2.5 Generations of L’Dor V’Dor
By: Noah Goodman and Julius Cohen
In our families, camp is more than just a place — it’s a tradition.
Hal Cohen began his Camp Interlaken journey as a first session camper in 1984 at the age of 11. Roy Goodman was a third session camper, but the two united for the first time in the first session of 1986. They first met at the bus to camp from the Milwaukee JCC, where Roy remembers Hal wearing a shirt with the slogan “Buckwheat say o tay.” The two weren’t initially the best of friends, but they grew closer over the years. The two solidified their friendship at a BBYO convention the year of K’Far Noar, and their bond carried over into their Ozo and staff years. Hal and Roy became co-counselors, and were given, they claim, the toughest cabin on the machaneh (camp).
Hal and Roy were the kind of friends that only camp can make. As campers, they ate meals, signed up for chugs, and pulled now-fireable-offense-level pranks together. They became a strong counselor duo and made lasting connections with their campers. When Roy left camp for the final time in 1994, Hal — and the rest of camp — was devastated. People thought that a bond like theirs would never again grace the machaneh.
They had no idea how wrong they could be. Enter scene: Noah Goodman, age 11. Julius Cohen, age 11. They slept on opposite sides of Cabin Zebulon. As sixth graders, they ran with different gangs and were on different teams. It wasn’t until eighth grade, in cabins Sarah and Abraham, that the Cohen-Goodman spark was fully rekindled.
Like father, like son? Chips off the old blocks? Last summer, after a session of learning how to be counselors, the “new look” Cohen-Goodman duo awaited their second session cabin assignments with bated breath. They scanned the assignment sheet, hoping that they would become co-counselors like their fathers. Finally, their eyes found it: Cabin Levi, 6th Grade Boys. Ozos: Julius Cohen and Noah Goodman.
Even though they were one of the smallest cabins in camp, everyone knew about the Lint Rollers of Levi. No lint was safe in the Northwoods of Wisconsin that summer. Leading the cabin in ruach were two of Camp Interlaken’s top prospects: the second generation of the Cohen-Goodman duo had arrived.
Everyone at camp is looking forward to what Noah and Julius have in store for the future. They will be back and better than ever as counselors this summer. But when they leave camp in a few years and move on to bigger (but not better) things, the Cohen-Goodman story will not end.
Jordy Goodman and Asher Cohen have the honor of continuing this legacy. Is it a 3rd generation? A 2.5th? Stay tuned to find out how the two of them fare during their first summer at Interlaken this year. Our families are remarkably similar. Too similar, some have said. If only Roy and Hal had become friends, dayenu. If only Sarah and Katie, our moms, had become friends, dayenu. If only Noah and Julius had become friends, dayenu. Jordy and Ash are both 8 years old, are lifelong friends, and we are grateful that they get to share the camp experience with each other. Dayenu.
Here are some quotes from Ash and Jordy about camp:
Q: What are your thoughts on going to camp this summer?
Q: What are you most looking forward to at camp
Asher: What’s that?
Jordy: And disc golf.
Asher: I also want to play disc golf with Jordy.
Q: Are you concerned about living in the shadow of your brothers?
Asher: I’m gonna go around bragging to people that I’m Julius’ brother.
Jordy: No, I just wanna be called nicknames
Q: What else do you want to say about camp?
Asher: I was wondering if there are any excuses to stop me from setting the table?