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February 21, 2003 - Image 55

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-02-21

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Information about alumni activities for Jewish youth groups is available at the
following Web sites:
USY: WWW. ProjectReconnectorg
BBYO: vvww.bbyo.orgialumni/
NFTY: www.alumni.nfry.net/
NCSY: vvwvv.ou.orgincsy/projectstalumniregist.htm
Young Judaea: www.youngjudaea.orgihtml/alumni_assoc_.html
Habonim Dror: yvww.habonimdrorfoundation.org/hdfireunions/index.htn - il

"I had this epiphany one day that
there are probably lots of people, like my
daughter, who would enjoy getting
together with people they'd bonded
Soon there was a link on the organiza-
tion's Web site for alumni, a database
was formed and before long a Web list
was circulating among the group's
A search of the Web shows-that USY
organizers are not alone in their think-
ing. While BBYO has no database of its
own, they list a site formed by the
alumni themselves as well as upcoming
reunions. NCSY and NFTY as well as
Young Judaea and Habonim Dror have
organized alumni programs similar to
that of USY. And while some of the
group's activities revolve around fund-
raising, the stronger theme is clearly
about renewing old friendships and
maintaining a connection to Jewish life.
Last year, Habonim Dror organized a
three-day 50th anniversary reunion of
what they call "Workshop," a yearlong
program for high school graduates in
Israel. Hundreds of alums gathered in
New York for picnics, sing-alongs,
Israeli dancing and dinner.

The Ookaf Hadarom region of Young
Judaea, which encompasses Texas,
Oklahoma and Louisiana, had a similar
celebration for alumni of Camp Young
Judaea, where 350 former campers
came back to spend the weekend in
their old bunks. And in New York,
Young Judaea organizers have begun to
plan happy hours in the hopes of bring-
ing old friends who've relocated to New
York together.
"It hurts all of us that so many young
people are moving to new cities where
they don't know anyone and don't have
a connection." Saltz says. "We want
them to have a contact person in every
community, someone who will invite
them for a Shabbat dinner."

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More Than Friendship

Mindy Goldberg knows what it's like to
start over in a new city. She grew up in
Southfield and wrapped up her senior
year as president of Beth Shalom's USY
chapter in 1975. Since then, she's
moved nine times. As her travels took
her around the country, she often

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Joel Moss of Detroit and Jimmy LeBeau of Cleveland conducted a Havdalah service at
Camp CRUSY in the late 1960s.



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