Before becoming a politician serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s 22nd District, Ted Deutch was a camper like you and me, spending his summers at Ramah Poconos in Lakewood, PA.
In our latest episode Ted joins to talk about his time there, how it set him up for his career in politics (learning to deal with difficult people, for one!), how he includes his camp family in his work on Capitol Hill, and we discuss the art of knowing just how long you can get away with hanging out with your significant other before it’s time to go back to the cabins — without getting in trouble.
Don’t waste a minute, take a listen!
Congressman Ted Deutch
A Capitol Hill Ramah Reunion
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One thought on “Ep. #77: Like the Time Our “Spontaneous” Cabin Raids Led to Ice Cream Parties”
OK, Micah, love the Podcast, but I have to say I HATED the discussion with Ted Deutsch on the “Escape from the Soviet Union” camp activity. I get like the intention was to have to have an intensive, experiential activity. I think you almost hit on it later in the conversation where you said the staff was admittedly poorly trained and did it to “teach the kids something.” but the thing is, these types of “Escape from” activities are emotionally manipulative and potentially psychologically very damaging. I think often times staff do these activities because they don’t really have an idea what to do, or they view it as cool or exciting. What Soviet Jew actually “escaped from the Soviet Union while the KGB was chasing them?” It’s dishonest,, inaccurate and manipulative on its face.
In LA on the Havurat Noar program, we used to do a “Soviet Simulation” back in the day but the intention there was clearly a very different affect in mind. In the “Soviet Simulation” there was no chasing kids around camp. The purpose was to teach about “frustration” and “powerlessness” refusnikim had at the hands of the Soviet system. We were very careful to debrief the activity as “make believe” after then end of the activity. There was no sadism and no emotional manipulation.
I wrote my Master Thesis at HUC on the problems with teaching the Holocaust in Jewish supplementary schools, so this is a topic I have thought a lot about.
Curious to hear if others had a similar reaction. I don’t know if I am alone in this reaction.