Wednesday, December 11

Archival Notes

The response to "Remembering Camp Kvutza" has been overwhelmingly positive.  A copy of the book will be ensconced in the Ontario Jewish Archives where, in years to come, cultural anthropologists can wade through its contents in search of the obscure origins of Anson Miner or how Jewish kids spent their summers in abject luxury on the shores of Lake Erie!

Some thoughts for all of you regarding your own 'archives'.
You may not realize how valued those old family pictures, certificates and letters you possess may be to this wonderful collection of the history of Canadian Jewish life.  You don't have to have been renowned, exotic or even notorious to be of interest.  Consider donating those large group shots of your  grandparents' social and political organizations, those pictures of the relatives taken at the photographer's studio at the beginning of the last century....even your pictures of Camp Kvutza!

Mikhl can you.  And then, when somebody makes an appointment to do some research, she will be handed a pair of soft, white gloves and a stack of meticulously notated files to sift through and learn about the lives previous generations of Jews who lived in Ontario.

As for the wonderful pictures throughout the book, please note that the colour photos on pages 12, 15, 31, 40, 47, 53, 57, 63 and 73 were taken by Bob Morris.  All contributions were gratefully appreciated, but there was limited space, so we added a few blank pages at the end for you to add your own photos, to personalize your copy for your own archives!

Sunday, December 1

"Remembering Camp Kvutza" is Officially Launched

My personal thanks to everyone who came out to Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda last Sunday to reunite and pick up a copy of the new book, "Remembering Camp Kvutza".  There was an overwhelming turnout.  Well, I was overwhelmed, but Lori was confident that everyone who hadn't already migrated to warmer climes would hitch up the dogsleds and make an effort to show up....and, as usual, she was right!  By the end of the day, we only had about 25 copies left, and since then, they are fast disappearing, so it looks like there'll be another printing so we can put the book in stores, too!  The Ontario Camping Association has taken an interest, too, since they are trying to organize a history of Jewish Camping in Ontario.  You might say we started something big!

Here is a copy of the little speech I gave at the launch, for those of you who couldn't make it or came later:

Welcome, everyone.
You've probably heard the expression, "This book wrote itself"...In some ways, once I started writing about Camp Kvutza, I couldn't stop myself.  It was as if, by writing about it, I was reliving those wonderful summers we all spent together on Lake Erie over 50 years ago.

I don't know if it was because we were so young and idealistic, or because those short summer months of our youth were so intensely packed with great experiences, that so many details still seemed so fresh in my memory.  In my life, there are years, even decades, that have flown by, that I can't recall the way I can remember the most particular little details about camp.

From traipsing back to our cabins and tents after breakfast, eyes down, searching for four leaf clovers in the fields, to holding hands and swaying together to Rad Hayom, sending a little friendship squeeze all around our circle of friends....

And then, there were the larger Life Lessons that have stayed with us too.  Respect for other cultures, for learning and caring about our world, and, of course, a deep appreciation and love of Eretz Israel.

For all I put into the book, there is still so much that could be added.  So we've left a little room at the back for you to personalize, to fill in with your own special memories and pictures and to gather autographs from your old camp friends, today.

I want to thank my publisher, Marc Giacomelli, of Invisible Books, and the designer, Margaret Jeronimo-Andrews, neither of whom had the good fortune to attend Kvutza, but who worked so hard with me to recapture its spirit and legacy in these pages.

A special thanks goes out to my Aunt Razy Stolberg, who helped make the arrangements here today and who led the way to Camp Kvutza for my sister Lori and I those many years ago.

I especially want to thank my husband, Alan, who is my inspiration in all things creative, who has encouraged me all the 45 years we have shared all my endeavours, from the kitchen to the classroom to the keyboard.

And, of course, my little sister, Lori, to whom the book is dedicated....
For always being by my side, in my face, in my head and in my corner.
Without her enthusiasm and encouragement, this book and this event, would never have happened.
On behalf of everyone here, I want to thank her.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you "Kvutzaniks" who encouraged me to put this into book form, who sent in their pictures and stories to enhance the collection in these pages, and who've come out here today to reunite and celebrate together.

Watch this space for future news about the book and all things KVUTZA.
Feel free to leave comments and news on this blog.

To get in touch for orders, please email:

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Saturday, November 23

"Remembering Camp Kvutza" is here!

Just got delivery of my new book, "Remembering Camp Kvutza" from the printer and it's terrific!  Full of pictures of those wonderful years from 1944-65, in colour and black and white, with special stories by Mikhl Herzog and Shier Berman about the origins of camp, those early years and the creation of the Anson Miner ghost!  They also explain the source of all the gun smuggling stories we were told as children. As well as my own pieces, which originally appeared on this blog, there are reminiscences of other former campers about their favorite experiences at Kvutza, a songbook and even an autograph section.  Extra pages give you space to add your own camp pictures and memories!

The book will be "launched" on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 24, from 2-4:30 pm at the Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda synagogue -parking just off Wilmington, behind the shule.  Please come and join over 150 former Kvutzaniks as they celebrate, reunite and pick up a copy of the book.

If you are interested in buying a copy of the book, just contact me at the email address:

Thanks go out to the Publisher, Marc Giacomelli and Designer, Margaret Jeronimo-Andrews for their hard work, creativity and enthusiasm for the project.

Watch this blog for pictures from the event in a few days and for further information about Kvutza-related events.

Tuesday, October 1

Memories of Kvutza book launch, Nov. /13

Shalom Kvutzaniks!

I am delighted to announce the publication of a beautiful new book, "Remembering Camp Kvutza, 1944-1965"

There will be a launch party mid- Nov. 2013 to which you are all invited, where you can pick up your very own copy and enjoy a visit with old friends.

Details to follow in the next few weeks.

The book will be a collection of the essays previously featured in my pre-2007 reunion blog, "Kvutza Memories," with additional reminiscences by others, including Mikhl Herzog, who relates his early days, in the Spring of 1944, when he and a group of 'pioneers' set the camp up at the new site on Lake Erie, Ontario.  The true origins of the camp ghost, Anson Miner, and the rumours about "guns in the well" are finally clarified by the actual participants!

"Remembering Camp Kvutza" is also filled with wonderful pictures.  Archival shots from many collections, plus more recent images gathered at reunions and visits to the old campsite, fill the pages with nostalgia.  Included for your enjoyment, is also the camp songbook, a glossary of camp words, in case you forgot what an 'ohel' was, and a special section for autographs, should you want your old camp chaverim to write a special message for posterity.

You will receive more information shortly.  If you, or someone else you know who might be interested, are not on the reunion email list, please leave a message with your contact info on this blog and we will be in touch.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!