 1950 54 . seriously questioned reopening Amal in 1949. But we felt strongly that we had a mission to fulfill in Hebrew camping. an ambitious program was prepared for the public.

NIGHT WATCH Two o'clock The raindrops fall. 1937 55 . Soft winds rock The trees. o'er all Is quiet Three o'clock The whippoorwills Softly mock From yonder hills In the quiet Four o'clock The sky is red. A promise of The day ahead Of quiet Five o'clock A sun so bright Has replaced The dim of night In quiet Six o'clock The day is come But at Kvutza Till day is done No quiet! Rita Greenberg.

We do our laundry in the creek. Everyone is dressed in white shorts and blue Habonim shirts for Friday night. heigh ho. and quiet. We have a leisurely breakfast. luxury. Finally the sun breaks through the clouds just in time to set. A new batch of haverim come from the city and there is much excitement during the meeting of old friends and new. "Heigh ho. The grass is very wet as we walk up the hill to bed. So the younger haverim go to bed. seem to regard this with disfavor for it starts to rain. and preparation for a debate-" Resolved: That 56 . July 6th It is agreed that "Harishona" is a suitable name for our Accord Kvutza since we were literally "the first. July 3rd Campers arrive. Then a camp fire. Tonight we have a camp fire with singing. we gather together on the grass to sing. Wednesday. The library is open. Reading circles are the only activities this afternoon. we sleep an extra half hour this morning. Tonight we have an amateur hour. Monday. Their motto is: O." Thursday. At the table the candles are lit and the prayer sung by Edna before we sit down to eat. And so to bed. July 11th Today we are settled again. it's off to Minewaska we go!" And amid the cheers of the remaining campers. Among last year's haverim. Sammy and Marvin (who declares that at least he is a confirmed bachelor) are the unworthy specimens of humanity who lead this ridiculous movement. Wednesday. to say nothing of Avram. under the direction of Benny. Later. with dancing for those who are not too tired after the long train ride. It is decided that haverim of fifteen and over will take an overnight hike tonight after supper. July 4th Today the regular daily program begins: Rise and shine-exercise-washing-breakfast-clean-up-discussion groupsactivities-dip-lunch-rest and correspondencesports-swimming-supper-and one of the many evening activities possible in Kvutza. as on previous days. Washing is over. Gathered on the hill. No morning exercises. Now bed and sleep at last. Amid much excitement. And then to bed. is it swell to be back!" echoes and reechoes to the bewilderment of the newcomers. This evening we have a hike to Accord via the new route discovered by Benny and Yehiel. Sleep now. there is great rejoicing over the new outhouse. we gather in the dining room for songs and games. Thursday. however. < July>The regular program again today. and following supper. Stan and Sol are prize kibbitzers. July 8th All day today is given over to preparation for Shabbat. praise be to Allah! The younger people go on a short hike immediately after breakfast while those that remained for various reasons help in the kitchen. discussion. we finally reach home. one sees a veritable hive of industry. Here we are refreshed by popsicles and exactly $. Each tent presents a skit or a like exhibition. Monday. tents and madrichim are assigned. we hear The Cookooricoo read by Stan and then sing songs of Shabbat. and singing for all. Struck by the magnificent beauty of the sky and surrounding mountains. July 12th We are awakened this morning by reveille blown by Harriet on her trumpet. after which much napping is done under the pine and apple trees by those campers who would catch up on their lost sleep.01 worth of candy-no more. July 14th There are discussons this morning on the trials in Russia. Saturday. " Oh boy. it begins to rain. and the exclamation.F. to find talent for the Drama Circle-to-be. This afternoon it rains and. with one or two people doubling up because some trunks have not yet arrived. At lunch the Celibates Club is organized at a special table which excludes haverot.-Off Fems Forever. Tuesday. Friday. As the haverim tear themselves away to bed. to the great delight of our intelligentsia. stunt night. All the haverim are back for a delayed lunch. The camp paper-The Cookooricoo-is begun under the expert direction of Judy G.F. July 9th Ah. the group sets out. they feel that the stars sparkling in the velvet heavens have come nearer to earth and are watching over Kvutza. July 13th Kvutza seems empty this morning with only half the haverim. Block. July 10th This morning there is a talk and discussion conducted by Shlomo on the present situation in Eretz Yisrael. begging Dave for an extra hour of sleep tomorrow. in comfortable camp clothes. First and last stop is the place of business of Mr. and everyone. July 7th Looking about this morning.Sunday. and clean up. The elements. here. Sunday. leans back (on his neighbor) after a much-needed supper and listens to Dave's welcoming speech. and we march down the hill singing happily. Parents begin to arrive. Tiptoeing through the metropolis so as not to wake the immense population. Two haverim volunteer to wash the dining room and kitchen floors. no less. we have free time. As the Bible circles in Hebrew and English begin this afternoon. tired but happy. We have free time tonight. to drop right off to dreamland. and the boys are working on an aquarium in which to keep material for Sammy's dissection mania. Yehiel's determination is of some avail because the shower suddenly stops.

" Today the equipment for all sorts of sports is spread over the camp. Still gathered on the rocks. are on guard duty so all hopes tor a peaceful night are futile. and the author. written by Benny Lappin and produced by Ruth L. Saturday. the campers beat the madrichim 17-7. we listen to The Cookooricoo as read by Avram. July 15th This morning we again approach the serious problem of laundry and hie ourselves down to Ye Olde Creeke where we spend the morning washing clothes. July 16th Today is the final conflict: let each stand in his place-the campers play a baseball game of chills and thrills. while at the top of the hill are horseshoe and deck tennis games. Amid much excitement and conflicting emotions in the cheering section. our tents and persons spotless. and the waterfall competes with Dave's voice as he reads to us the past week's diary and news from the other camps. And so the second week of camp ends. For Shabbat we snap pictures of our haverim in Habonim shirts and white shorts. besides clean-up. After lunch. but-Miriam L. And watch the Schwartzes at the badminton net! The haverim with musical talent are in the limelight tonight as we all gather near Dubby's tent to hear them and occasionally join in the chorus. we watch Mutzie present Barry with a diploma from Fibber's College. Accord Diary. Friday. A "Candid Camera Fiend" or two stay behind to record on film our march down the hill. 1938 57 . and Dave R. Afterwards. The stream goes by. Now to our tents after singing and dancing. What triumph! What humiliation! The drama group presents an anti-war play at the camp fire tonight. there is dancing and singing.Socialism as such will solve the Jewish problem. Back by the tents and joined by the kitchen committee. Down by the kitchen we have ping-pong. we have arts and crafts and scouteraft. of course. It seems a perfect antidote for insomnia. Ready for supper.

the spirit of the oldest bonot-the famous LeHagshama group of Philadelphia-who though they found in camp only boys under thirteen and over twenty. the same institutions. the other portraying the history of the Jewish Hagana in Eretz Yisrael. the truck. Physically. the top floor used as a handicrafts and cultural room -that is the entire camp. our haverim from Montreal come from very poor districtsmost of them forced to begin working in factories at the ageg of fourteen to fifteen. the adventures of Ferdinand. the hike in the park near the spot where Washington crossed the Deleware. the camp there is a very poor one. 1938 58 . during the first weeks in camp. the same program and activities-yet each Kvutza represents a unique world of its own. One expects them all to be alike-for are they not organized and managed the same way. Five wigwam tents in a straight line and a large and spacious two-story barn. I climbed up and up to the Laurentian Mountains in Prefontaine. Thus. My first stop this year was at Kendall. Swimming is naturally one of the main activities as Lake Ontario with its clear blue waters is only flfty yards away. From there. southward to Camp Galil. the Kvutza which serves our upstate New York movements. The haverim there built a long wooden jetty of water which gradually gets deeper and deeper as you go on. one from the other. the same bylaws. Just as all settlements in Eretz Yisrael differ. From Rochester. millions of little fish had been dumped into the lake from the Canadia side. Every year they give a concert attended by 1200 people which is a highlight of the Jewish artistic season there. and they had floated over to the American shores. dining room and kitchen. mostly French Catholics. the exciting baseball games between the Varsity and the Scrubs.PEEKING IN WITH OUR SHALIAH Traveling around the camps of our movement is an~ experience akin to that of visiting our settlements in Eretz Yisrael. Most of the farmers are Norwegians and the relations between the camp and the farmers are excellent. civilizations-so do the varying backgrounds of our haverim place an individual stamp upon each Camp Kvutza. because the people who live there are differentcoming from various countries. schools. The singing there. an office. kept you company while you swam. the bottom floor used as a dining room and kitchen. Montreal is like an East European city with the Jews living almost in a ghetto and the population.F. Only this year. Farm land stretches out on all sides. Ben Zion Ilan. homes. Quebec. from the founding of the Hashomer until the occupation of Hanita. Singing and dramatics is the specialty of Montreal. their bodies littered the beach. and frequently went into your mouth if you were not careful. New York. where our Montreal camp is situated. No monotones in Montreal-almost all have choir voices and most of the songs are sung in three voices. Most of our haverim there speak Yiddish very well as they attend Yiddish parochial schools.N. projects were carried out. and two tents. From many points of view. the manner in which J. the ingenious costumes invented for the masquerade. In general. Situated on a plain on the shore of Lake Ontario-no mountains or bills-a few trees mark the spot. Two dramatic' presentations were carried through successfully the week I was there-one describing the life of Bialik. an old building with various compartments used as cabins. expended their energy in leading groups and building up a healthy camp spirit-these are all unforgettable parts of Galil. very anti-Semitic.

When the tea had been served and cleared away. Suddenly a bombshell landed in our midst: an evening paper from Ellenville. And now loud lamentations could be heard from Kvutza. and living together. we ran around camp looking for wrapping paper and twine. we could feel something strange in the air. A gay farewell party had been planned for this last evening. many our own relations. We sat down together and sang at the tables all the songs we had sung during the full summer. we were ready for supper. wondering whether Britain would indeed stand firm by her pledges to Poland. Because of the news from abroad we were not having the festive evening that had been planned. Dave rose to speak to us. not just a fantastic nightmare. was near-the SovietReich pact a reality. we were in no mood to appreciate the meal that was set before us. After supper everyone was chased back to the tents while preparations went on in the kitchen. and fruit. however. Soon the whistle blew and we tramped into the dining room again. candy. for they sent down a flood of heavenly tears that transformed the camp into a mudhole. People went to bed quietly-there wasn't as much noise as is usual on the last night at camp. "This is the last lunch at Kvutza this year. playing. What a transformation! The room was decorated with crepe paper and balloons strung from the ceiling. the cat was out of the bag. a campfire.UNTIL NEXT YEAR And so it was the last day of Kvutza." The gods shared our disappointment. We packed. We took a good look around. A small band of brave halutzot rushed down the hill with a burden of "civilized clothes" which had to be ironed before they could be worn home on the morrow. The secret had escaped. but still we could look back with satisfaction on a summer of working. and we envied those fortunates who were staying for the seminar. saying to ourselves and to each other. the sky was not yet clear. Busy as we were. gathered at the top of the hill and dressed mostly in borrowed clothes. Sobbing. Evy Schwartz. War. perhaps. candles of blue and white giving off the light by which we saw the tables spread with cake. We ate. our trunks and bags were carried to the truck and transported to Accord. this might be our last night at Accord for Dave had said Kvutza might be moved next year. Soon the hushed giggling and singing died down and we fell asleep. 1939 59 . As we left to go to bed. At last. we planned a substitute affair and sadly went about making preparations. Through the downpour. it seemed. but the moon shone among the clouds. then a march to the pine trees decorated with Japanese lanterns under which was to have been set a feast fit for a king and also for us. He hoped that the time we had spent in Kvutza would provide a stimulus for more and better work in our various cities during the coming winter. a small committee had been picked by Dave with much secrecy and we wondered about its mysterious I duties. Thinking of the three-and-a-half million Jews in Poland.

Goldberg. Deep. ACCORD Around the hill on which we stand are ringed the woods. David E. deep into the valley far below.VIEW FROM KVUTZA HILL. And stretch until in fringing green encroach Upon the fields which roll beyond The utmost margin of our view to where The ranks of toothed hills stand row on row. 1939 60 . Green blueing into gray until the last Is but a cloud.

as we were preparing for Kvutza. Yisrael. we could dream and hope together for a day when there would be no war. The Jews and all others of Europe who believed in freedom have long endured the oppression of the swastika because of their belief in the principles of decency. 1941 61 . In our Kvutza. This is no ordinary season for a far-from-ordinary Kvutza. The halutzim of Eretz Yisrael are standing to their guns to defend what they have built and their dreams for the future. we must win new faith in our beliefs. Artie Goldberg. the symbol of man's hope. and Italy was in the war. Kvutza never has been an ordinary camp.TO KVUTZA In 1933. The British and their allies are fighting for the same things. War had come to a world that had not known peace. Another nation had crumbled because it believed in truth and decency. It is in Kvutza that there is democracy. We have not yet had to fight for these beliefs of ours. Kvutza has been a place where the things we believed could be practiced. To us. During this season. The Mediterranean was a war zone and the first bombs had fallen on Eretz Yisrael. It is in Kvutza that all are equal. Our Kvutza is a place where we might learn and plan for the day when we could return to Eretz. Last year we came to Kvutza with heavy hearts. We are again preparing to go to Kvutza. To us. had been defeated by the Nazi military machine. when men might live a happier life in peace and security. We in Kvutza must grow strong in our beliefs and let those who now stand in the front lines know that they can count on us for whatever lies within our power to give in this fight for the future. the Nazi power was sweeping through Germany. As we packed our trunks in 1939. But others are fighting. civilization was being crushed. France. Now a Nazi band of steel is stretching into the Near East and is tightening about Eretz Yisrael-a band of steel which reaches about our hearts. As we returned home from Kvutza that season. our thoughts turned back to the fall of Czechoslovakia.

mosquitoes about the lights. 1941 62 . a yank of the little pigtails. they woke two other haverim. Faithfully through the night they guarded it. The dining room was theirs-all theirs! Haboneh. and dirty dishes on the table. the girl with the pigtails and the sleepy-eyed haver were on guard duty.NIGHT WATCH The night was cold and dark. sleepy-eyed haver. Yes. the moon passed silently overhead. And there they found more than just an empty place. and now it was theirs. Suddenly a tap on the shoulder. there was a building of which they were a part-they recently had carried logs to repair it. and she was awakened by an obliging. the mosquito bites did not itch quite so much-the place was theirs. Hand in hand they walked to their first destination-the dining room. and when the early hours* of the morn began to break. and still she slept. Dirty dishes did not matter.

Momentarily you forget where you are. You are a madrich and you want to impress your haverim. suddenly you have such a longing to leave your routine. Its naked roots clutch at the earth like fingers' that have lost thelr power to grasp at life. Sometimes you come with your haverim. For a while. After Moshava has closed and you are back in the city. And it looks at you. So you climb out on its strong roots and you settle yourself in its lap. Limp and lonely and lifeless. Just across the grounds and follow the path to the water. But most times you come alone to The Tree.THE TREE Limp and lonely and lifeless. Its naked roots clutch at the earth like fingers that have lost their power to grasp at life. It is The Tree. If you have ever been in Moshava. In March it snowed. Then all of you sit on its arms and around it and you lose yourself in discussion. And hardly a week passes now but that one of them recalls. If we stood on the beach below it and looked up. you see The Tree and you know it listens sympathetically. "Remember that time we sat at The Tree?" Sometimes you come with a Certain One. unkind. And you come back to Moshava. Yet. Late at night when you cannot sleep. we could see its every vein straining at the earth around it. It guards the haverim. And you take the first lift you can get. bitter storm that seemed to seek revenge on the coming spring with which it struggled. Then you notice its arms are held out to you and you understand it is your first haver at Moshava. Like a mad one. you know The Tree. Around it we stand and we look down on it. Around it we stand and we look down on it. You pass the ravine and the road to the New Cliff. For a long time we knew it had to come down. Sometimes you bring your new group to the The Tree. Let the truth be known: There is no time in our memory when The Tree did not "have to come down. It watches the sunsets and the night skies. Many times you visit it. it turns." Knowing full well we would not. But when you stop to look at it. it hangs down the side of its cliff. And it seems strange to look down on something to which we had always looked up. For The Tree. you run down the path to The Tree. you go knowing that you will return. You stop to look at The Tree. Early in the morning you come to it. It sits on its own cliff and it looks over the Severn River. And it seems strange to look down on something to which we had always looked up. on the beach and in the water. And you sit upon its roots and rest against its trunk. Each year it extended farther over the Cliff. And then you find The Tree. Or maybe it is that The Tree finds you. when you look upward. you sit in silence-you and The Tree. alone. may know your secrets. 63 . it hangs down the side of its cliff. Each year its roots protruded more and more above the ground. A heavy. It sees the sailboats glide past. And when at last you decide to leave.

It is The Tree. 1942 64 . Miriam Biderman.

That means that you should be about fifteen. one needs little convincing that a post-midnight snack is in order. and when the darn meeting is going to end. We shall therefore proceed to tell you just what will be expected of you in each age group. I. we suggest that you yourself should be at least thirteen so that they can look up to you to some extent. become a madrich. there are the bonim. and go on night watch. once said. Harry. On the whole. or if you wish to give a sage-like appearance. If you want to work with solelim whose ages range from ten to twelve. A liberal education is a handy thing to have. Oh no! The bonim are of the opinion that work was created to give the solelim and tzofim a chance to work off some of their excess vim and vigor. gossip. however. But the modern tzofeh brings new problems with which the madrich can expect to cope. you will be requested to solve all their little affaires de coeur. being a madrich of tzofim is a splendid occupation. for you must know everything from the latest processes of making apple butter to the social status of the Jew in Zululand. Q. and if you don't think that kids of this age are concerned with such problems. while a guest speaker sits under a tree talking to the few staff members disguised as bonim to save the reputation of the camp. But for them it does not matter how old you are because the bonim never pay any attention to madrichim anyway. If you do not fall prey to the sandman's charms. Yes. Likewise. The bonim. These little intellectual fiends can ask more brain-teasers in a day than Dr. for these charming youngsters have their own ideas of how to spend a restful afternoon. They consider them a mere formality. and the patience of a saint. though they are still more active than their mild looks indicate. Two persons are appointed. Also. you may be sure that the bonim are lounging comfortably in their tents and cabins holding discussion of their own-of a different sort. These languid creatures have neither the solelim spirit nor the tzofim trust and confidence in a madrich. First of all. after everyone else is in bed. in two-hour shifts. you must take into consideration your age. too. and all troop over 65 . will find the bonim a group of sophisticates who have reached the stage in their development when they come to camp merely from force of habit. To work with these little rascals. madrichim. You will be subject to nightly outpourings of their hearts and will be forced to promise them you will try to get the work committee to put them on guard or kitchen duty with their current crushes. These animals are slightly less energetic. They are not antagonistic to culture and education-the only reason for their non-attendance at discussions is evidently that they know it all. And finally. and when you're going to prepare the discussion you have to lead tomorrow morning. These very exclusive affairs can do wonders for the worst case of insomnia. dear prospective madrich. You must have the fleetness of a greyhound each evening to join the merry chase that occurs when it is time to put them to bed. Now for the tzofim. the endurance of a cross-country track star. if you are new at this game. are anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five. sixteen. you must have a strong constitution and a stronger left hook. We'll start out with the solelim. Well. and get them off our minds (as though that's even vaguely possible. you bad better stock up on vitamin pills. Finally it does break up. you have underestimated the wide range of their capabilities. And now. you won't be able to keep your mind on the meeting anyway. but only on the condition that it be continued tomorrow when everyone will be fresh as a daisy. their non-appearance at work does not mean that they are lazy. The same goes for the tzofim who are usually thirteen and fourteen. You'll keep wondering if the cabin that's doing all the yelling is yours. sleep. So you think you are old enough for one of these age groups. And so. They thrive best if left to themselves to eat. if you reach the end of the day a fairly sane person. and they do quite a bit of hurrying about in an effort to keep at least three people awake at all times. that is. let me give you some timely advice. you will be required. to rotate about the room pricking the madrichim with pins. if you are interested in practicing some early teen-age psychology. After such a fatiguing meeting. that is. does in a year.SO YOU WANT TO BE A MADRICH Perhaps you are one who wants to do more than his share at Tel Hai this summer. all their vitality having been exhausted in their rolelim days. For example. to attend a staff meeting. as our beloved rosh Kvutza.

Jeannie Reisapfel. loudly shhh-ing each other although it's quite obvious that the whole camp is still awake. 1942 66 .to the dining room.

Don't worry. he would put his head over my shoulder to see what was doing. cleared strip through the mountain. in back of me. and ate lunch (sandwiches and fruit from the knapsack I was carrying). we found a rattlesnake had been killed a few minutes before we got there. As we started out. I decided to try it again. We went down a firebreak. I want to stay longer. goodbye now. send me $7 and a snake-bite kit. bad been eating garlic all morning and whenever we stopped. Just as we got near camp. Love. Jupiter-and here the story lies. We sat around. who is pretty good looking so we had no trouble getting several girls to go. We finally got to the bottom drawn out over a half mile or so of ground. designed to stop a forest or brush fire. and then began to go down. It is a custom that every summer some campers decide to do the nearest thing to suicide and climb the mountain for what they call a "good time. We hiked two miles in the nice summer sun and began to climb the mountain single file. It is made by big tractors which try to find the steepest part of the mountain they can go up without turning over. sang songs which the ranger liked though he didn't know what they were all about (nor did we). Norman 1942 67 . There was of course no turning back. Jerry. Also it is quite uncomfortable to find that you cannot stop at the edge of a cliff. If you don't know what a firebreak is. someone found out that I had the only knapsack in Kvutza.LOS ANGELES GLEANINGS Dear Mom: You know that right across the way from the camp there is a high mountain called Mt. I shall explain: A firebreak is a long. took pictures (my film). Dave Bleviss was at the rear and no one could squeeze by. I am sure that this tractor found the steepest part of the whole range of mountains. Well. Sandy. so they let me carry all the lunches plus a first aid kit and camera. It is not true that it is easier to come down than to go up. I felt just like killing a rattlesnake. Mom. I played soldier all the way down and it was very realistic. but having become a fine physical specimen at Kvutza. Once you begin going down it is very difficult to stop. That was three years ago. After fighting our way through the brush (the ranger and I wore short pants and my legs are disfigured for life). Your dear son. got no more than half way up. We were to be guided by the forest ranger. " Well. I stopped. too. How sorry I was. After waiting until we all gathered-including the loose parts-we began to hike home. I almost became a casualty when I tripped. but being out of condition. Oh yes. and made me sick. I once tried it. we arrived at the top.

Oh. don't forget your pants. then comes the time of the year that every Habonim member has been waiting for impatiently-the opening of Kvutza and the glorious days that will follow! All we have to do is pack our duds and hop a train or bus. my advice is that you comply with your mother's demands. Drag out all your old clothes. Also make sure that they are washable. Have a pair of hard-soled shoes for hiking and a pair of isoftsoled ones for play and work. too. we don't always hide from water. But we don't let that interfere with our activities. you'll need a raincoat and boots. Our parents are always fussy about the way we look when they come to visit us so we might as well look our best. If 68 . some of us don't feel so easy about this packing business. because we play. Mind you. we are in Kvutza! Yet. clothes. So you might as well take along some sheets and warm blankets. Your pajamas must not be too nice though because your neighbor might mistake them for fancy slacks and borrow them for use on some important occasion. Although I know that you are not intending to do much sleeping (how often I've heard a haver shout into the face of his madrich: "Do you think I came all this way to go to sleep?"). By all means. a cap. and you will have a great part of your Kvutza wardrobe. clothes that are too dilapidated for city wear. we go to it (in the form of a swimming pool). Have your wardrobe include work shirts (for we all work). Brrr! Nights are sometimes cold in Kvutza. School will follow soon after. a warm jacket. and FUN! But in order to get around in presentable shape. I'm not going to lend you mine. When it doesn't come to us (in the form of rain). very little will remain of them anyway. And once the Kvutza has been awakened from its winter's sleep. You'll need a sweater. That's just to remind you that you'll need a bathing suit. You see. Nothing is too bad for Kvutza when it comes to clothes. Besides. And don't forget the shoe polish. And then Kvutza! Imagine! It's just a matter of days before construction crews will appear at Kvutza sites all over the country and put into effect the planning they've been doing all winter. I almost* forgot to mention the pants that go with the shirts. we are very active in Kvutza. That's the general idea. You are going to wash them your self. About filling in the details. play shirts. One item that should be carefully chosen is shoes. because by the time you go home. I'll have to use yours. But your clothes must have one important virtuethey must be able to endure rough treatment. we know what kind of a laundry man you are. in which case.NEED HELP PACKING Spring is well along. and presto. let me-a veteran-give you a few hints as to what to pack and what not to pack. Perhaps you'll feel like sleeping for some strange reason one night. Therefore. haverim. and just between us. First. Yet. antiquated clothes that you have long ago forgotten about. Shorts or slacks or anything that goes under that general heading by a stretch of the imagination will do. I'm sure to forget to bring some. and warm pajamas. because I'm warning you. and a bathrobe. and dress shirts for Shabbat and Sundays. bless me. So don't forget these important items. reading and study groups. We have indoor games in the dining hall. it can rain even in Kvutza. yet you can never tell.

Birdie Dekelbaum. 1944 69 . you will have use for the extra pairs on masquerade nights.she is unreasonable in the amount of underwear she makes you take.

We recalled nights of Hagana. raising the watchtower that would guard Kinneret. We swam. As we watched the torches for the last time . In our memories we sang. We stood quietly in the gathering twilight. We remembered Shabbat as dusk fell the last time at Kvutzat Kinneret. The scouts remembered how we had hiked through the swamps of Kinneret. we remembered Kinneret and what it mean to us.KINNERET SHELI We stood quietly meditating in the gathering twilight of the field of Kinneret. We remembered Kinneret and what it meant to us. we floated in a dream of memories. And the memories engulfed us. to the rhythms of Eretz Yisrael. baverim remembered the discussions we had had. Avrahain Bass. The message was received 1 We had talked to each other from afar. constructing the frame. Our eyes remembered watching for the answering flags flashing in the sun. tactics. 1957 70 . The cooling relief of the ointments soothed us. The raft seemed to beckon to us anew. We recalled how we had danced the hora hour upon hour. We remembered discussing leadership problems. We bade farewell to a friend. We remembered the mosquitoes only too well. The clammy feel of seaweed lingered in our minds.. Once again we swayed and swerved to the sound of the shepherd's flute. We swatted away at the infernal pests. We remembered lively. We had built it-Kinneret.. The beauty of the Shabbat celebration haunted us. We had slept under its benevolent shadow that summer of 1955.. Kvutzat Kinneret. We bade farewell to Kvutzat Kinneret. That last night. Our feet remembered all-day hikes. We relived the glorious. The builders remember the watchtower-chopping the trees. thought-provoking periods. Then our hands remembered the semaphore code: K-i-n-n-e-r-e-t s-h-e-l-i. We remembered the arduous trek to the lake. comfortable feeling of Shabbat. We remembered sleeping through them. knotting the ropes. The soles of our feet recollected our nature walks. The haverim who had built Kinneret gathered on the last night of the last season. We danced again to the familiar tunes. Our toes could feel again the sand rippling as we walked through the Farband camp on the way to swim. This was our camp.

From the Rhineland plains and woods. D. the uniform of their captors only changed. The distant isles and seas engulf us with the magnitude of our loss. from your graves look out! Look out upon your people! Look into the ghetto. behind. On the coast and in the valleys of our promised land battle-girt intruders bar the way to wanderweary brothers seeking to come home. Lying in flelds throughout the earth. for the remnant of the exile does not stop. yet calls afresh each loved one gone. The hundreds upon thousands upon millions. to the camp. The mounds and graves of the ending of our seed We pause as on a mountain top and see. we pause to consider a fitting monument and to tell our losses. shrunken. O Brothers. in graves of honor and in lime pits of shame. The familiar faces missing from our ranks. From ghetto and from concentration camp. will they live? Will this your people. the roster of our dead commands memorial. Rest. Worn and weary but imbued with the flame which kindled them at the foot of Sinai's peak. Auschwitz and Stryj.G. Only in a brief moment of council. The last prisoners of Theresilenstadt still stand behind barbed wire. 71 . from Warsaw. into the ship that bears illegal freight out of the graveyard of Europe. the rifles are stacked. Brothers resting in the distant lands. And the monument we dedicate is their own people. From every forest haunt and cave where desperate guerilla bands struck at the foe. let us dedicate the memorial to our dead scattered through many lands. the bomb-racks off. Brothers. Majdanek. strewn before our feet. Bialystok. for we dedicate to you a monument eternal We are your memorial. Shall your memorial be the silence of forgotten history. shivering limbs of the wasted few who somehow did not die. Lublin. The records of an extinct folk. the hardcontested hills of Italy. even from the waters of the seas. the gaps that never can be filled. cry for memorial. there is no peace and your battle is not done. the roll call of the resting places from continent to continent. Brothers. But brothers resting in many lands. From beachheads and from far Pacific Isles with strange exotic names like Iwo Jima. Where in the same wide war fell our sons defending Kfar Giladi.HAZKARA The cannons are still. Over the blood-soaked plains of Poland. the battle. the sound of firing still is heard And the dazed survivors of your people flee before the same pursuing mob. comrades.E. oh brothers. And what avail soon crumbling stone carved in our sacred script to puzzle future archaeologists. Even in this western land of liberty. Ahead. a line of valiant battles dearly won. The mighty of the earth decreed it so. resting in many lands. this is called peace. the weary. Look and say. these dried bones yet live? With loving hands and humbled spirits. The aeroplanes overhead wing their way with peaceful cargoes. The record of the graves. still further struggle. And in the valley. From the bitter hedgerow battles of Normandy. the voices of the Nazi foe still echo and repeat the ancient vicious lies.

as rosh of one of the mahanot. in Winnipeg. their purpose and justification being to instill values and attitudes within the haverim. She was a madricha in the true sense of the term. The number of haverim. During one of the war years. she left her heritage: a corps of responsible haverim. she had a great capacity for hard work. Nevertheless. in Baltimore. in New York.. as rosh of our national funds work. indicate to us the creative being whose "life song" was "suddenly cut off. a Third Seder. Miriam was a school teacher by profession. all of us." Her many letters to haverim gave us an insight into this devoted. Each time it seems impossible. Her aim was to prepare younger haverim. Shabbat celebration. She continually championed traditional practices in our movement. for the tasks of movement leadership and self-realization. even the old timers were able to learn a great deal from her. She was among our most devoted. Sometimes it seemed as if she carried the whole burden of our movement and our people on her slight shoulders. 72 . of her articles in our various publications. The volume of her Shabbat and other program material. Her sense of complete identification with Jewishness and her acute sensitivity to the tragedies of the Jewish people are a reflection of her traditional background. to synthesize the old and the new. and as editor of Alot (the national publication specifically for our halutzim)-all these at the same time. She joined us when she was already in her twenties. Miriam came to us late. understanding. how to react. when we were suffering from a critical shortage of leadership personnel. She strove for self-fulfillment in our movement even before she went on aliya. the lack of traditional observance caused her a great deal of discontent. Thus.MIRIAM BIDERMAN We are a movement of young people. She came to us because she had decided upon the path of selfrealization. but as one guiding the individual. and worked with them. And she exerted a tremendous amount of influence upon those with whom she worked. troubled havera who "before her time . Each time it seems that our best is taken. the mahaneh activities.. She brought a real understanding of the meaning of education into our movement. Her primary concern was always the development of the individual. Thus she worked closely with the individual haver. she sought out young haverim with devotion. she came to us with a deep appreciation for Jewish tradition. Miriam wrote prolifically and she has left us a rich legacy of her written word. upon him she centered all her efforts. or Tisha B'Av program in which Miriam had a hand always made a powerful impression. as rosh of several madrichim groups. passed away. that we have lost is mounting too quickly. sensitive. Camp Kvutza-these she considered as means to an end. Both in our movement here and later in the kibbutz in Eretz Yisrael. she threw herself entirely into our work. Wherever she went. with. she served as rosh of the New York region. We are at a loss as to what to say or do. She was one of the few people who was ours completely. The small group discussions. with ability. She understood her educational function not as one of directing the group. She was able to put meaning into Jewish tradition. And wherever she worked. Immediately. Miriam was brought up in an Orthodox religious home. unbelievable.

the summer Kvutza. That trip in 1935 was the first link in the chain which ultimately led to the development of the Los Angeles mahaneh. The adjective stuck to Ben because he had the faculty of attracting people to himself to carry on. His task was to go into a community. there were training farms in Baltimore. he was a veteran. the stream of organizers. the Buffalo movement waned. Many usages prevailing in the movement to this day are traditions which had their inception with him. He tried to maintain the agricultural training center in Illinois. Hence a good deal depended on whom was sent. Ben was not much of an orator. shortly after Habonim was established. He spoke quietly and intimately. There was not too much money for printing. we called on Ben to make the trip. He knew how to sing and he knew how to gather people around him. His first stop was Buffalo. There existed a loose connection between the New York center and the groups. They were small. But the National Executive (four people we were. soft-spoken boy. At that time. The outstanding "first" in relation to Ben was that lie was the first organizer of Habonim. one must visualize the years in which these were made. It was at that time that we decided to be heartless toward Ben. Naturally. When Moshe was called to New York. and transform them into a mahaneh of Habonim. that we felt that one way of its taking root in America was to send out emissaries. It was into such conditions that Ben 73 . The movement was kept alive by personal contact. Ben Cherner had not only served his apprenticeship in the movement but had already acted as an organizer for the Young Poale Zion Alliance. The visitor was the warm link representing the movement. contact parents and prospective madrichim. He had done his duty. and was supposed to receive permission for aliya. To understand the significance of Ben's organizational tours. We didn't think of shlihim from Eretz Yisrael. By 1934. all told) decided that he must remain for another year to help in the transition from Young Poale Zion Alliance to Habonim. from Joey to Moshe Goldberg.BEN CHERNER Many of you know Ben Cherner. We were getting news of a growing community in Los Angeles. inadequate. In Chicago his accomplishment was that he convinced the haverim of the movement that it was necessary to have a permanent organizer who would set up the organization. The stories of organizers struggling and living on peanuts refer to Ben Cherner. We were very modest. A large percentage of the "halutzim" were malcontents who could not earn a living. but he knew how to train people to follow in his footsteps so that there was a second and third and fourth. The organizer for whom Ben paved the way made Chicago the center of our movement for many years. There is always an aura about the figure of a man who carries the title of "first" but who we do not remember. of a Far West in which Folk Shulen graduates knew Hebrew. After negotiations. I am certain that he took no courses in leadership technique. we obtained $75 from several Los Angeles haverim. though you may not know his name or you may not realize that you know him. He established a mahaneh in Buffalo so well that not only did Buffalo become the original stronghold of Habonim but gave us two organizers in succession. get together the remnants of the YPZA. Ben was a simple. It was in 1934. By 1934. There was one specific job Ben tried to do which ultimately resulted in failure. He went into a city without benefit of publicity notices or mass meetings. He went to private homes and got people around him to sing with him and talk with him. It was a dynasty: from Ben Cherner to Joey Criden. and one in Illinois. who toured the New England region in 1933. . as we subsequently have been to every organizer and shaliah. he had had his fill of peanuts and of traveling for the movement. There is a "first" in connection with Ben which relates to the Pacific Coast. When he left. unsanitary farms struggling under extremely difficult conditions. poor. We wanted organizers to establish our new system of education. there was a nucleus which somehow carried on. The mail was inadequate. He set up several mahanot. Then Ben went to Chicago. I do not think that Ben went to college or had much formal training. By 1934. in Minneapolis. his home town.

he set an example. that we carry forward that struggle today. which was paradise by contrast. In that period. For a/person who is normal. He was by no means a professional singer. Ben did not believe in the concentration of Americans in Eretz Yisrael. His singing possessed an enchanting. it seems to me. and that those after us will not falter. When he went to do organizational work. we consolidated all of these farms into the one at Creamridge. Saadia Gelb Furrows. when he helped to organize the Union of Jewish World Combatants. approachability. Of Ben's many qualities. When Enzo Sereni came. It was more than a one-man job. Similarly. It was in 1936 that he finally left. In our relationship to Ben. No course in leadership or technical training or knowledge could have made up for that basic human element. His singing had a good deal to do with his influence in the movement. but Ben was stubborn. We had held him back two years beyond his time. The fact that Ben failed is not a reflection on him.plunged to try to clean up the place. adjusted. so solid that perhaps they account for one of the tragedies of his life. Ben never thought of himself as a leader. Perhaps this accounted for his ability to gather young people around him. They sat and sang without moving or talking. and he would finish by saying that. We did not want an American landsmanshaft in Eretz Yisrael. He never permitted himself to think of. He knew that shlihut carried with it a connotation of leadership which he did not believe held for himself although he had always been in a position of leadership. Ben had very solid convictions. There was no other candidate who could have done the organizational work. For good or for ill. when he went to Eretz Yisrael. quality. Yet when he sat with a group of people around a camp. Our attitude was changed by the realities of life. If there is meaning in the memory of our haverim and of their services. to go to Eretz Yisrael was a feat. is the fitting memorial to Ben Cherner. of the trials and tribulations of training and of self-realization in Eretz Yisrael. That too was a service. it was realization. He liked young people. He would talk of the needs for another Kvutza and another mahaneh and of dogged perseverence in organizational work. We felt that we were committing a crime against Ben by holding him back but there was no alternative. his primary one was his humanity. a useful service. in a sense. were serious. 1947 74 . He had stuck to Naan no matter how strongly he was urged to join the American kibbutz. He showed his enthusiasm by explaining his idea and then setting about carrying it out so well that the job seemed easily done. this kind of obstinacy would succeed. who returned from Eretz Yisrael and spread stories to justify themselves. He was young himself. he held them for hours. Ben's was a permanent influence because he did not talk only of Eretz Yisrael. If Ben were here and could talk to us. it is the realization that they represented a continuation of the Jewish struggle for survival which began before them. and refined. The repercussions of the action of the Detroit group. we appreciated his enthusiasm. Even his leaving was. his. American halutzim who could not adjust to the rigors of pioneering did not help the atmosphere by returning home. That was one of the reasons why he did not return to America as a shaliah. January. He loved people. himself as a leader. to live in it. he would talk of simple and prosaic tasks. That. or anyone to refer to. He considered himself a soldier. the rest of us did not believe in it either. it was in the line of duty. Many of our songs are versions which he taught to the first groups of Habonim. He would not get excited or rush off to his work. in the long run. and to introduce a new atmosphere. some camp fire traditions and some of the stories reprinted by us in Haboneh have their origin in Ben's fertile mind. it was in the line of duty. fire. Only during the last two years did he begin to waver and to talk of transf erring to Kfar Blum. The senior leaders of the Labor Zionist movement set a disheartening example by not permitting their children to remain in Eretz Yisrael.

lie arrived at the personal decision to join Kibbutz Aliya and prepare himself for a true realization of his burning idealism. of hard work.. that would be built by and for Habonim. and above all. " I guess I haven't done much in my short life so far. But if I've served as a stimulus to even a few kids to try to reach higher. and ever expanding . I hope that I'll be able to come back safely and put into practice those things in which I believe and about which I've written to you and the others so much. through going to Eretz Yisrael. He had become widely known and loved-he was no longer Danny Ginsburg of Detroit. in the minds of all of us. to take part in the solution of problems of the local groups he had led as well as those of national Habonim. I haven't learned very much-just enough to realize that I still have a great deal to learn. He was one of those exceptional individuals who throws himself into every activity with the completeness of a passionate spirit.DANNY GINSBURG Once again the battlefront has claimed the life of one of our haverim. it's the machine that counts. impossible to console. "one must see his life in terms of a personality that was unfolding. he wrote to his Detroit haverim in these words: "Naturally. he was Danny Ginsburg of Habonim. can prove the true worth of his short life. At first he saw one important objective ahead -that was the establishment of a real Jewish institution in the heart of the American scene. " The many members of Habonim throughout the country who remember him at conventions as chairman at sessions. his future was inextricably bound up with the highest hopes of the movement. The knowledge of his irrevocable loss to us is difficult to comprehend. he became rosh of the Detroit Habonim. as a leader in discussions. through embodying his spirit in our work in Habonim. After all. it was with the determination born of his intense sincerity. and under his energetic leadership. sincerity. His role in Habonim for more than eight years is invaluable. to contribute to Kibbutz Aliya discussions. His influence was felt as well among the haverim in the neighboring cities. There was always a glow about him as he worked. perhaps the leading member of the future. All who came in contact with him were imbued with his spirit of idealism. we're all only little coos in a machine and if some of us have to fall by the wayside in order that the machine should continue to run smoothly. Kinneret. He continued. "To understand Danny. near Detroit. "Those who saw Danny at work in Kinneret. His personal influence over others was so strong that many who might not have taken the same road followed it upon his leadership. one of the leading members of Habonim. He continued to be. a determination that held out until he convinced or was convinced. I only hope I'll get a chance to make it more so in the future. Yes. nothing could stop him. well remember that it was not only physically that he worked hard. strong determination. But in case I don't. After his initiation of the work for a summer Kvutza near Detroit. when he participated in a discussion. The knowledge that Danny Ginsburg has been killed in action on Iwo Jima has brought sorrow to Habonim from one end of the country to the other.. Some time later. to bring some good into the world. where he made his most specific contributions to the life of Habonim. find it difficult to separate the two. the movement there flourished remarkably. but we who are carrying on. not the little cogs. it's all right too. Danny's was truly a constantly developing personality. When he went into active service more than twenty months ago. When Danny learned that he and his men were to take part in the invasion of Iwo Jima." wrote one of his friends from the Midwest. developing. This goal was the establishment of a summer Kvutza. through the mails. and his place and importance within Habonim grew as he did. who have known him at seminars and other movement gatherings. then I think my life so far has been worthwhile." He has not been granted the chance he hoped for. Danny continued to participate in Habonim life. When Danny danced. 75 .

May. 1945 76 .Furrows.

unassuming. When he reached eighteen. He was preparing for life in Eretz Yisrael at an age when most haverim are just beginning to consider halutziut. Furrows. working ceaselessly. One of his first activities was a visit to the training farm at Creamridge. He was killed in an automobile accident on his way home from a meeting of Habonim. He has left a gap which cannot be filled. because he personified the ideals of our movement. At the time of his death he was making plans to leave for Eretz Yisrael in the spring. he entered the Navy and served two and a half years. He was a complete halutz-devoted. February. Louis. On his days o:ff. At sixteen. both in his work in the movement and in his relations with his haverim. Halutziut came easily for Nate. hard-working boy who became so close to them. he threw himself into movement work more vigorously than ever. New Jersey. he left home and began training at the National Farm School. 1947 77 . unselfish. He came to be one of the most active and respected haverim in the machaneh. His loss is a tremendous blow for all of us. Those haverim now in Eretz Yisrael will remember the quiet. he was a frequent visitor at the Hehalutz Training Farm at Creamridge. largely in the Pacific. On his return to St. even those who had never met him. The things he wanted for himself will never be realized-but the fulfillment of the things he wanted for his haverim and for his people lies in our hands. to him it was the natural way of life.NATE KANTER Every haver in Habonim knew Nate Kanter.

The entire kibbutz was shocked and stricken by his death. It is still incredible. He was helping to set up electricity for some of the houses and so strapped himself to a pole in the fashion that such work is done. No one said anything. on the other hand. . his years at sea. Kieve said a few words before the coffin was lowered into the ground. His body was taken to the Mazkirut building. The people followed near and behind the coffin. carried and driven to the little cemetery near the garden. and from there. He spoke about the conflict in Ari's nature: How he loved beautiful things a good book. art. Kieve spoke about his years in the movement. There was an escort of men with guns to protect us. Rose Breslau Furrows. the desire to come to Eretz Yisrael and take part in its upbuilding. And all the time. and his work with the ships He spoke simply and beautifully. a trigger happy Arab from Salchia shot him in the back. will always remain with me. but the one that was the clearest -was that of Ari standing on a flat stone near the stage of the amphitheater in Killingworth lecturing at the seminar . The quietness and still ness were uncanny. That picture of Ari. various pictures of Ari flashed through my mind. young and vital.ARI LASHNER It happened yesterday between 10:30 and 11:30 in the morning. April. People gathered and stood together in small groups for comfort. . I cannot really describe the great feeling of despair that took hold of us at his going and the manner of his going. 1948 78 . a glass of wine-and how he had. music. While he was working. Only the clump-clump of hundreds of boots walk ing through the mud could be heard.

He had not known when or how he would see them again and he wanted to be with them desperately. Ghandi could not have abhorred violence more than Ari Lashner. But he never drove others. With him went a whole period in the youth of those who grew up with him. and respecting feeling in others. His 79 ." unless "gentleman" is redefined to be what he was. He was never heard by anyone to shout in anger. this realistic tendency intervened even in his enjoyment of abstract beauty in painting and poetry (never in music. and he was destined to contribute in important measure to the Jewish State in the future. someone on whom we all leaned. an inexhaustible source of reminiscence and humor. unchanged. good-humored greeting again. tempering the feelings. He had strong passions. There will never take place that meeting in Eretz Yisrael to which I looked forward so greatly. He died in war. He muttered to himself: "What on earth is this endless hodge-podge?" It was announced as the Kreutzer Sonata. the pleasurable interludes of gentle conversation. but left such deep impressions on all whom he met. Not that he was a "gentleman. Thus he could not consider the fate of the Jewish people without including himself in the solution. diverse individuals have felt impelled to communicate with others who knew him. attaching at least as much weight to his feelings as to his reason. He went through life so unassumingly. there was his smiling. whether in art or in farming. his favorite was Levin. The man with a "reputation" as a music lover doesn't tell such stories about himself with detached enjoyment. Principles divorced from circumstances and action did not exist for him except as scholastic exercises with which he was -very impatient. He felt humble and inferior to the point of discomfort before anyone with special talent. The piece went on interminably. For a time. he gave full credence to the role of the irrational in life. which all who experienced him felt. He enjoyed greatly the scene of the i(visit to the uncle" in War and Peace. for just as he was a leader of the most complete modesty and honesty-just because of these qualities-he inspired in others a sincere and warm recognition of his own capabiltes. of 'music. the enjoyment of beautiful things in many forms became a welcome release for him. it is his insistence that the individual search for his own truth and act in consequence. to war as a marine. His wife and chld had gone to Eretz Yisrael before him. of drives into the country. but without the slightest trace of the envy that stems from vanity and leads to pretenses and false emulation. While he understood and admired a Vronsky and an Anna Karenina. by the development of universal theories which solved all problems. America. But always before. What he could not tolerate in himself and others was covering up the problem. He knew it well to California. yet not your own. and a springtime era of the movement. From all parts of the world. He did not enjoy the conscious role of "organizer" or even of halutz. and under the pressure of very wide experience. anger. or seeking a way out by processes of rationalization. We feel more alone in a darker world. there was a definite mellowing in him. for which he was too naturally gifted). And there was frequent cause for anger and impatience in those years. But he longed for the day of peace when be could realize himself in some way in the Jewish Land. and the movement produced. and unself-conscious manner during his last weeks in America that he was recruiting the crew and arranging the sailing of the first Hagana ship from America. of strolling about the city. bringing in thousands on his Hagana ship. The ignorant Arab sniper's bullet that cut short his life at Kfar Blum on March 16th caused far more than a personal loss.ARI LASHNER Ari Lashner has left us. In this connection. and impatience. He loved honesty and simplicity. A cohesive group that grew up in the movement and had planted firm roots in Eretz Yisrael feels shattered. tolerant and receptive by nature. For Ari exemplifled the best that the combination of Judaism. If a keynote is to be sought in his pervasive influence. You would never have guessed from Ari's quiet work-day. excusing oneself. For he was a central figure. or to descend to the vulgar or unseemly in any way. Any account of Ari would be incomplete without mentioning his love for America. to Europe and to Eretz Yisrael. to gossip in malice. He assumed you were wrestling honestly with your problems as he was with his. He went away many times before-to distant cities for the movement. to express their sense of loss. a ship that ran the blockade and then returned to Europe for a second load. But in recent years. He once told of hearing a musical work on the radio while working on something. Everyone who knew him would agree to this. who hated even the raised voice.

working. He was always ready to admit that the paths others were following were right. into formal molds with neat tags was foreign to his mind. Harry Levtow Furrows. and acts known and beloved somewhere. walk in cities. Every one of those good Hebrew names we read is only a symbol of a face smiling to someone. He seemed to be. and it was difficult to perceive at what stage this process actually became a form of reduction ad absurdum. A great deal more will be written by those who worked with him of Ari's influence in the formation and development of Habonim and in the Labor Zionist movement generally. courage. no analogy with anyone else. too. until almost the last full day together. The very casting of whole societies. when we drove into New England. there are those to whom the loss is a terrible reality. It is not possible to believe and. What it was and what had gone into it was flowing irrevocably in a certain direction and be would have thought it absurd that some sudden idea should be able to change it. nobly. There never were any dramatic announcements or obvious soul struggle." But he spoke about the other things that were nice to do with a certain detachment. The 1930's were a difficult test for radical youth. And he did it as usual-well. parks. We Labor Zionists participated in all radical activities but as a collateral thing. and energy of the small group of which Ari was a central figure. I do not think of Ari as having died. From the earliest days when. In the rarefied atmosphere of college. Every soul is precious. I am rendering a faint duty inadequately because I knew Ari. So he followed the path of the halutz. Ari admired the courage and the intellectual acumen of the radical leaders and even admitted that their panaceas might be right. and every week saw demonstrations.greatest pleasure was to drive through its countryside. He was unaware of the courage it took to drift with the tide of one's being. Here. These have been called his "doubts" and his "conflict. Labor Eretz Yisrael and the ideals of halutziut proudly became the central educational idea of the movement. one of us. of thoughts. I merely consider that he has crossed another boundary before us as he did so often before. Impossible. how he spoke at camps and conferences-vital and human. He saw the Jewish people again singled out for persecution and he felt that concrete' special efforts by Jews themselves were demanded. Socialists and Communists drove the black and white stereotypes of doctrinaire radicalism to absolute extremes. He felt like a victim of himself. in the conventional sense. But they were a little above him. He was a Socialist. all these have come about through the vision. 1948 80 . just drifting. April. But the Yishuv has always commemorated its dead lovingly. but the epitome of us. emphasis on Hebrew. The concept of doubt in the sense of debating one's path by purely mental processes cannot rightly be used for him. No hero picture. It is probably reserved only to those who knew him to feel the true loss. concert balls. we went driving out on Long Island until dawn. for my part. Camp Kvutza. after our Young Poale Zion Alliance meetings. sometimes looking wistfully back at the green fields of America. and of complex ways of life. and thought uneasily himself that he was. It was the Frederick B. He loved to stop at roadside inns. His life was the result of an evolutionary process. Their solutions for the whole world still left him uncomfortable as an individual. is true. but he weighed things relatively and he knew the enormous importance of the measure of basic civil liberties enjoyed here. He spoke nostalgically about the interesting careers others were following. stores. It is futile to try to recreate by words the vital essence of a complicated personality like Ari. but he would take any capitalism over a Socialism that gave a whit less of individual liberty. Ari would not want to be singled out or separated from his comrades. and counterdemonstrations. Robinson era at City College. There is a whole generation of young people who remember how Ari led them in song and dance. by virtue of his great truth to himself. He saw the evils of America. actually. as every individual was in life. And so for every one of those who are dying in Eretz Yisrael. Ari Lashner's reference point was his emotional Jewishness and Labor Zionism to which he attached significant weight. observe people. of people. He dropped his teacher-training course when it gradually became apparent to him that his future lay with the Jewish people and Eretz Yisrael. another essential characteristic is illustrated. without some trustworthy reference point in reality. visit galleries. expulsions. faithfully. I associate him with trips into the green countryside and 1 recall his avid appreciation of it. increased aliya. the expanded hachshara farms. desires.

They felt free as birds and so did Hayim. We felt that the very foundation of our camp would not survive that night." One of the advance crew was Hayim Rambam. was an obedient. He was much changed-more mature. less restless. We also found some boards for the future kitchen. He was an adventurer. Tired after a day of hard work. The work in Camp Kvutza became a form of training for Hayim. I am sure that it was solely to Hayim's credit that we came away that summer sound in limb. Hayim showed himself to be the second sort of person. He dreamed of participating in the defense of the country . without a path to follow. Incidents of that summer keep coming to mind. Towards the end of the summer. He used to spend many days and nights with hoboes and his stories were remarkable. always seeking new thrills and experiences. more serious in outlook. It was clear that Eretz Yisrael had had a marked effect upon him. He was drawn to the broad. he gave up that kind of life and returned home. on the other hand. The Ford that had not the least desire to climb the smallest hill. knee-deep in water. becausd of whose caprices we always had to bring along a couple of "footmen" to help push when the inevitable need arose." to whom many campers literally owed their lives. you learned that a few warm friendly words could easily quell the storm raging in him. I did not see him for a long time after that but heard he was employed as a tractor driver in Mikveh Yisrael. We knew then that he was moody and ready to tell stories of his adventures throughout the United States. a hurricane suddenly pounced upon us. even in early childhood. riding in the Ford. when a person may forget about and sacrifice himself for the general welfare. so we decided for safety's sake to make our way to a nearby boarding house. willing servant in Hayim's skillful hands. salvaged from Unser Camp for whose guests they were not deemed worthy. that constantly refused to get back to camp on time. 81 . Hayim showed up in Jersualem during a holiday. I also went to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Jerusalem with my husband. The camp consisted of a hilltop cluttered with tents which had obviously seen better days in the army. the walls of his home. whose mission in life should long since have ended-in which we have to cover ourselves with raincoats even during a light downpour-bowed meekly before the wrath of the storm and finally surrendered completely. and the discipline of a school. old farmer's stove. For the stormy nature of this boy. open fields-the sort of boy that can develop into a hero or an adventurer. Our status as property owners was made complete when we obtained from a friendly storekeeper a prehistoric ice cream container that was to serve as our "refrigerator. Hayim could be found on one of the cots in the tent. I well remember the delightful evenings and sunsets in the camp which were so inspiring. Hayim and I. people who were tired of civilization and routine. We were met by the advance crew of a few boys. We all gathered in our one "building. How well I remember that procession in the thick blackness. We saw a different world. and the old Ford that we were barely able to purchase for $10. We were most impressed with the big. In the meantime. a few boxes of cups (without handles).HAYIM RAMBAM On a beautiful evening-it must have been about ten years ago-Rachel Siegel and I arrived by car at Camp Kvutza. He was also our "life saver. destroying many houses in the neighborhood and flooding all the valleys. Suddenly. And many a time I thought that perhaps Hayim may turn out to be another Jack London. and dishes (slightly cracked). He had a leader's qualities and could influence people either for better or worse. and he hoped to obtain a certificate to go to Eretz Yisrael. he went on his own. On closer acquaintance." squatting on the tables with only a roof overhead while the torrent of rain drenched us through the open sides. When he did not receive a certificate. had proved too stifling. Once he admitted to me that only because of the deep love for his father. Hayim was the driver of the Ford on which we depended for supplies from the nearby town and water from the well. lashed by the wind 1 It was one of those moments when old and young display all their shortcomings and weaknesses and. Here we are. . Our ancient army tents. .

he drank from a spring he did not know was contaminated. Leak Brown Haboneh June. under the hot sun. While working in the fields.But a month later he was dead. It did not occur to him that tiny microbes would conquer his powerful body and quiet his stormy nature for eternity. 1942 82 .

when we grow older. D.that during the period that he was stationed at San Diego in training. his ideas. We remember that while others were delving into deep discussion about the problems of labor. G. 1944 83 . Joey entered a trade school to prepare himself for the life of a halutz. his zeal. D. We remember that when Joey came out to camp weekends. It is an irreparable loss for the movement here and for Kfar Blum in Eretz Yisrael . we talked about his doubts and his ambitions. and now Joseph Rosenberg is reported missing in action at sea. Those who belonged to our group at that time will perhaps not remember him as well as they do others who talked more at meetings and were generally more assertive.JOSEPH ROSENBERG There will be many vacant places in our ranks when this war is over. June. You may not know. he would do more work than others had done all week. a second was lost in a mission over Germany. He was about to become rosh mahaneh of Detroit and he spent hours with me discussing his plans. I really learned to appreciate his character at the Leaders' Seminar in Pipersville in 1940. B. he was certain that he would be able to organize a Habonim group. But those who stayed with the group remember that while others were spouting high-sounding phrases about becoming halutzim. his devotion. Joey joined Habonim in 1935 at the age of eleven. he led us through one of the strongest years of our existence. Joey joined the local union and made himself heard there. I met Joey for the first time when I was sent to Detroit to represent the Young Poale Zion-Habonim at the National Convention of the Farband. a third while performing his duty in the Near East. We remember how as rosh mahaneh of Detroit Habonim.. I was impressed with his youthfulness.. We remember that when a Kibbutz Aliya was formed in Detroit. The fourth of our haverim is gone. He showed me his neat notebook. One died flying in this country. his enthusiasm. he spent every spare moment making contacts and speaking to people. his plans. I read his outlines. Furrows. Joey was one of the first to join and carry out its program. He lived his life in search of a better world and gave his life in the struggle for it.

His mission was to work with Italian partisans behind the German lines. and together with American haverim. and now a sergeant in the Second Battalion of the Jewish Brigade. he was bubbling with energy and intellectual curiosity. and there we found a card with the following information on it: Prisoner No. " 'Before leaving Dachau. 17 November 1944. V3 (code for member of the British forces). missing in action for over a year. Shmuel. Eretz Yisrael delegate to the American Habonim. it was primarily Enzo Sereni. was dropped by parachute into northern Italy in the late spring of 1944 in the uniform of a British captain under the name of Shmuel Barda. Sereni. He remembered that he was usually together with one French and two other British officers. and he told me the story of his search for Enzo Sereni by whose side he had once worked in America: I was a member of one of the Jewish Brigade's search teams. who had been in the same block with him in Dachau. and he couldn't forget how even in the environment of Dachau. Yet that is what has occurred to Habonim through the murder of Enzo Sereni in Dachau on November 17-18. as you may know. one-time halutz from America. One can only surmise from this information that he was brought to his death by torture. It turned out that he had been the secretary of the block Sereni was in and he remembered him well. but traces of him. We had heard that he was at one time known to have been together with a Dominican pastor by the name of Roth. We then looked up the pastor. 1944. but to make sure. Resident at Tel Aviv. we turned immediately to the card index of all those who had ever been in the place. we are finally beyond any question of doubt certain that Enzo is dead-dead at the age of thirtynine. Together with another member of the team. Died 18 November 1944. We started to look for the pastor in the monasteries in Cologne and Munich and learned that he had gone back to Dachau to help the inmates there and become the confessor of the SS troopers who are now imprisoned there. Taken to Special Punishment Cell for interrogation. those ashes will be placed there together with those of our other martyrs. when a report reached us that Sereni had been seen alive in the concentration camp at Mauthausen. Of his end he knew nothing since he had been taken away from Dachau before it came. When the projected memorial to the Gola is erected in Jerusalem. might still be alive: On the streets of Paris I ran into Sgt. about whom relatives in the Allied countries had made inquiries. Barda. we went out there and got permission from the Russian commandant of nearby Linz to visit the place. Block 23. Today. his own tormentors no doubt among them. Born 22 June 1905 at Jerusalem. He remembered well the long discussions they used to have on philosophical as well as world political and Jewish topics. through a search conducted by Ben Zion (now a sergeant in the Jewish Brigade). We were skeptical because some Brigade boys had been there around that time and had said nothing about it. 113160. Together with Ben Zion Ilan of Afikim who was then an Eretz Yisrael delegate to the youth movement. When we came to Dachau. when the best part of his contribution to Zionism surely lay ahead of him. But there is no one there today but a 84 . only a few months ago. we filled an urn with ashes from the crematorium. A letter from Kieve Skidell tells the following story which ends all hope that Enzo. all of whom have disappeared without a trace. led to the concentration camp at Dachau. The details of his capture are not known. Austria. whose energy and imagination made Habonim possible. His body was cremated at the local crematorium. after his capture by the Germans. Entered 9 October 1944. engaged in the search for prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates in Germany.ENZO SERENI It is not often that a youth movement has to mourn its founder's death within the space of eight short years. Those were not his ashes alone but they were sacred. I obtained permission from the British army bureau in charge of these searches to institute a search for Enzo Sereni. Sereni impressed him as a man of extremely high intellectual acumen. as Hehalutz delegate. Ben Zion Ilan. " 'For us the search seemed ended.

of course. Rabbi Joachim Prinz tells this story of Sereni. Soon after his earliest appearance in America. his paradoxes and rapid-fire patter. but one might even say a daredevil. as far as that goes. He had a firm viewpoint. I came back from a trip out of town in the wee hours of the morning. Sereni would be able to deposit it all on my desk. They were inclined to worry about his most innocent proposal for fear of some ingenious trap. This. he left an indelible impression. 85 . it became a current story that Sereni spoke the best broken English anyone had ever heard. he had less need than they to count costs. indeed. which set him apart from many comrades was that in certain things. In this way I hoped to find out when Enzo did come in. I had been rather vain of my speed in reading but Sereni was insufferably superior.number of Russian troops who are billeted there. never were they more wrong. I determined not to go home to clean up but to get the rest of my sleep on a bench in the office. Another blow to my own pride was the way he went through the Hebrew press-or any other reading matter. I never did find out when he arrived. efficiently marked to indicate the essential items for digesting or writing up. the flashing play of his wit and thought. ZD Sereni was. It was not only the Germans with their gruendlichkeit who were uneasy at his mental athletics. Opponents often mistook his vehemence for vindictiveness. I noted in the comments on Sereni's death. he always knew something about the material we had just covered which had escaped our more plodding attention-and never could we find anything he had missed. He boiled rapidly but only on the surface. which it seems to me must represent an unsurpassed peak in Sereniana: Prinz and Sereni one day were both pulled in by the Gestapo in the course of a routine raid on Hehalutz quarters. covering the theory and practice of both German Nazism and Italian fascism. We all harbored dark suspicions about how thoroughly he had read. perhaps. as I recall. We who worked with him in the office of Hehalutz were consumed with envy and despair at his incredible energy and tirelessness.D. according to repute. going through the Eretz Yisrael press. and they could not get him to leave until he had made a few last points. At last they discovered the prison where he was kept and were permitted to see him. The same lusty combativeness marked his fights for his ideas within the Histadrut. Prinz's wife learned of the affair and tore the town apart trying to locate the two and obtain their release. Sereni enjoyed many elements of ultimate security which enabled him to be not only daring. They found him in the midst of a lively discussion with his guards. gave him another formidable advantage in debate which only increased the confusion and unfounded suspicions of many opponents. I was a witness to the same phenomenon here. I woke up. he. One day. in conversation.' " To those who knew Enzo there is no need to define our loss. In spite of a frantic search they could not find Sereni until midnight. even made them rather suspicious. In fact. and a strong sense of the direction in which he wished to go. He was indeed a man whom an opponent had to know to love. It is true that he used his opponents' lower resistance to fire deliberately.M. I remember. Sereni was basically cool. Sereni was so clever that slower minds distrusted him. and there was no trace of him whatsoever. with roots in Italy as far back as 70 A. to find Sereni sitting opposite me at his desk. in all his dangerous missions for the Histadrut. but after a half-hour with a huge batch of literature. After a while she found Prinz and he was released. Apparently he never slept except for forty winks occasionally on buses and on railroad coaches-and every morning when he was in New York. He never counted costs-one of the things. Even those who lived with him at that famous Bet Hehalutz on Riverside'Drive probably never knew when he awoke. between 7:30 and 8:00 A. which have recently appeared in the Eretz Yisrael press. would appear at the office bright and early to greet the firstcomers and shame the others. In the most furious argument. Others smuggled Jewish money out of Nazi Germany but I am sure no one ever did it with as much assurance and enjoyment as Sereni. Then afterwards. prominent Roman Jewish family. Whatever the language. I can well believe that he sustained an intense mental activity in his last days at Dachau. Sereni remained detached and capable of appreciating an opposing view. and with assured status in the academic and professional society of contemporary Rome. he would sail through texts like a swift Italian breeze. In the utmost heat of contention. There is no longer any doubt. that the German youth-Enzo had a great share in the creation of Hehalutz in Hitler Germany during the early years-were equally flabbergasted at Sereni's mental speed. A scion of a rather wealthy. He threw himself with unlimited devotion-perhaps the proper word is abandon-into the cause he wished to serve. Everywhere he went. a fighter in a certain sense.

He also noted the basic and obvious fact that one element in Arab-Jewish conflict was the great difference in the economic level of the two communities. entailed serious consequences in action for Sereni. I learned the basic intellectual reasons for these new ineshugassen of Sereni's. Even the most fleeting adherence to an idea. But these hypotheses were also formative elements in his own thoughts. a simpleton. the first few times he had gone out without a rifle. as I learned. he acted. or simple selfdelusion if one took the Hashomer Hatzair view. However. in Sereni's mind. Shlomo Grodzensky tells this of his first encounter with Enzo: He met a sturdy little Italian. All these. I remember an instance by which I was particularly impressed: In America. meant either deferring such solidarity to an indefinite future if one took the Mapai view. When I came to Givat Brenner. It was brought up in discussion that bloodshed between groups had historically tended to implant mutual hatred that long outlasted the fighting. raise the standard of living by cooperative methods of consumption and mutual aid. In a late picture taken in Eretz Yisrael and published in the memorial issue of Hapoel Hatzair. notably the British-Boer case. Sereni had obviously considered that factor already for he promptly replied that there were also instances. the product of a scientifically-trained mind. because in the most opposing statements he could appreciate the grains of truth. Sereni knew very well what the costs were of Arab terrorism to the Jews. Sereni argued that the disturbances of 1936-38 were a good thing in the history of Arab-Jewish relations. I was astonished to hear that Enzo was not allowed to stand his turn at guard duty because. was almost fantastically reflected in his volatile whims and witticisms. I'm a first-rate expert at arguing Zionism from a Marxist basis. so to speak. But he was an extreme realist as well. though the kibbutz would not assign him to stand watch. This was the man who. Reluctantly. of course. when I spoke to him. He told me that having had long conversations in America with Hayim Greenberg. Practically rubbing his hands with glee. just off the boat. of course. it could not stop him from breaking the rule against walking through certain officially designated dangerous areas between Rehovot and Givat Brenner. He would never wait for a bus to take him home and he scoffed at the danger from Arab neighbors whom he had known. and often went to practically fantastic lengths of logic in this matter. What particularly upset the assurance of some of us was that Sereni delighted in the forceful paradox as a method of presentation and loved to shock his youthful audiences out of their received doctrines. he used to argue that only in the framework of the Arab Federation would it be possible to come to an understanding with the Arab on Eretz Yisrael. experimental hypotheses. and what he thought. Sereni presents an 86 . during the period of my own stay in Eretz Yisrael (1939). one might even say heuristic. approaching forty. volunteered for sabotage and underground work behind the lines in Italy. were in reality tentative statements. He therefore argued that the Jewish worker must have the idealism to come down to the Arab level in order to meet him and. He was capable of the most astounding self-contradictions and mental flexiblity. I remember when he was in this country. Sereni said: "Excellent! You know. He felt that talking of economic solidarity between the Arab and Jewish worker while keeping the Jewish economic sector at a price and wage level far higher than the Arab's. even to a notion of provisional. Enzo was always a strong adherent of the idea of a Jewish-Arab collaboration.Sereni's fundamental open-mindedness. But this was no final stand for Sereni. Be he was considering the hypothesis that no basic change in Arab-Jewish relations was possible until the Arabs were convinced that the Jews were unalterably bent upon establishing themselves in Eretz Yisrael and that their will was a factor to be reckoned with. value in his life-course. if only in order to make them think on their own. who at once asked whether it were true that there was a current vogue for Marxism in America. where peace and mutual forbearance had ensued between groups after a decisive measuring of strength. and we never knew how seriously to take them." Said Grodzensky: "Do you believe in Marxism. Later. on the theory that the Arab's must be raised to the Jewish level. then?" Outraged. He was also capable of using an argument largely for its effect. Enzo shot back: "What do you think I am. to believe in such vulgar banalities " But there are other instances I remember of Enzo's elasticity of ideas which cast quite a different light on the whole matter. he had swung towards pacificism. Shlomo admitted that this was the case. As a member of a kibbutz which. suffered its casualties like any other rural settlement.

even Italian historiography. taking delight in the explosive effects of his intellectual gunfire. He was completely aware of it. to Germany. his friends. Givat Brenner. German Jews. But what was it which put those omens of fear into Sereni's eyes in his latest pictures? We can only guess. 1945 87 . his own home and family. bravely but with solemnity. if I may abuse a phrase. JewsEastern European Jews. let us say-would you give her up? " If you answered. to America-he invested his money in the Histadrut. the Histadrut. He always had a childlike look. the Yiddish language. childlike. We know from writings that reach us from Eretz Yisrael how deeply the split in the Mapai affected Sereni. Solemnity was a look I often saw in him at Givat Brenner.altogether different aspect from what was familiar to us. if you loved a woman. his metaphysical moorings. Far deeper than his intellectual constructions was a deep. From his latest picture. Products of fascism. But he took his bearings by love. No. Mapai. moving mountains of apathy and mental torpor with a logical witticism. deracinated Jews-yet under Sereni's ministrations their success as kibbutz members was. He used to say that everywhere he went-to Eretz Yisrael. confronting unforeseen and portentous immensities. for this reason he would often mock us by declaring himself nearer a Christian than a Jew in religious sensibility. Italian philosophy. outstanding and phenomenally smooth. and I can attest to it. we see that it was able to put a reflection of fear even into those eyes. the Kibbutz Hameuhad. In the recent picture. We saw him as the "happy warrior" child. ~ he looks like a lost child. He had invested far more than a lifetime of labor. which he barely knew. and never had he failed to realize what he risked. his own kibbutz. he would acclaim you a Zionist. and another claimed her-her husband. December. and the Italian people. I remember Sereni loved to propound this question: "Tell me. he had invested his love. full of fire and sparkle. There was high seriousness in the devotion with which he cared for the small group of Italian halutzim whom he had assembled there in 1939. romantic strain of love in Sereni. These things he loved: Italy-Italian art. Ben Halpern Furrows. Lithuanians and Germans alike.

Furrows. the background that molded all his discussions of our problems. and all of these he applied in his work for Habonim. the type of material he assembled when he served as editor of Haboneh last year. At the founding convention of Habonim in Buffalo. seek new methods of educating others in it. to learn to mourn the death of a comrade. was a veteran in Habonim and its predecessor. As a movement grows up. those who were with him will remember Irv's insistence that we not water down the ideas of the Young Poale Zion Alli. His love of literature and art. 1944 88 . July. was one of those who contributed to the conception and development of Habonim. a member of the National Executive. One of the first organizers. and long be grateful for the share he contributed to Habonim. His knowledge of the essence of the movement led him to create programs. to learn to meet the inevitable situations of adult life. Irv. though only thirty-one when he died. when he was elected on the Poale Zion list as a delegate to the World Zionist Congress. as in the life of an individual. and later the Merkaz. A halutz who knew that because of his serious illness he could never realize life in Eretz Yisrael.IRV STERNBERG The early days in the life of a movement. Habonim will remember Irv. Irv was a haver with diverse and intense interests. conceive new ideas. it must begin to accept the responsibilities of maturity. were reflected in those things he wrote.ance but make them the basis for Habonim and devise the methods by which this new movement of younger people might be taught the ideas of the Poale Zion: Selfrealization as ha. In 1939 Irv received some measure of reward for the work he had done so devotedly for so long. but to take new strength from the spirit he displayed. His exceptional ability in artistic handwork led him to organize Habonim crafts groups. the Young Poale Zion Alliance. his passion for the unique. Irv Sternberg.lutzim in their homeland and the eventual achievement of Socialism and a more productive Jewish life throughout the world. He combined his deep love for the printed word and the cooperative way of life in the establishment of a cooperative printing shop for Habonim in Philadelphia. Irv nevertheless translated his Socialist Zionism into his personal life. he contributed inestimably to the formulation of the program and policies of Habonim. who died early in June. long regret his untimely loss to us. are shaped and influenced by those few who conceive and develop the ideas which give it birth.

He was one of our best haverim. 1944. to accept the task of the halutz. We must fill the gap. I cannot transform and reduce this intangible thing into pitifully inadequate sentences. and I call to all those others who believe as Johanan did to rouse themselves. 1944 89 . of the work we did when he was my rosh mahaneh. lest the Jewish people never find their future." He was my friend. so that the vision of which Johanan was symbolic shall find new strength and fervor. Harry Brumberger Purrows. And I can say with a determination which I have never felt before that we must not let the chain of halutzim be broken.JOHANAN TARTAKOWER "Johanan Tartakower was killed in action in the European Theater of Operations on September 29th. I shall endeavor to do what my friend Johanan wanted to do-I will try to realize his dreams. That is the best tribute I can give him. of the dreams we had together of Eretz Yisrael and "our" kibbutz. too-that is why these words are meaningless to me. We must believe in the things Johanan died for and fight for them. I can only wonder at the empty space that is left in my life and try to fill it with memories of Johanan and of the days we spent at Kvutza. Freedom and peace are meaningless if we are not conscious of their worth and do not accept their responsibilities-and freedom and peace must prevail lest future Johanans shall die. November.

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