poignant memories, music intertwines.
"Music and song and camp always go hand-in-hand,"
said Friedman. "But Jewish music and camp go heart-in-
heart. The music tells our history, speaks to our fears and
our hopes. It captures the excitement of the moment and
offers us comfort, too."
Israeli Teens At Camp
to give us
Our circulation department
can't wait to hear about
your exciting plans for the
summer and we would be
more than happy to stop
delivery of your papers until
you get back. If you are
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talk to us about receiving
your paper wherever you
end and decided to drive over to Tamarack to see the camp,"
explained Joan, a former director of Camp Maccabees "It's an
absolute thrill to see all these Jewish children celebrating their
heritage here together. It just makes everything that's going on
in the world, right."
Goodbye To A Special Friend
As the sun begins its descent below the horizon, a warm glow
In the late 1960s, four Israeli counselors came to Camp Maas.
spreads across the faces of the camp throng. Suddenly the pace
Experimental at the time, the practice quickly became routine.
slows, campers realizing that this highly anticipated visit is
The Israelis bring a sense of culture and identity to the kids
about to conclude.
while the camp experience helps shape these young adults for
Camper Deena Martin's smile fades. "There will be a lot of
life. This year, the 30 Israeli counselors had some
tears tonight," she said softly.
special company. Three-hundred Israeli young-
Left: Camp Director
She knows that her night will include some
sters came to Camp Maas to escape the trials of
quiet moments talking to her counselor.
their homeland and experience American-style
Another child quietly remarks that she's been
Camps' 100th anniversary instructed not to say long goodbyes. Then, she
"What a summer this has been," said a beam-
with campers Allison
glances at her younger sister and tears well up
ing Henry Wineman, Tamarack Camps' outgoing Wertheimer, 14, and
in both their eyes. A mother braids her daugh-
board president. "The camaraderie between the
Samantha Wax, 14, both
ter's hair. A father perches his young son upon
Israeli kids and our campers has been fabulous.
of West Bloomfield.
his shoulders. Debbie Friedman begins the
It's beshert [meant to be] — our 100th year, this
Havdalah service. The night is perfect. Warm
celebration and to have these Israeli kids here for
Right: At the Debbie
and breezy, just a few bugs, a crescent moon ris-
Friedman concert are some ing over the western sky.
Standing beside her grandparents, 11-year-old
of Tamarack Camps' own
Clutching a well-read copy of Arthur's
Deena Martin of Sylvan Lake sensesshe has given music makers: Rob
Chicken Pox, Fred Hankin of Ann Arbor lov-
her new Israeli friends some gifts they'll never for- Gutman, 17, of
ingly looks at his two sons, Jacob, 8, and Saul,
get. "We are spending this summer making them Farmington Hills; Toby
feel at home. We help them learn things they've
Singer, 19, of Ann Arbor;
"It feels great to be here, to recognize the
never done before, like water-skiing," she said.
Laura Moss, 22, of
hard work and efforts of Jewish families for 100
"You know, it's wonderful how this community Commerce Township; and years," Hankin said. "The kids — they are tired
has supported this camp for 100 years," said
Julie Maltzman, 20, of
and happy. What more could a parent ask for?"
Deena's proud grandmother, Annette Maskin.
And then it ends. Friedman has sung her
Some 40 years earlier, Maskin stood on the same
heart out, thrilling fans with the spirited
field, back in the days when older campers slept in tents.
Miriam's Song and the serene Shavua Toy, a beautiful melody
Maskin's husband, Russell, went to Fresh Air Camp in
that wishes the Sabbath farewell. Its words include the apro-
Brighton, the third home of Tamarack Camps. "We've been
pos, "saying goodbye to a special friend."
associated with this camp for half its life," he recalled. "Our
Finkelberg returns to the stage. As he speaks about the magi-
fathers used to wait in line at the old Jewish Community
cal powers of camp, fireworks illuminate the darkened sky. He
Center at 4 in the morning to sign us up."
pauses, and then the inevitable happens: The campers separate
Long before the days of mail-in registration, Fresh Air
from their families and return to their villages.
Camps' popularity required that only children from Detroit
Later, after the cars and parents are gone and the dust settles
apply, leaving many out-state kids yearning. That's why neither back into the ground, campers with emotions stirring, find
Joan Shafer of Flint, nor her husband, Nathan, went to
solace in each other. They haven't yet realized it, but Tamarack
Tamarack. But, on this warm August 2002 night, the visiting
has succeeded in its magic, creating another eternal camp
couple find themselves in the middle of the celebration.
memory. These campers have helped Tamarack Camps' cele-
"We were staying at Butzel [Conference Center] this week-
brate its 100th birthday. ❑