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August 23, 2007 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-08-23

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Campers Demarcalin Sylvestre of Highland Park, Mich., Avi Zarchayev of Beer
Sheva and Ami Roitman of Nazareth Illit

Israeli Campers from page 31



Camp staffers Samantha Cutler and Nina Patchak, both of West Bloomfield, flank
Israeli Scout Noga Kaplan.


August 23 . 2007

Detroit. "We place 2-3 Israeli campers in
each bunk which works out well."
P2K is an educational, cultural, social
and business exchange program.
The campers are quick to make obser-
vations about their new surroundings.
"The views in America are beautiful,"
said Jacoby, noting a few other things
that struck him as strange. "They're using
a lot of water in the bathroom. In Israel,
we really conserve the water. Also, this
is summer in America and there's rain.
That really surprised me."
Another surprise may be the exuber-
ant and diverse Jewish atmosphere at
Tamarack, which many campers have
never been exposed to.
"In Israel, it tends to be very secular or
Orthodox," explained Rockowitz. "They're
seeing a very beautiful way of practicing
They're also sharing their food, culture
and history; one day at camp is devoted
to an Israel Day celebration.
"The informal Jewish education that's
happening here, which permeates all of
our activities, is definitely the jewel," said
camp director Debbie Landau of West
Bloomfield. "I get very excited about it."

Added Jacoby, "It's giving me another
look about the world and Judaism."

Jewish Discovery
Eli Rockowitz, Tamarack's supervisor of
Jewish programming (who is married
to Naomi), lies awake at night ponder-
ing questions like, `Where should we
build the Temple?' and 'What can I use
for a mountain?' He's constantly looking
for unique, interactive ways to enhance
Jewish identity, whether that involves
putting on shows using oversized pup-
pets of biblical characters or build-
ing a replica of the Second Temple in
Jerusalem out of cereal boxes so campers
can understand the significance of the
Western Wall.
"The idea is to make it hands-on, for
the kids to feel like they've experienced
having a Jewish life that's exciting and
dynamic:' Rockowitz said. "We're not just
about religion, we're about understanding
Israel, Jewish history, Hebrew, holidays
— it's a full-service Jewish program."
Under Rockowitz's supervision, the
camp built a permanent wooden rep-
lica of the Western Wall where campers
place notes which are eventually flown

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