June 11, 2009
Yes, it's the 100th birthday of Young Judaea, the Zionist youth movement that helped make me the person I am today. This article by Gil Troy says it all so eloquently.
Gil and I were age peers in the movement, and so our experiences were similar. I too fondly remember the debates about matters large and small, the inspiring peer leaders who were often only a few years older than I, the summers at Camp Tel Yehudah, regional conventions, and intense city club meetings.
Young Judaea changed my life for the better. It made me strong in my beliefs. I learned to stand up for myself. Judaeans accepted me the way I was. I never had to pretend when I was in Young Judaea. YJ instilled in me a life-long love of Israel.
Because of my YJ experience, I earned two degrees in Jewish Studies and Jewish Communal Service. I worked my professional career in service to the Jewish people. I married a Jew and am involved in Jewish life as an adult.
Not bad for a youth experience that my mother had to drag me to the first time!