HDCA Newsletter – September 2022



HDCA’s first post-pandemic Kennes (conference) is taking place November 18-20 at beautiful Pearlstone Conference Center near Baltimore, Maryland.  Camp board members, professional staff, ma’apilimot, Mazkirut Artzit, shlichimot and of course Habonim Dror Camp Association, Habonim Dror North America and Habonim Dror Foundation chairs will join to discuss important issues under the theme “Moving Forward Together.”  We are bringing in exciting outside speakers and we’ll hear reports on HDNA programs, finances, shlichut and more. There will also be plenty of time to get to know each other, hang out and enjoy Pearlstone’s beautiful farm, hiking trails and campfire pit!

REGISTRATION IS LIMITED – please sign up using  this form.  See you in November!

Mazkirut Artzit Update – 2022-2023

With the turnover of Mazkirut Artzit 5783, we are saying goodbye to Jenna Abrams, Razaket Chinuch for the past two years.

Jenna entered the Mazkirut Artzit during the height of Covid, when it was unsure what direction the Movement should take and many relationships were strained. Through her leadership and excellent communication skills, she was able to guide HDNA through this difficult time while repairing relationships with Maapilimot, HDCA Professionals, and many other people in the movement. Along with this, Jenna led many amazing seminars, including the movement’s first ever online Winter Seminar in December 2020.

Jenna played an incredibly instrumental role in the past two years of HDNA and we are so fortunate to have had her on Mazkirut Artzit and want to wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors!


Zandra Campbell (she/they) has joined the Mazkirut Artzit as our Rakezet Chinuch.

Here are a few things that they think you should know about them:  

  1. I’m from New Jersey (best state no hate) 
  2. I started going to Galil in 2011 in Sayarimot, was Rosh Galil 2021, and was Rosh Mitbach of Galil this past summer. 
  3. I graduated from Princeton University in May of 2022 with a degree in English Literature
  4. My favorite author is Agatha Christie, and I could talk about how cool she is for hours (ask me about it) 
  5. I’m passionate about the ability of young people to change the world, and find the youth who staff the machanot all incredibly inspiring. 

You can reach Zandra over email at maapilim@habonimdror.org


Kaela Evenchick (she/her) has rejoined our tzevet in a new position of Rakezet Tzmicha (Director of Growth).

Here are a few things you should know about her:

I started going to Machaneh Miriam back in 2009 and have been coming back to Habonim Dror ever since! I joined the Mazkirut Artzit as the Rakezet Tochniot in fall 2020. After the completion of Workshop 71 in April 2022, I took some time off from the Mazkirut Artzit to visit my kvtuzah in Israel and my family in Canada. I was also lucky enough to make it to Gabriola Island and help out at camp a couple of times this summer.  

Now, I’m back in the newly developed tafkid of Rakezet Tzmicha (Director of Growth). As a part of this role, I will be taking on fundraising/alumni engagement, programs recruitment/registration, and partner organization liaising.

I’m so happy to be back in the HDNA office and am looking forward to 5783! I am also participating in a part-time Israel Education Masters’ program through the iCenter and George Washington University, which I hope will inform my work in the upcoming year. 

You can reach Kaela over email at tzmicha@habonimdror.org.

MBI 2022 – by Leora Leavey and Franny Plovan from Camp Moshava

Wow! MBI was such a blast – we can’t believe it has been over a month since we got back!

On our first night in Israel we were put into 4 kvutzot (groups). We quickly got to know each other through silly games, and after just a few days we were eating dinner with people who live 3,000 miles away. As we gradually got closer with one another, we shared songs and cheers we do at each of our camps. There’s something so cool about doing the same, ridiculous cheers as loud as you can with people from across North America! We all screamed our camp’s cheers in the Chadar Ochel (dining room!) The same with rikkud – during free time, we’ll put on some songs and do different variations of the same dances!

Our daily peulot (discussions by group) encouraged us to open up with our peers and bond with people who hold similar values to us. The discussions were a good mixture of meaningful (exploring the concept of shivyon erech ha’adam) and silly (trying to find our “soulmates” based on this-or-that questions). Even though our buses are made up of two different kvutzot, everyone has gotten a healthy dose of bonding, especially through bus cheers and the now infamous seatbelt song! Although we have our classic Habo traditions, we still have fun seeing the differences between machanot.

Another huge highlight of MBI may seem kind of obvious, but just getting to explore this gorgeous country was amazing! From the beautiful views, to the vibrant shuks, to the Mediterranean Sea, everywhere we went was absolutely incredible! What better setting to make new friends and have a blast could there be? Beautiful, sprawling hills, blue, vibrant ocean water, and colorful nature does not begin to describe the country. It’s been such an incredible experience going through Shuk HaCarmel, swimming in the beaches at Tel Aviv, digging in archaeological caves at Tel Maresha, and so much more, knowing that it is the land of our people. We’ve also gotten so many opportunities to learn about different religions and cultures within Israeli society, especially in Haifa. It was really interesting and broadened (at least our) views of Israeli society.

We couldn’t finish this without mentioning the food! There is nothing like it! Israeli breakfast with shakshuka, cucumbers (but different – better – then in North America), and burekas is the perfect start to each day, and getting real Israeli falafel and pita or shawarma during pizza lunches are highlights of our days. What is also so incredible to see and part of what has made us realize that we are not in North America anymore, is the kashrut certification front and center in most shops and restaurants. A bunch of us even went to a kosher McDonald’s – crazy! It really emphasizes the fact we are in a Jewish state, which is really cool and validating.

Workshop 72

On September 13th, the Workshoppers flew to Israel to begin Workshop 72. We have 16 Workshoppers this year, 1 from Mosh, 4 from Miriam, 5 from Galil, and 6 from Gesher.  

After starting off Workshop with their orientation seminar, the Workshoppers are now busy with their second seminar, Shorashim Seminar. This is an introduction to Shorashim, the first part of Workshop, where they will be living on Kibbutz Ein HaShofet, doing avodah (kibbutz work), and having educational activities surrounding Israel, Jewish history, Zionism, and more. They also met members of the Habonim Dror United Kingdom gap year program, who are living on Ein HaShofet as well. 

Later on in the year, the Workshoppers will move to Jerusalem and Haifa to continue the program, where they will learn more about Israeli society through meeting volunteers from NGOs and working with Israeli youth.

Habonim Dror Machanot – Summer 2022 wrap up!

Camp Gesher enjoyed an amazing summer in 2022.

There are too many highlights to list, but here is a top ten list for our summer (in no particular order):

  • We opened our NEW ropes course and played on a NEW water toy.
  • ISRAELIS! We welcomed back 10 Israeli campers and 6 Israeli shlichimot!
  • The Madatz  made their mark on camp with an amazing Music and Magic School bus REV day. Also by painting murals on 2 of the madatzland cabins and giving them cabin names: Nighthawk and the Van.
  • Yom Hike, where the entire camp hiked the Shield Trail at Bon Echo Park, before finishing the afternoon at Clay Beach (South Beach).
  • Bronze Cross: Noam Levy, Liat Levy, Gabby Alvarez-Lewis, Ezra Amey-Dunn, Aviva Khondo and Rowen Schwey all passed the exam! Our instructor Daxton Schwey has ensured a well staffed and safe waterfront for the future.
  • The Garinimot had an amazing “Finner” (Fun Dinner), with a medieval prison theme. They organized, decorated and served the meal for all of the camp.  It was a great opportunity to practice leadership, problem solving, and negotiating group dynamics.
  • Our Tzevet grew in their connections with the movement, and Gesher is proud to have 6 participants on Workshop! This kvutsa will learn and grow, and lead Camp Gesher into a bright future!
  • Kupah trips!  First Session: Younger Campers enjoyed a petting zoo, and a stop at the local ice cream shop while older campers spent the day at Calypso waterpark. Second Session: campers and staff spent the day at Sandbanks Provincial Park with a pizza picnic, group bonding, and games in a true gem of Ontario. It was a wonderful day. 
  • We had our first mental health professional at camp.  Our Community Care Coordinator made a huge impact on our community.
  • A thriving community of young people enjoyed living their values, exploring their Jewish Identity, celebrating Shabbat, and making friends to last a lifetime. 81 NEW campers joined the Gesher family!


This summer at Camp Moshava was a six-week whirlwind!

Some highlights included: special evening programs on reproductive rights and kabbalah, a Shrek-themed special day to learn about refugees,  so many rising 4th and 5th graders that we had two FULL schavot, pirate-themed nitzanimot (rising 3rd grade program), almost 50 new chanichimot of all ages, caring for our animals and tending the gan (garden), hikes galore, meditations in the serpentine, lots of trips down the lazy river, spirited renditions of union songs,  silly and creative tochniot erev (evening activities), and SO MUCH MORE!


Camp Miriam is a place which holds fast to tradition. This tendency is obvious if you just look around: tables in the Chadar are signed and dated by the former chanichimot who painted them, with the oldest table proudly displaying an impressive “1997”. Camp Miriam has a solid foundation of tradition and is not a place accustomed to rapid or unexpected change.

If Camp Miriam is so deeply rooted in tradition, how, then, to return to its customs after they were so rapidly and unexpectedly interrupted during the past couple of years? With 2022 constituting the first year that Camp Miriam could offer campers a full capacity summer on Gabriola Island since 2019, there were many traditions to get back to. I, for one, had started to forget what it feels like when all of camp holds hands on Saturday nights during Havdallah. I was also having a hard time recalling the early morning energy that fills Camp Miriam at 8AM, when around 200 chanichimot and tzevet are just waking up, eager to meet the day.

Of course, I did get around to remembering both the longstanding customs and everyday activities that take place at camp. But I didn’t do it alone. This summer, I worked as a madatz madrichol, one of four Madatz Madrichimot, meaning I spent a lot of time with youth aged 16 to 17. As the future leaders of Camp Miriam, the madatz were grateful to have the chance to take part in their leadership development program. After having lost valuable experiences to the pandemic, they latched onto the madatz program, hungry for the opportunities it would provide them. Throughout the summer, I watched them grow, face challenges, and become people who will be important guides in the lives of Camp Miriam’s chanichimot for years to come. I was impressed and humbled by all the madatz accomplished this summer, and it is largely through them that I was able to remember what it means to be at Camp Miriam.

While in the past two years Camp Miriam has adapted many of these elements of standard camp to conform to the times, nothing quite compares to being back in the old stomping grounds of Gabriola Island. Sure, maybe madrichimot had to explain basic elements of camp to kids more times than usual this summer, but the synapses of the Camp Miriam community were firing, and together, we remembered. It is not a far cry to consider the summer of 2022 as a triumph—both in recovering the institutional memory of Camp Miriam, and in providing campers with meaningful summers. I, for one, know that more than one madatz went home with stories they’ll be telling to their own children.

Reflecting back on the summer, I can’t help but feel a certain amount of pride. There is pride in remembering, and it is thanks to this recovered memory that Camp Miriam will continue to grow.

 by Emma Paidra, chanichol since 2009 and 5th year madrichol  


With out-of-camp kupah trips, tiyul, tikkun olam, and intersession movies returned to our schedule it was almost a “regular” summer at Camp Galil!  Our creative tzevet could get back to running fun crazy tochniot for our chanichimot. We had Bocoup and Revo and then Yom Israel complete with  kabobs and a water slide! And we loved our new climbing tower!

Tzevet and chanichimot from Habonim Dror Mexico joined our community and integrated well. The kids and tzevet all loved each other and the Mexican madatz helped the Galil madatz understand taking responsibility for the ken.

One of the most memorable stories from this incredible summer was from our tiyul when our amazing Rosh Machaneh defended the entire camp on her own from a bear seeking food  by screaming “this is my camp” until the bear left. The power of youth in action!




Camp Tavor summer 2022 was a truly fun and educational summer.  We had an amazing mazkirut and tzevet that created a wonderful magical place for all our chanichimot.

The theme this summer was roots and fruits.  Roots looking into the why and what we do at Tavor and Fruits, the how we put our roots into practice.  The theme naturally weaved its way into so many aspects of the summer and was felt in our everyday activities, from our tikkun olam projects to our asepha klalit (community meeting) discussions for the whole machaneh.

Everyone in our  Tavor community, from our youngest to our oldest members,  was empowered to explore, challenge and lead. We can’t wait for next summer to keep the magic going.


Camp Gilboa had another successful summer! We welcomed 231 individual campers and finished the summer without a Covid outbreak at camp. One highlight of the summer was the MBG program. We had 17 rising 11th graders at camp for a week at the end of the summer. 8 of the 10 Gilboa campers who went on MBI attended MBG, and it was a very nice reunion for this kvutza ahead of their madatz summer! Gilboa’s high schoolers are coming out of the summer excited for Tzedek and to be madatz and madrichimot in the ken this year. Our biggest challenge is that we are at capacity for our campsite and are turning our attention to capital improvements to meet the urgent needs of camp, as well as continuing to grow tzevet.

Check out some other highlights of Gilboa’s summer 2022: