The 2000's

2000s header
2000s header

An Old Place…60 years plus… brings in a New Century…
Yavneh in the 2000’s

These past nine summers have been a small but significant piece in the large Yavneh puzzle.The new decade brought many changes to Yavneh with the old masoret always deepening. The July 4th parade is still a staple but we now do our own outstanding fireworks at camp, no longer having to go to UNH. Chevrei Safam have played a few of these summers but less and less. Talent shows, Zimriyah, Rikudiyah, Arts festival, Carnival, Yom Yisrael, Mini- Maccabiah KTV, WYAV, game days-tournaments, a camp wide cookout on the Maine shoreline, Yom Tiyul, hikes and overnights for every aydah, Kerem putting on musical productions continue but Leann Shamash has moved on and now Kristi Wivagg directs. Ketsev, a performing group of Arayot singers and dancers that travels to the Boston area to perform began 6 years ago.


In this decade we have a steady (over) 325 campers each session. Kerem numbers broke 40 in 2004 and stand at mid 40’s. Na’aleh has a varying enrollment of about 17-36 due to Israel program competition in other sectors. We are thrilled that Rabbi Dov Lerea continues at the helm of our Tzevet Morim leading a group on many new and young morim which include some Yavneh alum like Josh Strosberg. Campers continue to learn in the morning. To accommodate our “mvoogarim” we built Ben Zakai, at first affectionately known as the hotel! 2004 we built another adult housing building called Carmel that houses 9 in heated and air conditioned units. We also put a second addition on the chader ochel and put a big extension onto the kitchen. Of course the biggest project of the early 2000’s was Yavnehs’ Big Dig; the State of NH driven new septic fields which produced new ball fields, a new amphitheater called Tzippori and a new sukkat Bogrim. It really transformed Yavneh. It was also the biggest project Yavneh has ever undertaken! We have added a Kir Tipus (climbing Tower ) in the back field where parents now drop off their kids. During 2006-8 the improvements have included a new addition to the office, 4 new tennis courts, the Bat Ha’am being totally renovated, opening of the back field- no more lagoon and a new pavilion where the lagoon was, and many new bunk bathrooms and other improvements along the way. We built a new girls Kerem bunk and 2 new boys bunks in 2008. For 2009 the amphitheater was reconstructed as well as the agam- a totally new look. Yavneh also built a foosball court, a one of a kind at most New England camps!

Estelle Gomolka is still with us as Rosh Agam and the banquet mistress. Her agam has been transformed with all new docks and expanded swim space not to mention the addition of the water trampoline, launcher and slide. Other “lifers” that are still contributing to Yavneh in so many ways are: Lisa Rubins: (Rosh Tochnit), Davida Amkraut (Rosh Banot), The Polirer family who have been here on and off since ’87 Suzie, Rabbi Richy, and various children, Debbie Forman. Rivka and Avi Zablocki, Teri Aronowitz, Korinow’s, Cheryl Harris, Vicki Benedek, Miri Kessar,

Fran Amkraut, Frieda and Irwin Shear, Yehudah Potok, Saul Strosberg, Ruth Ehrlich, Chip Belyea, John Upham, Jackie Shina who had been at Yavneh for many years each have stopped coming in this decade. Our 10 year club membership this summer at camp was over 50 people- unbelievable. We also give out at least 80 5 Year Club bags to our campers. Jeff Weener (current Assistant Director for Operations) began coming to Yavneh in the early 90’s as well as our mashgicha from Israel Rika Deutsch. Shabbat, with the addition of RELISH is always a highlight of camp.

New programs in the 2000’s included Trek Yavneh a weeklong outdoor hiking program for Yavneh and non- Yavneh alike. That only lasted 2 summers. We have also experimented with an Adult Art camp after camp was over- also 2 years. 5 years ago we started Family Camp after camp so that families could enjoy the Yavneh fun. It has been a huge success. Yavneh continues to rent out its facilities to various groups like Prozdor, and various synagogues and even for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and weddings!

We are always planning and changing but our mission remains constant: a Klal Yisrael, educational environment where Hebrew is spoken and our kids are all loved and well taken care of. What more could you ask for? If you haven’t been to Yavneh in a while please come and visit, a visit is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!