Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reminiscence on Camp

So, you thought you'd heard the last of me, well I fooled you.  Writing my post about the parade got me thinking of Camp; but not just about the camp experience - which was out of this world, but the camp staff and its administration.  

Between 1960 -1973 I was a Camper, Waiter, Jr. Counselor, Head of the Waiters and in between, a weekend warrior.  There were staff that came and went, and staff that were there for many years.  And in some cases the staff was not that much older than the chanichim, specifically in the older groups.  All I can say is that they were great leaders and many of us became long lasting friends even with the disparity in our ages. 

                      The first shot appears to be from 1964 and the second 1969 or '70.

But at the top of the food chain were the head counselors: (now again, my memory is not that good these days, so forgive me if I leave a name out) Barry Liben, Jerry Kandel, Benny Rosen, Danny Rosing (G'day Mate), Dov Troy, and acharon, acharon chaviv - Elazar "Gad" Pedhazur. For those of you in the younger generation the name Gad Pedhazur will not ring any bells, but for us oldies (cough, cough) we do - a commander in the Irgun, a shaliach to Betar Australia and finally a shaliach to Betar Arhav and Camp Head Counselor.  Then he went into academia, became a professor, and co-authored a number of books with his daughter Liora, who is currently Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies at Hofstra University. 

My memories of Gad are limited by the years that have passed, and the fact that I was 
a mere tinok  when he was head counselor in the early '60's; but he always impressed me as firm but fair. Additionally, he was the first member of the Irgun I had ever met! 

Now you need to remember that the movement's presence in camp between 1960-1962 was almost negligible.  It was in 1963 when all these Betarim started coming up on weekends, and in 1964 when many of the counselors were Betarim that we were exposed to the the full measure of the t'nua.

I can't really do justice to Gad's memory, but this article written by his son Hadar ( now I wonder how he came up with that name?) gives you the measure of the man.
For those of you who received the article from Dany Rosing via the Betar e-mail list, I apologize for the duplication, but I know that some of you are not on the list.  

Another fact that I had forgotten about Gad, was that he was married to Geulah Zohar, one of the premier Israeli vocalists of the day.  You can go to her website, and relive old memories by listening to some of the songs that were part of the early repertoire of the early days in Israel and of the Zionist movements.

Gad and Geulah live in Florida these days and I wish them all the best. In closing I attach some more pictures of the man and his family. 

Bivrachat Shalom v Tel Hai
Shachna Waxman





1 comment:

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