Summer's Indelible Imprint
ho says adults can't
can never be replaced
maintained at home by her
become children again?
long. And this reunion shows that," said But on that sunny weekend,
parents, German immigrants.
Maybe it's not healthy for
Devine, who started attending the camp more somber reflections
As her older brother, Lenny
too long, but it sure was
at age 5 when she lived in New York
Loewentritt, a government
stretched beyond the overgrown
nostalgic for three days in the Catskill
City and went until it closed in 1965.
lawyer in Washington, D.C.,
base paths, weedy tennis court
Mountains recently when six dozen for-
We gathered from across the country
recalled at the reunion: "There
and filled-in pool. The camp
mer New York City kids went back to
and beyond at a legendary Borscht Bolt
was no frivolity at home when
was founded by German immi-
our largely Jewish summer camp from
hotel, the Nevele in Ellenville, N.Y., and grants, and most of our parents
I was young. I only found that
the 1950 and 1960s.
visited our former camp — now an
were 1940s European refugees
Anita Devine, a 50-year-old pharma-
artist's studio and home. Two sisters
Against that backdrop, our
who whispered the word
cist from Bloomfield Hills, was among
came from London, another camper
• camp" in a far darker context.
daily Catskills ritual of singing
those who slipped into camp T-shirts,
traveled from the Netherlands and the
"God Bless America" was
"My parents arrived right
sang campfire songs, remembered teen
jet lag prize went to the camp cook's son after the war and struggled to
repeated at the still-standing
romances, ate cupcakes, listened to
for flying in from Australia.
flagpole with fresh resonance and deep-
assimilate. It helped to have their child
oldies, watched flickering camp movies
For three days, we were young and
er meaning. We realize now why direc-
out of the way during summer while
and played softball.
carefree again, on vacation from P.S.
tors Ellen and Gerry Bucky considered
they continued this struggle to
"I was reliving my childhood,"
the morning and dusk ceremonies of
become Americans," said Irving
said Devine. "We hadn't seen each
flag raising and folding as vital as break-
Weiler of Riverdale, N.Y., one of
other in 40 years, but it felt like
the reunion participants who mar- fast and dinner — nourishment for
only a few years.
young Americans learning to savor the
ried a camper. Our camp helped
Two teen couples who had
land of the free and the home of the
both generations, he added,
danced under the stars in Pine
"because I needed to become
Bush, N.Y., were easy to remember.
After returning to Bloomfield Hills,
They came together as long-married
Devine sent her 19-year-old daughter
Harrypertz, a federal adminis-
Alison off to Camp Tanuga in Kalkaska.
trator from Boyds, Md., believes
We also gathered for Shabbat
"our parents still had fears and saw Now a counselor, the Western Michigan
candlelighting and prayers, just as
University student has spent summers
camp as a safe haven for us." And
•We had 40 to 55 years ago, and
there since age 6.
for Elaine Ravich of Baltimore,
then sat spellbound as a former
"I told her, 'I hope you feel as close
"camp was my substitute extended
counselor read "It Could Be Worse"
your campers and counselors in 40
family" after a war that claimed
Elaine Loeb, Linda Hanauer, Sharon Langsam
and "Cunning vs. Greed" from the
years as we do, and that you'll also want
and Anita Devine — members of the bunk called
same tattered volume of Sholem
to go to a reunion,"' the Oakland
"I had no cousins, no older sib-
"The Fair Ladies" at Stern's from 1957 to 1965.
Aleichem folk tales he held at Stern
County mother related.
lings," she said. "I needed people
Summer Camp weekly services.
Before leaving the Catskills, we col-
to show me how to grow up."
Mostly, we marveled at the power of
187 or Junior High 52 in Upper
lected donations for the Fresh Air Fund
Manhattan and savoring the exhilara-
childhood memories that pulled 74
of New York so other city kids can hear
men and women in our 50s to 80s back tion of summer in the mountains with
the cicadas, swim in a tree-framed lake,
to our summer playground for our first
friends. Hairlines and hairstyles had
taste the fragrant air, raise the flag on a
Ties That Bind
changed, but personalities and other
dewy lawn and dance under the s
For Devine, "the continuity of my
"The friends you make in childhood
traits were as crystal-clear as a mountain Jewish heritage at camp was impor-
memories that last a lifetime, take it
Alan Stamm of Birmingham is a writer
It was like walking through scenes
And, oh yes, the cupcakes from
Poignantly, the Oakland County resi-
who attended Stern Summer Camp from our parents filmed in Super 8 movies,
Bakery in Ellenville were deli-
dent added that "camp was a release"
1957 to 1965.
with older actors on a familiar stage.
from the strict, austere atmosphere
Myth And Reality
hen newspapers make
between Israeli victims of
suicide bombers, and
fanatic hate-mongers of the
International Solidarity Movement
(ISM) who got themselves killed try-
ing to protect terrorists, it's time to
speak up. When synagogues host
members of ISM, it's time to speak
Naomi Ragen is a Jerusalem author
who made aliyah from New York in
1972. Her e-mail address is
nragen@netmedia. net . il
The following is the true face of this
terrorist support group whose mem-
bers deserve whatever- befalls them in
their attempt to help get innocent
civilians in Israel murdered. Whatever
they think of themselves, they are
The ISM is a non-violent human
rights organization that opposes ter-
rorism and supports a two-state solu-
ISM has harbored known terrorists
and openly advocated violence and the
destruction of Israel. ISM spokesman
Raphael Cohen was asked at a May
2003 press conference to define "occu-
pation." His response: "The Zionist
presence in Palestine." When asked to
express his view of peace, he answered,
‘`a one-state solution," by which he
meant the creation of a Palestinian
state in place of Israel.
On ISM's Web site, the Internet
directory is called "traveltopalestine."
The site also located Ben-Gurion
Airport in "Palestine." It includes an
information packet for volunteers; the
packet features a country guide to
"Palestine." The guide lists the land-
mass of "Palestine" as the size of the
entire State of Israel plus the West
Bank and Gaza.
The country guide describes the
geographic boundaries of "Palestine"
as extending from Jordan to the .
Mediterranean Sea, and from Lebanon
to Aqaba; that is, again incorporating
all of Israel.
The ISM does not hide its incite-
ment to violence. Its Web site states
that it recognizes "the Palestinian right
to resist Israeli violence and occupa-
tion via legitimate armed struggle."
Cohen admits that, on April 25, 2003,
he hosted a group of 15 people at his
apartment. Included in that group
were Asif Mohammad Hanif and