Young Judaea Alumni Newsletter
May-June 2011/
Iyar-Sivan 5771


In This Issue
Where Are You?
Alumni Profile
Alumni Lifecycle Events
Seeking Former National Mazkirut Members
Alumni Making Headlines
Young Judaea Alumni Events and Reunions
In Young Judaea News
Meet the Young Judaea Staff
Young Judaea Israel Programs
Young Judaea Camps
YJ Employment Opportunities

What have you been up to?

Let us know what you have been doing since your YJ days! Be profiled, let us know about a celebration, or just a quick update!

Dear Alumni,

We can't believe how time flies here at Young Judaea! It seems like we were just getting ourselves ready for camp a few days ago. Now, we are working hard to help the camps ready themselves for a whole new crop of chanichim.  As the summer approaches, the 2010-2011 Year Coursers are starting to pack their bags and dreaming how soon they can return to Israel.  While the Year Coursers may be ending a year they will never forget, our Israel Summer Programs, Amirim, WUJS participants and campers are looking forward to the summer of their lives.  

While we are excited to support and empower today's Judaeans, we can't help but look at them with envy.  Well, as the programs begin, we have our memories and our photos - and of course each other!

If you would like to connect with some of your YJ friends, just drop us a line at and we will help make the connection! 


 Alana Cooper                        Haidi Appel    
CYJ West '86-91, Machon '90          CYJ West '70-'75,
YC '92-92, CJ Staff '94,                   Hadracha '77, TY '77-78,
ISP Staff '95                                  YC '79-'80

Manager, Alumni Relations             Chair, Alumni Relations


Please help today's Judaeans have the great experiences you did - donate to the Young Judaea Scholarship fund!


 Where Are You?  Alumni Updates

Mark Sussman (CJ '93-'98, TY '99, ISP '00, CJ Staff '02) told us: I just moved back to my Mark Sussman

hometown of Charlotte, NC after a few years doing some economic consulting in Washington, DC. I currently work for Bank of America helping create and implement policy for Home Equity Government programs (sounds like a blast, I know). In my free time, I enjoy cycling, Ultimate Frisbee and being a general tech dork. I also try to keep up with all Young Judaea alumni in the area and across the country. Feel free to contact me at 



Lynn Oxenberg (WUJS July 74) writes - Oy... a quick update after all these years!! Ok...We live in Cheltenham, PA (outside of Philadelphia). We have a daughter, Michelle, who is 32, is married and living in Baltimore and a son, Tal,27, living in DC right now and about to return to Philly to go to grad school at Penn.
Larry, my husband, is an agent for New York Life Insurance Company and he is also a children's entertainer, called the HatMan...he has a guitar and hundreds of hats and does an interactive show for pre-schools, camps for little ones, and corporate events. I am the controller of The Jewish Week here in NYC...yes, I commute every day from PA!
We have amazingly fond memories of our time at WUJS and are still in touch with several people from that time. We go to Israel as often as we fact, this summer we are going to the wedding of the son of our dear friend, Jerry Bloom, from our machzor.  After our 6 months at WUJS, Larry and I and 4 other WUJees lived in an apartment together in Beit Shean (they called us"ha-communa") for another year and a half, and to this day, we are still like family.
Larry and I are always excited to hear from our fellow WUJS alumni - if you would like to email us, please do at


Fanny Korman (TY '69-'70, club '69-'72, YC '71-'72, TY Staff '74) shared the moving story of how a scholarship to attend TY changed her life and the lives of so many others. Read the whole thing
Korman Family
Fanny, Roger and the Korman Family 
here! Her story continues...Fanny and Roger Korman returned to Philadelphia last summer after 24 years in Montreal. Shai and Alli live in the DC area and are expecting their first baby in August.  Lily and Josť Manuel live in the Canary Islands and will be married this July.  Becky lives in New York City and has very close ties to her YJ friends.  The Kormans attribute many of their successes as leaders in their respective careers to Young Judaea and in particular the programs offered at Camp Sprout Lake and Tel Yehudah.

 Read Fanny's story of love, life and camp
Alumni Lifecycle Events
Share your lifecycle event with the YJ alumni community.  Email or call 212-303-4589!


Micah Cooper (YC '95-'96) and Alicia D'Angelo-Brown were engaged in March and will be married on August 14, 2011 in New York City.  


Phillip Brodsky (CJ) and Kali Foxman are happy to announce their engagement. The wedding will be held in Vermont in October 2011.   


Diana Diner (Sr. Manager of Short Term Israel Programs) and Roy Stav have decided to get married! Mazal Tov to Diana and Roy! The couple will tie the knot in August 2012.


 Monika Wasser (Sprout '93, TY '94-'97, ISP '96, Regional Maz '96-'98, YC '98-'99, TY Staff '04, '07) and Heather Palermo were married on April 28th in Canada. The couple returned to their home in NYC.

Melanie Topper (CJ '90-'97, ISP '95, Regional Maz '94-'95, National Maz '91-'95, YC '96-'97) and Jason Kromirs were married in Mobile, AL on April 3. Melanie was a beautiful bride - even if none of her YJ friends could recognize her in makeup and heels.

Rachel Diller (CYJ West '92, YC '97) and Warren Kleban were married in San Francisco on May 1, 2011. Several Young Judaea alumni including Becca Diller Ramati, sister of the bride were there to join in the occasion.



Adina Kay-Gross (Sprout '89-'91, TY '91-'93, Regional Maz '91-'95, ISP '94, YC '95-'96, TY ''97, Midwest Staff '98-99, Sprout Staff '99-'00) and Jonathan Gross welcomed twin girls at 10:06 and 10:07 am, Wednesday April 20, 2011.

Jacob Dubroff (TY '92) and his wife Lisa welcomed a 6 lb. 6oz baby boy on May 9, 2011 to join his big brother Levi. Everyone is doing well.
Seeking All Former National Mazkirut Members
Young Judaea is looking to collect a list our former national Mazkirut members. We are compiling the list for both our archives and to share on our revamped YJ website

If you were a member of the national Mazkirut, or remember who was and when - please send the information to Rachel at

Young Judaea Alumni In the News

Extra Extra Read all about it!  Young Judaea Alumni are always making news


 Benji Lovitt (CYJ Tx'84-'87, TY '88-'91, ISP '90, CYJ Tx Staff '91, '93-'94, Regional Maz '91-'92, YC '92-'93, TY Staff '92-'94, '97, current Year Course Staff member)  always makes us laugh! His annual list of why he loves Israel was published in the Jerusalem Post on May 9, 2011. Read the article here


Sifriyah - Young Judaea Book Shelf 

Have you written a book, authored an article in a magazine or newspaper you are proud of, been featured in a publication or blogged something? If so add it to our Sifriyah! Just send a quick note with a link to your work to Alana at  


Smadar Belkind GersonSmadar Belkind Gerson (Young Judaea Alumna) - is an avid genealogist, and  discovered her great-grandmother's journals while researching the family history. She embarked on a remarkable journey which lead to her first book. Smadar was born in Israel and moved to the Boston area at the age of thirteen. Her unusual life path lead her to study biology at Brandeis University then medicine at UMass. She left her medical career, choosing to raise a family with her husband in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In Mexico she became involved with the many entrepreneurial endeavors. She currently lives in the Boston area, is the proud mother of three sons, and owns a Cultural Center in Mexico."Stored Treasures" is her first book.  Critics say of "Stored Treasures" that it is "...a deeply personal, beautifully simple and inspiring memoir. Minnie Crane's lived through two world wars, pandemics and the Great Depression. Thirty years after her death her tale is brought to life in a way only her great-granddaughter could do.  This inspirational narrative makes history very personal." To find out more about "Stored Treasures" or where to purchase, visit 

a different kind of light
Nancy Wassner's "A Different Kind of Light" 

Nancy Wassner's (YC '00-'01) new book " A Different Kind of Light" based on her experiences onYear Course. Reviewed by Molly Galler (TY '01) who says "A Different Kind Of Light" is much more than a trip down memory lane, Nancy is an absolutely beautiful writer. Her descriptions allow you to smell the cigarettes, taste the zatar, see the brightly colored spices in the shuk and feel the rain in your socks."  You can read Molly's blog and her entire review of "A Different Kind of Light" at  popshopbop  and can find the book at


Jonathan Winkle (Club activity '87-'91, TY '88, CYJ Midwest staff '93) has published an essay in "Twelve Breaths a Minute: End of Life Essays

" a gripping and passionate account of how we face the final rite of passage. The latest collaboration between SMU Press and the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, with the support of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation-features twenty-three original, compelling personal narratives that examine the way we as a society care for the dying. Here a poet, a former hospice worker, reflects on death's mysteries; a son wanders the halls of his mother's nursing home, lost in the small absurdities of the place; a grief counselor struggles with losing his own grandfather; a medical intern traces the origins of time and the quality of our final days; a mother anguishes over her decision to turn off her daughter's life support and allow her organs to be harvested; and an emergency dispatcher tries to quantify what a stranger's death should mean. You can find the book here  


Young Judaea and Hadassah do not endorse or support any of the links or publications listed herein. All links are for informational purposes only.  

Young Judaea Alumni Events and Reunions



Register to Walk with Young Judaea and Hadassah!


Who:    Young Judaeans and YJ Alumni of ALL AGES!

When:  Family Activities begin at 9:30 a.m. at Hadassah House 

            Gathering for Parade begins at 10:15 a.m. at Hadassah House 

            Step off at 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. 5th Avenue between 54th and 55th streets 

Where: Family activities at Hadassah House, 50 West 58th Street NYC

            Step off location 5Th Avenue between 54th and 55th Street


Register here for family activities and the Celebrate Israel Parade - if you have any additional questions please contact Rachel at or at 212-303-4586 


Young Judaea's Dance Troupe:  60 years old and still stunning! 


YJ Dance Troupe 2011
The Young Judaea Dance Troupe 

 Young Judaea's Dance Troupe joined with more than 250 other dancers and singers from communities throughout North and South America  to perform at the 60th annual Israeli Dance Festival in New York on April 3. Young Judaea's dance troupe remains the only group to have performed in every festival - and it's a tradition that we plan to keep up with help from alumni and dance troupe Madricha Jerri (Cohen) Blitzer (TY '74-'77, Maz '76-77, YC '77-78, Coordinator for Uri Tzafon '78-'80, YJ Dance Troupe Madricha '07-'11).  Jerri told us "Each year that I work with this dance troupe I am amazed how a group of individuals, from varied backgrounds, and varied interests work together to form a strong, creative and close knitted group.  This experience will stay with them for life and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this program." Amid all of the talent, many alumni also came out to show their support and be dazzled by the Judaean's talent. Mazal tov to all of the dancers! We can't wait to see the 61st performance.



Spring Alumni Events:

The upcoming weeks and months are filling up with exciting Young Judaea Alumni reunions and events. You can see what's going on around the country, and your neck of the woods by visiting our Alumni site at 

or the Young Judaea calendar! Check back often for updates and new additions. Remember that you can always plan an event and add it to the calendar (and the website and Vatikim) by contacting Alana in the Alumni Relations office at or at 212-303-4589.


WUJS Alumni Gathering -  May 25, 2011 6:30pm-9:00pm

Mix and mingle with other WUJS alumni from around the tri-state area at a post-work reception hosted at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, 2 Park Avenue, New York New York. Dietary Laws will be observed. To RSVP or for more information please contact Alana at 


Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake Happy Hour and Fundraiser - June 2, 2011

Join your camp friends for the Sprout Lake Alumni Bar Night coming up on June 2nd, at Traffic Bar and Restaurant, 986 2nd Ave NYC (Between 52nd and 53rd) . It will be open bar from 6:30-8:30.  Only $36 if you register in advance and $40 at the door. All proceeds from the event will be used to bring 2 children from Yemin Orde, a youth aliyah village in the Carmel Mountains of Israel to Sprout Lake this summer.For more information click  here or call 212-451-6233, or email


Celebrate Israel Parade - June 5, 2011 

Join current Young Judaeans, Hadassah members and alumni as we proudly march in the 62ndSalute to Israel Parade Salute To Israel Parade on June 5, 2011. The parade route begins at 57th Street and 5th Avenue in NYC from 11am-4pm rain or shine. More details will be available soon! We can't wait to march with you - register to join the celebration here, if you need additional information, please contact Rachel at 



Tsofim Friendship Caravan - June 21, 2011

Israeli Friendship CaravanJoin us in Central New Jersey for an amazing performance of the Tzofim Friendship Caravan on June 21st at 7:00 p.m.  This special program will also highlight the Young Judaea programs here and in Israel and the special connection between YJ and the Tzofim.  Ticket prices in advance are $15 adults, $10 students and seniors.  At the door $20 adults $15 students/seniors. Tickets can be ordered by calling the JCC of PMB at 609-219-9550.  Proceeds from this event will benefit Young Judaea.   For more information or questions please contact Jerri Blitzer at or view the details here!


Join the fun of Israel Summer Programs and Maccabiah live

Relive your past glories by joining a live webcast of this summer's 60th Anniversary Maccabiah

Maccabiah 2010from Kinneret Beach on the shores of the Kinneret! The games begin on July 27th and this will be one sporting (and dancing and singing) event you won't want to miss. Details will be available closer to kick-off, but if you have questions now just blow your whistle and email Diana at 


Camp Judaea 50th Reunion 

Camp Judaea is continuing the celebration this summer,  Camp Judaea, founded in 1961, will be

celebrating its 50th summer this year! We invite the entire CJ Family to join us at Camp CJ 50th LogoJudaea, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, this Labor Day weekend (September 2-4, 2011) to celebrate 50 wonderful years. We will start with Shabbat services and dinner and go all the way through brunch on Sunday. Tickets are $180 per person. For more details, please visit our Celebration website at or email us at 

Camp Young Judaea Texas 60th Anniversary

reunion at CYJT ad photo

2012 will mark Camp Young Judaea Texas's 60th Anniversary.  We are planning  activities through out the year to mark the occasion.   Camp Young Judaea Texas  friends, family and alumni will  participate in city dinners, poker and mah jong tournaments, and our culmination Celebration Weekend at camp, which will take place during the Spring of 2012. Contact Jessica Starkschall at  to stay connected, learn about the plans and progress, or make a contribution to support our 60th Anniversary Celebration


Year Course Reunions

If you would like to be involved in planning your Year Course Reunion, or already involved in planning one, let us know! We can help with logistics, finding lost Year Coursers, ideas and much more! Just email Alana at


1991-1992 - Planning for our 20th reunion has begun and we are moving along finalizing details. Those of us who have been involved in planning are getting excited to see all of you again! Final dates will be available soon, look for more details in the days to come. If you would like to volunteer for a reunion committee, please contact 



1981-82 Reunion - Has it really been 30 years?

Section I - After 30 years, we decided that it was high time for a reunion! Although it is still early in the planning process, the excitement is building and we want to hear from all of our Chavarim! For more info (and to make sure that we have all of your current contact information) please feel free to email Lee Kaplan 


Machon L'Madrichei Chutz la'Aretz - Join us for a great weekend reunion July 29-31, 2011 on the East Coast. We have an amazing group coming from all over the world and from all movements and would hate for you to miss it! For more information contact Sindy Wayne at 



1977-1978 - After 30 years, this amazing group of Alumni reunited and created a bond

YC 77-78 at CYJ Texas that will continue for years to come. What's in store next you ask?

The 1977-1978 Year Course Alumni group will gather together at the Newport Beachside Resort and Spa on Sunny Isles Beach in Miami on March 2-4, 2012 as they CELEBRATE the 35th anniversary of their Year Course.  

The Florida Judaeans are busy planning and organizing what is sure to be an amazing weekend of fun and friendship! We are in contact with most of our alumni, still searching for a few missing people and are hoping to have a tremendous turnout! If you want to assist in planning, are going to be there or are just looking for more information please contact Robin Mendelson at 


1971-1972 - We are planning our 40th reunion October 28-30, 2011 at the Pearlstone Family Reunion Center outside of Baltimore, MD. If you are an alum of Year Course or Machon, please contact Linda S. Morrison at 631-232-1818 or at Please note that the facility is Shomer Shabbat and Kosher. We look forward to seeing all of you in October!

1992-1993 - It's never to early to start thinking about the future, or the past. It's coming up on 20 years since we first met on that ELAL flight to Tel Aviv and we need to celebrate! If you are interested in helping to plan our reunion, or just want to share some ideas please email Alana at


In Young Judaea News  

Spring Conventions Popping up all over....

Young Judaea regions and the mazkiruiot have been busy over the last few months planning and running spring conventions. The Midwest convention was a huge success and the participants can't wait for next year and even more fun Zionist programs. Northeast convention planning is well under way with more than 70 chanichim already signed up, and space still available. If you know a Judaean in grades 8-12 who want to attend, register here!   


YJ clubs are starting to wind down for the year as we gear up for camp and Israel programs.  Watch this space for updates from camp and Israel this summer!


For more information on what our current Judaeans are doing check out the following sites:

Our brand new Young Judaea Calendar  - Find out what Young Judaea clubs and regions around the country are doing!

Ma HaMatzav - A weekly digest created by the YJ Mazkirut focusing on what's happening in Israel, the US and around the world.

Kol Hat'nua - The Young Judaea Newsletter. Keep up with what is going on and what the Judaeans are thinking!

In-Sites - A new e-publication from Hadassah and Young Judaea. Its a great resource to keep up with what's new in YJ!

Meet The Young Judaea Staff - Yael Libedinsky 


Yael Libedinsky, Manager of YJ Impact programs (Amirim, WUJS and Taglit Birthirght Israel), did not grow up in Young Judaea but she certainly has adopted the goals and ethos of Young Judaea  

Yael in Israel
Yael in Jerusalem

 - and we are happy to adopt her right back! Yael has worked with Jewish non-profits and in the hospitality industry since graduating from UC Santa Cruz. More than four and a half years ago she joined the Hadassah family and was thrilled to become a Young Judaean just over one year ago! Her first job out of college was at the Israel Center of the Jewish Federation of San Francisco.

Find out more about Yael and the YJ Impact programs here - or contact Yael at

Young Judaea Israel Programs


Young Judaea Year Course in Israel is the largest and oldest gap year program in Israel for recent high school graduates. Over the course of nine months, Year Course participants immerse themselves in all aspects of Israeli life and culture - learning Hebrew, interacting with their Israeli peers, developing an appreciation for their Jewish heritage and exploring Israel through a variety of volunteer placements. Accredited college-level courses, extensive travel, independent/group living are all available - and so much more! The program and faces may have changed since your Year Course, but the experience and the enthusiasm remain the same.  

For more information about  Year Course  or to register visit

Learn about what's happening on Year Course through the eyes of our current YC'ers!   Read the Year Course Blog!


Watch the YouTube video of Why Young Judaeans should go on Year Course! It will make you remember why you did....then let us know what made the decison for you. Send us the story of how you chose to go on year course to


Machon photo from website

Do you know a teen looking for an exciting summer?


There are still a few spots available on YJ Discovery and YJ Machon (Tel Yehudah graduates only!) for this summer - don't let the teens in your life let this opportunity slip away! For more information on YJ Machon or YJ Discovery please contact Diana at  



Amirim - A Great Way to Spend a Great Summer


   Independent living in Israel!     

   Amirim, Young Judaea's in-depth Israel living and community service program for young   

   adults, ages 18-27, is NOW OPEN.


There are only a few spaces left so register for Amirim NOW!!

Amirim is Young Judaea's 4 or 8 week summer volunteer/internship program for 18-27 year olds. Participants volunteer/intern 4 days a week, enjoy cultural events, explore Israel with optional trips and still have plenty of time to explore on their own. Based in Jerusalem, Arad or Bat Yam, experience group apartment living in Israel!   


For additional information or to apply visit 


Registration is on a first come, first served basis, so don't wait!   

Young Judaea Camps

New Camper Incentives at all Young Judaea Campsgeneral camp photo

All of the Young Judaea camps are currently offering an $1000 grants for campers who attend a full session (3.5 weeks) who have never had a Jewish, overnight camping experience* longer than 19 days. Check out information about YJ camps here. 

*Other restrictions may apply. please contact your YJ camp for further details.


Camp Judaea's 50th Anniversary goes on line -  To celebrate our 50th anniversary at CJ, we have launched an exciting website, the central location for alumni and campers to get excited about the reunion and all things CJ! You can share your CJ memories, see who else will be at the reunion this summer, learn CJ's history and much more. If you can't join us for the big birthday bash September 2-4, 2011 you can still reconnect with old friends at the site. For more information about the reunion or to post to the website visit


Technology update from TY - Young Judaea's national senior camp, Tel Yehudah is excited to announce it's newly revamped TY Logo website! The new TY site features an exciting  blog, information about all of the new and classic programs that TY offers and even a Twitter feed! As the summer approaches and camp gets underway, you will be able to follow even more of camp. In addition we are creating a list of books and blogs authored by alumni - if you would like to add your blog or book to the site or for additional information about Tel Yehudah's website and about the programs that are offered at camp, contact David at

CJ - put in something about 50th website, add your memories etc


A new summer and a new cabin at CYJ Texas - CYJ Texas will have a new camper cabin for Summer 2011 thanks to a generous gift from Velva and Fred Levine. Their grandchildren, CYJ Texas building logoSolomon & Ahava Guefen, have attended camp for several years.  This new cabin will allow 50 more children to enjoy the Jewish camping experience by reducing Camp's waiting list.  More than 550 children attend Camp Young Judaea each summer. It has been four years since CYJ added a cabin. Follow our progress live and learn about the Levine Camper Cabin on our construction website. To read more about the new cabin and other expansion plans at CYJ Texas, check out the story here.  


At CYJ Midwest, encouraging questions and answers - Noah Gallagher, CYJ Midwest Director writes: Camp Young Judaea Midwest is getting ready for our biggest summer in years, including campers from 15 states and Israel! It takes talent, dedication and more hours than are available for our staff Hebrew Class can be funto make a summer at CYJ a memorable experience. Year after year, I am overcome with pride when I see our staff in action.

 Late at night, when we make rounds to find staff out after curfew, I always find a group in our computer center (the "Strudel"). Are they checking Facebook? Sure. But, every time, there is a group of staff diligently researching some aspect of Judaism or Israel so that they can accurately share information and answer questions posed by their campers. Click here to learn what questions the campers ask, how the staff help find the answers and to learn more about CYJ Midwest, visit our website

Space is still available for the summer!


Enrollment rises at Sprout Lake - Sprout Lake is proud to have a 10% increase in enrollment over last year and we still have a few spots left in different age groups.  We are also piloting a program called "A Taste of Sprout Lake," which is a week program for 2nd-6th graders.  Sprout session 1 2010This program begins on June 29th  and ends on July 6th and costs $1050.  We are also still offering our alumni discount of $50 off tuition for any children of Young Judaea alumni!  In addition, $1000 grants are available for first time campers! For applications or for additional information, please visit our website at 

Employment Opportunities with Young Judaea

Stay involved in Young Judaea - Work with us. Young Judaea has several professional opportunities available. We would love to work with you...  


Year Course Madrichim 2011-12 

Recent College Graduates: Rise to the Zionist challenge.  Spend a year helping Year Couse participants have a life-changing Israel experience.  Year Course is looking for madrichim. Dates - mid-August 2011until the 6th of June 2012. If you are interested please send resumes to Adam Jenshil -  YC Director at

If you have lots of energy, are good with 18 year olds, work well in a team and care about Israel and Young Judaea, this could be the opportunity for you.




For more information or additional opportunities visit


Feedback and Suggestions

Email YJ Alumni Relations with your feedback and suggestions for future newsletters!

Young Judaea Alumni Relations       

Alana B. Cooper  Manager, Alumni Relations

50 West 58th Street

New York, NY 10019
(212) 303-4589