Both my daughters have greatly enjoyed their summers at Young Judaea's Camp Tel Yehudah, a sleep away camp for teenagers located in upstate New York. I also attended this camp, in the summer of 1980, and my girls have been even more involved in the camp than I. I'm very pleased about this, especially because this is one of their main cultural and educational links to Jewish life at this point in their lives.

In fact, my older daughter is now in Israel, on a Young Judaea program called Machon. She has been in Israel since July 5th, catching a wide variety of sights, sites and experiences. This past weekend she and two of her friends (one of whom has been her friend since they were toddlers) stayed with their friend's family in Rehovot. Beyond this, my daughter has been to Masada, gone camel riding, rafting on the Kinneret, and lots of other activities. Through the modern auspices of Facebook Messenger, she tells me about the food she is trying, asks me about her SAT score, gripes to me about her lack of adequate sleep, and so on.

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And my younger daughter was getting ready to attend the sleep away camp in a few days. We had been helping her pack, pick up various necessary items, and so on. Then what happens? She suffers a head concussion, Again. The third or fourth in two years time. And this time her neurologist said "No camp this summer!"


How did my poor kid get yet another concussion? This time while working at a music day camp in Brooklyn. She was sitting on the floor with her group of early grades kids, along with another group, when another kid somehow managed to drop a metal music stand on my daughter's head.

I found out about this while I was on one of New York City's less than reliable subway trains. I was coming back from Manhattan after a visit to the Center for Jewish History, which currently is showing several small but intriguing exhibits. I got a text that she had hurt herself two stations away from where I was to disembark, and I grew anxious.

By the time I had come to pick her up she was quietly miserable. I helped my daughter walk to our car, and took her home. She took a long nap. And the next day my husband and I took her back to the neurologist, who delivered the bad news. Our poor kid was sobbing in the car.

This kid has not had luck with her head! Oy vey. So now, while I work part-time some days, we are taking her on local trips around town to buoy her spirits. She and I visited the Noguchi Museum in Queens, dedicated to the abstract sculptor. We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We visited the Brooklyn Museum. We are taking her out for vegan kosher food at one of our favorite restaurants in New York.

But I feel badly about the fact that she will be missing out on summer Young Judaea fun and culture and activities, She won't be indulging in the fresh air and beauty of upstate New York, won't be dancing and singing Hebrew songs, and will miss seeing friends she only sees at camp.

Stay tuned for more on her switcheroo summer!

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