By Celia E. Rothenberg
Unique within the literature on Jewish camping out, this ebook presents an in-depth learn of a community-based, residential summer season camp that serves Jewish childrens from essentially rural components. enthusiastic about Camp Ben Frankel (CBF), proven in 1950 in southern Illinois, this publication makes a speciality of how a pluralist Jewish camp constructs significant stories of Jewish “family” and Judaism for campers—and teaches them approximately Israel. encouraged through types of the earliest camps demonstrated for Jewish teenagers in city parts, CBF’s founders labored to create a camp that will attract the agricultural, frequently remoted Jewish households in its catchment sector. even supposing possible at the outer edge of yank Jewish lifestyles, CBF employees and campers are published to be deeply entwined with nationwide advancements in Jewish tradition and perform and, certainly, participants to shaping them. This examine highlights the significance of campers’ reports of conventional components of the Jewish “family” (an adventure more and more restricted to time at camp), in addition to the overarching significance of track.
Over the years, Judaism turns into built as enjoyable, welcoming, and straightforward for campers, whereas Israel is gifted in ways in which are supposed to be acceptable for a group camp. within the camp’s earliest a long time, Israel was once framed by way of “traditional” Zionist discourse; later, as neighborhood priorities shifted, the reason for Russian Jews was once the point of interest. so much lately, as Israeli politics were more and more considered as most likely divisive, the camp has followed an “Israel-lite” procedure, concentrating on Israel because the Biblical place of birth of the Jewish humans and a spot domestic to Jews who're just like American Jews.
In sum, this examine sheds mild on how a small, rural, neighborhood camp contributes in major how one can our figuring out of yank Jews, their Judaism, and their Zionism.