Zev News – July 2008


We returned home from our San Francisco trip on Wednesday, July 2.  Thursday was spent in preparation for our annual July 4 party.  Ever since the Church up the street started doing a free fireworks display every Fourth of July, if we are in town on the Fourth of July, we invite Jackie's office over for a potluck party. The kids swim, everyone eats, and everyone who wants to watch fireworks walks up the street to the church.  This year's party was a resounding success!


The following Sunday, Benjamin returned home from camp.  He had a great time and was bubbling over with stories about what he had done.  He definitely wants to go back next year.  Here are some of the things that Benjamin said about camp.  He said they learned 22 dances.  He wants a CD of all the dances they learned.  He said he got a golden paint brush because he was doing so well at olmanut (arts and crafts.)  We asked him if he liked archery and his response was "No! I'm horrible at it!"  He said his choice for peulah (activity) was improvisation.  He described one improv scene he did where two people would pretend to be two people and the audience would know who the two people were, but wouldn’t know who was who.  Here is how Benjamin described it in his own words:  “I was doing Cain and Abel with Jonathan Katz (the improv teacher.) Jonathan was using a pickax and said  ‘Cain, I'm not going to do all your chores.’  So I (being Cain) took the pickax and killed him with it.”  Benjamin got to do this particular improv twice. The second time, the characters were Pharaoh and Moses and Jonathan was Pharaoh.  Benjamin also did debate.  They would debate things like “what's the difference between the gold rule and the silver rule, and which is more Jewish?"  Mau, who was the only other kid in debate, said they were the same.  Benjamin said they were not and then he had to come up with reasons why they were not the same.  Here’s some more things Benjamin said about camp in his own words: “At one point, there was the banquet.  It was Hollywood themed.  There were stars on the floor.  One said "Doug" (the camp director) and another said Kayla (his dog).  Noah Stern, one of my counselors, was being Chewy (Chewbacca.)  There was an Asian dinner, with orange chicken, spring rolls, Chinese salad, and fortune cookies.  It was the best meal at Camp.  They had Macavia – color games.  I was yellow, "the addition sign."  There were four teams unless you count equals.  Multiplication won.  The thing I liked the least were the people (his age) and packing.  I liked the activities much better.  We had a secret society called the “Zeb.”  Everyone in my cabin was in it.  I said I had been in it since I was five.  Sometimes I told people I was an Ishian.  That's an alien from the planet Ish.  It's in another galaxy.  Isian tag involves a lot of people in the air.  Ishians look very different than humans but they can fake human form.”  Benjamin had a great time at camp and can’t wait to go back.


On a sad note, we received word that the husband of one of Jackie's high school friends had died unexpectedly from a heart attack.  He and his family had been living in Texas but his mother and siblings live in Oxnard, so there was a memorial service in Oxnard which we attended.  This was the first Catholic Memorial service to which we have ever gone.  The following Saturday, Jackie's high school friend came over with her two boys for lunch.  Her boys are six and nine years old and are just the sweetest kids.  Our hearts just went out to them.  After lunch, they took off and Benjamin went to a birthday party. That evening was TLC Sharim (Jackie’s singing group) and we all went (except Jonathan) and had a good time.  Jonathan missed it because he didn't return from camp until the following day.


The next day we went to pick Jonathan up from camp. Like Benjamin, he too was bubbling over with stories, and the two kids went back and forth comparing their experiences.  We went directly from picking Jonathan to Santa Clarita where a friend was performing in the show "Seussical Jr."  Almost all the performers in the show were kids, but we were impressed with how good they were.