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ing place in Israel.
Federation decided to connect the
kids through summer camp at Camp
Maas," said Naomi Rockowitz,
Tamarack Camps program coordinator
for the Fresh Air Society.
"Because it was such a success last
year, we decided to do it again."
Rockowitz said similar programs are
going on nationally, "but nowhere near
"Some Jewish camps are taking a
dozen campers," she said. "My feeling is
when you're bringing campers in this
large of a scale, they have a very strong
identity of who they are. They feel very
confident as Israelis, and they bring
Israel very powerfully to the camp. They
don't get lost in the crowd."
The Israelis came in two waves during
the summer and were selected by Israeli
social workers and teachers because of
their language skills and their well-
adjusted demeanor. The first wave was
nearly 75 Israeli Scouts; the second were
youths mostly from the Central Galilee.
"I made lots of friends here and I'm
sure they learned from us about the situ-
ation in Israel. It's not all war; we have
regular lives," said Adi Shavit, 16, a
counselor from Neve Monosson. "This
was an opportunity to tell them exactly
what's going on in Israel not just by
what they see on TV or read in the
Israeli Delegation Supervisor Yoav
Raban, 24, of Kibbutz Ramat David in
the Central Galilee's Jezreel Valley, said
the trip was much tougher on the
Israelis last year.
"The attitude is completely different
this year," he said.
When 230 Israeli campers took part
last year, sometimes the American
campers were outnumbered, he said.
With only 150 Israelis taking part this
year, "the kids bonded at a quicker rate."
"When they performed at a get-
together, you couldn't tell who was from
West Bloomfield and who was from
Israel," said Ben Rosenthal, chairman of
the Israeli Tamarack planning commit-
tee. "They were all Jews."
Robert Aronson, Federation CEO,
said the program "reflects the connec-
tion between the Jewish people of Israel
and America, and specifically Detroit, in
a way that brings credit to this commu-
Hila Miskin, 14, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Reut Nachum,
14, of Modiin share a laugh.
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