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What do Harlem, Tel Yehudah, Mel Reisfield, and Social Activism Have In Common?

All are prominently featured in Born to Rise, a new book coming out next month by Judaean Deborah Kenny (formerly Debbie Kuker). Debbie was National Mazkira in 1979-80, attended Tel Yehudah 1976-80, Year Course 1980-81, and worked as a Madricha at both Sprout and TY. She lost her husband to leukemia at age 38 and subsequently founded a network of public charter schools in Harlem. Now ten years later, she's written a book about the experience.


Young Judaea, Mel, and Tel Yehudah are prominently featured in the narrative. In the book, Debbie, the founder of Harlem Village Academies, discusses summers at TY as providing the formative experience in her life that gave her not only leadership and education training but also a sense of commitment to social justice.

Order Debbie's book between now and May 31st and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Tel Yehudah.

Use this unique link to order the book from Amazon and ensure that you support TY while celebrating the accomplishments of one of our own.


The summer camp Sara and I attended was a welcome change from the superficiality of high school. While the kids loved to socialize and have fun, it was the kind of place where it was cool to be smart and everyone fit in. The camp was dedicated to Jewish values and social justice. The chorus of our camp song was "You and I will change the world" - and everyone actually believed it, including me. It was bliss.

It was at camp where I met the teacher who would change my life: Mel Reisfeld. He was an extraordinary and often irreverent educator, and for many decades the camp's heart and soul. He was the coolest adult we kids had ever met.

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