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August 8, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 8, 2003
 

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PAGE 10 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH @ ance remain dedicated to history and By Polly Haas Hammel PARIS (JTA)--An immense pot of goulash simmers over an open fire as French teen- agers in scout uniforms and kipot sit around log tables covered in white tablecloths. It's Friday night, and the scouts are sitting down to a traditional Shabbat dinner in the rough of the Dordogne, a rural region in southwest France. Tents are pitched across the rolling fields and the scouts have constructed stoves, sinks, tables and a makeshift, open-air synagogue from logs and planks. The youths, who come from Lille, Metz and Paris, are part of the 80-year- old French Jewish scouting movement, known by its French acronym, EEIF. The camp in Dordogne is one of more than a dozen Jew- ish scouting camps across France, each representing three urban regions. "It's fun beingwith so many other Jewish kids in the out- doors," Michael, 16, says a.s he stirs the goulash. This is Michael's eighth summer with EEIF. "Some of my 10-year-old Scouts attend year-round The youngsters participate campers arrive with their cell activities at 55 local branches in traditional scoutingactivi- phones and the latest 'Game across France, but the three- ties like building fires and ty- Boy' consoles," says Raphael, week summer camp is theing knots, but they also take 18, a counselor for some of high point oftheyear. Coun- part in Jewish cultural and the younger scouts. "Others selors meet weeks in advance religious activities. arefrommodestandevendis- to plan educational themes The camps maintain Sab- advantaged families, and activities, bath observance and adhere But we confiscate the cell They arrive on site a week to kosher regulations, and phones, and with their scout in advance to take delivery of there are morning and Sab- shirts and scarves on, every- logs and lumber, rent equip- bath prayer services. Counse- one is equal." ment like mechanical shov- lots are trained to give les- Anna, agre, garious19-year- els for digging latrines and sons on Jewish history and old counselor, says, "Some of freezers for storing kosher religion, andsomegoontrips thefirst-time,14-and15-year- meat ransported from Lyon, to Israel or places like old campers aren't really the arrange for running water to Auschwitz. scouting type.They're preppy, be hooked up and make pots EEIF also conducts activi- upper-middle-class kids. But and pans kosher, ties with non-Jewish scout- after a week they love it." The camps are set up every ing movements. Every sum- Nearly 3,000 French Julyon fields rented fromlo- mer, counselors-in-training youngsters ages 8 to 16 join cal farmers all over France. participate in social welfare EEIF camps every summer Founded in 1923by Robert projects, like helping build a forthreeweeksofcommunai Gamzon, the 17-year-oldcenterforvocationaltraining livinginaJewishatmosphere, grandson of a former chief in Senegal, constructing an Counselors like Raphael, a rabbiofFrance, the EEIFwas infirmary and a banana grove first-year engineering stu- designed to appeal to all types inIvoryCoastorworkingwith dent, takeamonth outoftheir of Jews. orphans in Peru. summer vacations to volun- The movement strives toOther projects have taken teer for the camp. impart to children a sense of scouts to Madagascar, "We want to transmit to duty, obedienceandinitiative Cameroon and Brazil. Next the young campers what we and to cultivate committed, summer, a group will visit were given when we were resourceful and upright citi- the Jewish community in young," Anna says. "It's the zens. EEIF's key values in- Kaifeng, China. natural order of things-- in elude nature, civic duty, Is- TheEEIFheldacelebration scoutingtheyounglearnfrom rael, Judaism and the "duty of this month marking the the young." remembering"the Holocaust. movement'sS0thanniversary. PRODUCED BY TICKETS ON 3 Days Onlyl WATERHOUSE ,= mim- Fri. SEPT. 5 * 7:30 PM OPENING NIGHT! SEPT. 6 uFr. AM SAVE $3 ON TICKETS 3:3o PM 1:00 PM VIP umll. No do~ble dia~ovf~. I 7":.30 PM* cm ~CUTSl FELD ENTERTAINMENT Buy tickets at egtklste/' Ticket Centers, Arena Box Office or call 14071 839-3900 For Informatian (4071 849-2020 Gro~ (,I07) 849-2014 TICKET PRICES: $28 w- $19 -$16 " $12 Is ~. ,k~ ~d h,d~ f =e~, Z~; ,o w,~at clx,~, (* An,~ Ik~x Offiat.) @ Dimey/PIXAR About3,000 scouts and staff Bader also hel camping out in the Dordogne area traveled to the celebra- under cover of a tion in the town of Perigueux, scouting movement. where many old-timers had During school gathered, this was the best way a EEIF's executive director, Jewish children FredCherbite, said about 800 Catholic boarding scout veterans came to the during the school celebration from places like He also forged Strasbourg, Marseille and cards and food even Tel Aviv. for French Jews "They come to rediscover occupation. the feeling of community," Bad~ he said. adults for the During the festivities, old- armed resistance, timers sat together inacircle maquis. singing scouting tunes from "The maqms was their youth, almost entirel Some of those songs, like ish and n0n-Jewish, the Evening Song, which~ays. "There were 120 today's scouts still sing every scouts in the night before bedtime, date equivalent of awholeS backtothetimeofthe French ron." resistance against the Nazi EEIF members occupation of France. tive during Many EEIF members took waysaswell.One, part in the resistance. The who und, "duty of " " remembering theworked in a bar resistance and the Holocaust by the Gestapo is a key part of the scouts' urgent warnings moral code. overheard Germans After an evening of spec- ing plans to round uP tacular fireworks, spirited Jews. songs and speeches at the "Unfortunately," I celebration's closing cer- says,"manyoftheJeWS emony, 4,000 people stood listen." around a gigantic bonfire lis- "But I don't dwell tening in silence to the read- all the time with the ing of a list of 150 scouts from dren, He the resistance who perished prefers to during the Holocaust. ture and focus on The80thanniversaryeventvalues. was timed to coincide with the annual ceremony re-many scouting quired by French law mark- Representatives of ing the"Vel d'Hiv" round-up, estant, Catholic and On July 15 and 16, 1942, scout movements in French police arrested nearly attende( 13,000 Jews in Paris, includ- celebration, ing 4,000 children, of six French Muslim They were held at the who recently Velodrome d'Hiver, a Paris Auschwitz. sports stadium, and deported Israel's scouts six days later by the Nazis. Jean-Paul Bader, 80, who tives. is still active in the scouts The Jewish division| movement, wasahigh-school Boy Scouts of student in Perigueux in 1940 will be affiliated with whenhestartedworkingwith and the Tzofim as other EEIF members tohelp members spiritJewishchildrentosafety tional Forum of in Switzerland. Scouts. He recalls posing as a so- "It will be cial worker accompanying nership and "summer camps" on trainhuman and of ideas, trips towards the bordersev- hope to create neW eral times a week. The con- scouts movements voys of Jewish children leav- countries, in ing France continued South America and through 1943. Europe," Cherbite says' Scene Around Continued from page 9 Judith's partner is SHEILA KRAMER KRAMER, and mother ofbassist, TAYLOR, who was featured here recently. (Who knew she had talent all of her own!) Sheila was publisher of Familg became a freelance graphic artist and writer. Sheila has lived in Lake Mary for 16 years. Both gals are "transplants" from New York. Their magazine, Lake Mary Life, is first rate, in color, with informative advertising and including one in the current issue about our own TEICHERI (Check it out on page 19 of the July/August issue.) Let me Imn, e you with mother gXoaner In Jerusalem, a reporter heard about an old Jew going to the Wailing Wall to pray, twice a day, long, long time. She watches him pray and after aboul turns to leave, she approaches him for an interview. "Rebecca Smith, CNN News. Sir, how long have coming to the Wailing Wall and praying?" "For about 50 years." "What do you pray for?" "For peace between the Jews and thl to stop and for our children to "How do you feel after doing this for 50 years" the asks? "Like I'm talking to a wall."