December 13, 2007
Labor Zionist ideals live on at Gilboa
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"What makes it so unique is everyone feels that Gilboa belongs to them, and that is why everyone wants to put more effort into it and make it a great thing," said Yair Castel, Habonim's shaliach.
That translates to the home environment, as well.
"It brings out this sense of responsibility to everybody," says Judith Landau, whose three kids are products of Camp Gilboa.
Her daughter found a love for Judaism through camp and is now an officer in the Israeli Air Force, working on environmental policy and living an Orthodox life.
Her youngest son, previously somewhat reserved and isolated, discovered he was a comedian and a poet.
Her middle son, Itamar, tapped into his leadership potential. For the past two summers he has served as rosh machane, head of camp, and after graduating UC Berkeley last year, went to work as a counselor at Habonim Dror's post-high school program in Israel.
Passionate idealism like his, and the drive to see it actualized, is what has sparked a revival of Habonim Dror in America, and its Israeli counterpart, HaNoar HaOved VeHalomed (Youth Who Work and Teach), which has reframed the kibbutz socialism on which Israel was founded. Now, a growing number of youths live in urban kibbutzim -- cooperative living arrangements where young people pool their stipends and dedicate themselves to education.
That is the spirit that infuses Camp Gilboa, as well.
"I think in this very cynical world, we're a camp that teaches hope and idealism and making the world a better place. What a fabulous thing that is for our kids," said Julia Greenwald, chair of Habonim Dror's camp committee. "At the end of last summer, I looked around and I said to the kids, 'In 10 years I want to know all of you, because you are the people who are going to make this world a better place.' And I really believe that."
To learn more about Habonim Dror North America, visit http://www.habonimdror.org/.
To learn more about Camp Gilboa, http://www.campgilboa.org/.
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