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Created: May 27, 2022 | by Camp Galil
Perspective from a Galil Alumni in a Russian-Speaking Jewish Family
Maya and her friends at Camp Galil

My summers at Galil from 2010 to 2017 were some of my most formative and memorable. I met incredible people and learned from caring and intelligent madrichim (counselors). I look back at the seven summers I spent in Ottsville as the highlights of my youth. 

The experiences I had at camp helped me feel far more connected to my identity as a first-generation Russian-speaking Jew. I learned to feel a part of the global Jewish community and care for those around me. I learned to take pride in the parts of my identity that made me different, such as the language I spoke at home and the food I grew up eating. Pretty quickly, Camp Galil became my home. It had the best activities, from special days with bouncy houses to Israel-themed dance parties. And most importantly, it had the best staff and campers who cared for one another.

I spent six summers at Galil as a chanicha (camper) and one summer as a madricha (counselor). I learned about Israel, Zionism, and Jewish history/values. I also had so much fun playing everything from soccer to ultimate frisbee on the fields. And it was so incredible to come back as a madricha and help recreate the magical experiences I had as a camper. Camp Galil is truly an amazing place with such a special community, and I am so lucky to be a part of it.

-Maya Jodidio

From Maya’s dad: “Our daughter was still young, not even 10, but we were already looking for ways to pass our Jewish culture to her. We happened to find out about Camp Galil and were initially cautious. Would she like it? Would it be OK to send her away from home for the first time for all of 3 weeks? It turned out to be the best decision we could have made for her. She not only loved it, but opted to stay for the entire 7 weeks. And not just for that summer, but also for the next 4 summers. She cried or nearly cried every time the summer camp was over. 

Camp Galil was home away from home. She had so many great experiences, shared so many values and ideals, and learned so much about Jewish culture and heritage. Thank you for everything Camp Galil!

Camp Galil, through the generosity of the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the Genesis Philanthropy Group, has grants for campers from Russian-speaking Jewish Families. If you are from a Russian-speaking family and which to learn more about the opportunities Camp Galil can offer you, contact Maya at outreach@campgalil.org.