Monday, February 4, 2008

How I Joined Betar

I had been going to Camp Betar since 1960 - have no idea how my mom heard about it. I remember that Bubie Ariav came to my house in Brooklyn to talk to my mom and me about the camp. From 1960 -1962 there was no obvious movement presence. But in 1963 all these "strange" people in uniform started coming up on weekends - David Sprung, Efraim Dimant, Reuven Genn, Baruch Kraus, Chaim Freedman, Levi and Freida Silverman, Aaron Kinsberg and many many more. The ruach on Shabbat suddenly changed with all these songs they were singing. It was very uplifting. A Beit Sefer was held that year and some of the kids from my bunk attended (I did not) - Chaim Hornstein, Joey Grunberg to name a few. When I got back to the city I joined the Brooklyn Moadon under the leadership of Aaron Kinsberg and we met in his dad's basement in Bensonhurst - can't remember how many time we painted that basement! Some of the members were - Alan Berg, Mella Pollachek, Joshua Scharf, Mickey Katz, Shoshana Fenig, Yossi Klein. I remember meeting Reuven Genn, Benny Rosen and Big Ben Rappaport at a shabbaton held at the Young Israel on Bensonhurst - they were real nice to us. One note about our first fight....we were walking from the Moadon to the train at 86th Street and Bay Parkway when a bus passes and someone yells out "dirty Jew" - well Mickey Katz yelled back. By the time we got to the train station, there were about 10 of them waiting for us, and we had a real brawl right in front of the Chock-Full-O-Nuts on the corner. In the end the cops broke it up. Well the rest is history - as they say once a Betari always a Betari.

Bivrachat Shalom v Tel Hai

Shachna

5 comments:

Shachna Waxman said...

Hey I just noticed that the semel is the reverse color one!

Risa said...

Shachna,
No, I believe the one I had, and I guess the one your had too, had a white hand and menora on a blue map background. This one, which I got from Steve Adler, is the right one. WE had the reverse.

Glad to see you contributing!
Tel Chai!
Risa

Barak Kalaut said...

Being from Canada, where we had no Canadian or U.S. Semel supply when I first joined, I made my own patch --embroidering it by hand on a maple-leaf shaped piece of cloth.

It was a bright green maple leaf with a red and gold menorah on it. I still may have the tilboshet somewhere in all the places that I have things stored.

I do have some some photos of that home-made Semel on my shoulder in the 1960's, at Bet Sefer.

Everybody else from the USA in those photos were then wearing the standard Semel.

Eventually, I was told (ordered?)that I would have to remove my homemade model-- because this was North American Betar which also took in Canada--and replace it with the same one everybody else on the continent was now wearing. I also have one photo of me wearing the same one as everybody else.

Shachna Waxman said...

The blue hand and menorah is correct! That seems very strange. Who ever heard of a blue hand??

شركة خدمات منزلية بالرياض said...
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