Camp love story 02.14.18

Summer Lovin-Valentine’s Day Edition- Abby & Ari

Abby & Ari Shapiro

Habonim Dror Movement

When/how/where at camp did you meet?

We met in 1999 on Habonim Dror’s MBI program- the 6-week Israel program for 16-year-olds that brought together all the graduates of Habonim Dror North America summer camps.

Was it love right away?

It was so NOT love at first sight that the only picture we have of that summer that contains both of us is one of Abby and some friends where Ari is walking through the background, entirely unaware. We were acquaintances at best until we were both living in New York City after college. Our Habonim Dror friend circles overlapped, and we saw each other at Shabbat dinners and birthday parties. In August 2008, we carpooled to the bachelor party of a mutual friend- Matt Becker, who was about to marry Ari’s sister Danya. Our friendship grew, and we started dating about a year later. This turned out to be very convenient, as Abby’s sister, Emily began a relationship with Matt’s brother, JJ, soon after (they first met at Galil in 1995). All three couples are now married, and we all love getting together at family events!

Do you find that your time at camp has influenced your relationship/marriage/family?

Habonim Dror camps have definitely influenced our relationship and our family. From the ways we celebrate Shabbat to the bedtime songs we sing to our kids, our experiences at Galil, Tavor, and Na’aleh show up in our everyday lives. Most importantly, our time at Habonim Dror camps has instilled in us shared values of Jewish identity, social justice, and egalitarianism.

What happened between you when camp ended that summer?

We went our separate ways and grew up for another decade before “figuring it out.”

Did you have any camp themed thing at your wedding?

In addition to camp-style Israeli Dancing, Habonim Dror also inspired us to incorporate Tikkun Olam into our wedding weekend. We organized a service project at a local food bank for the day before our wedding, sorting and organizing donations.

Will you send your kids to camp?

Absolutely- the only question is whether they’ll go to Galil or Tavor! We think it will depend on their cousins. Emily and JJ’s daughters are already spending their summers at Galil, so we’ll see!

The only existing photo with all 3 couples, from our wedding in August 2012- Danya Shapiro and Matt Becker are on the left with their daughter Ruth, Ari and I are center and Emily Weber and JJ Becker are 2nd and 3rd from the right, with their younger daughter Reese. All Habonim Dror couples and we’re all related!