In 1923, Jewish union activists affiliated with the Workmen’s Circle bought a plot of land in Hopewell Junction, New York, aiming to provide working-class children with an escape from the city. The camp, which was founded with a commitment to Yiddish and to instilling leftist values, broke with the socialist Workmen’s Circle several years later, as it came to be affiliated with the Communist Party. Over the years, everything that touched the left made its mark on the camp—from the Spanish Civil War to McCarthyism to the emergence of the New Left. In honor of Kinderland’s centennial, editor-in-chief Arielle Angel spoke with longtime Kinderlanders (and JC councilmembers) Judee Rosenbaum and Mitchell Silver about the legacy of Communism in camp, the difference between education and indoctrination, what’s changed at camp in the last 100 years, and why it’s survived this long. For more information on the Camp Kinderland Centennial, click here.
Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”
Articles mentioned and further reading:
“What We Did: How the Jewish Communist Left Failed the Palestinian Cause” by Dorothy Zellner, Jewish Currents