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- Camp Massad
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Camp Massad is a Jewish children’s camp in Sandy Hook, Manitoba.
In the early 1940s the Camp Massad site in Sandy Hook was developed as part of the Jewish Socialist-Zionist Youth Movement, also known as Habonim in Hebrew. In 1953 when the majority of the Habonim leaders and staff moved to Israel, the site was gifted to Camp Massad, which became the third Jewish camp located near the Lake Winnipeg shoreline. Camp Massad Manitoba was created with the vision that it would be modelled after the Massad camps located in the United States.
In 1953, the camp began with three cabins, a water tower, and a barn for storage and supplies. Between the 1960s and 1980s many more structures were constructed on the site, including a large dining hall built in the 1960s. Current amenities at Camp Massad include an outdoor pool, basketball and tennis courts, an outdoor stage and play structures.
In 1953, Soody Kleiman became the camp’s first senior counsellor responsible for programming, and Ed Yuditsky, a former Winnipeg Talmud Torah teacher, was hired as Camp Massad’s inaugural director. Leona Billinkoff, was recruited as the camp’s eemah or mother. She served in this position from 1953 to 1978. As eemah, Leona Billinkoff created programming for the camp in addition to supervising the kitchen and camp staff.
In 1961, Gad Horowitz became the camp’s director and for the next five years worked to enhance its programs and events such as Maccabiah, a two day competition of sports and drama. Further, Horowitz instituted the use of Hebrew as the official language of the camp.
Camp Massad’s mission is “To create a dynamic summer camp experience that encourages the use of the Hebrew language, promotes pride in Jewish identity, and connects campers to their community and Israel in a safe, nurturing, inclusive, creative and fun-loving environment.”
The staff is made up of counsellors, as well as Hanhallah or programming directors. On average, there have been 45 counsellors running summer programming with 110 children attending camp during each of the two sessions during the summer.
The Old Synagogue at Winnipeg Beach was built in 1950, and moved onto the Massad site in 1998 where it was restored and enlarged. The congregation is made up of men and women who are cottagers in the area, and the synagogue is used primarily during the summer months for special occasions such as bar mitzvahs, baby namings, and as a place for people to recite kaddish.
Camp Massad also offers the Soresh Summer Day Camp that offers programming to younger children.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of administrative records of Camp Massad including reports, financial statements, financial statements and correspondence.
Reports include those from the Chairmen and various committees. Correspondence is with the Zionist Organization of Canada, parents, and other people and organizations. This also includes correspondence and other records relating to fundraising for the camp. Other records include lists of campers, songbooks and blank forms for staff, campers and parents.
More administrative records of Camp Massad can be found in the Leona Bilinkoff fonds.
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