This summer when we gathered each week at Tzippori before we ate seudah shlishit (third meal) on Shabbat, I had the honor of reading excerpts about the founding years of Yavneh. I was amazed and excited that people were as enthralled by Yavneh’s history as I was. Everyone sat in rapt silence as they listened to those first years of Yavneh as a summer camp. As Bil mentioned in a blog earlier in the year, the theme from these stories that struck him, was the way these pioneers created memories for their campers. On the surface, most traditions looked nothing like they do today. Yet when you dig deeper, you can see how different traditions took hold at Camp over the years, how some have stayed and some have gone. How some have been added to and become even better with time.
In so many ways, many in our community come to Yavneh summer after summer, just to be able to take part in these masorot (traditions). A Gurim chanich (camper) looks forward to the time when they can do what a Kerem chanich can do. The trips. The peulot (activities). The experiences. The connections. The friends.
Please look here in future editions of Eshkolit to hear all about Yavneh’s founding and to see what Yavneh was like when it was first founded and what parts of that are still happening today, in some form. Masoret at its core is about community. Masoret is about fun and excitement and finding your place as a link in the chain. It gives each chanich a sense of stability in a continuously changing world. It is knowing that you are part of something bigger than yourself. And it makes camp meaningful and memorable. It is that common bond that continues from generation to generation.