Interior Sanctuary

Camp: Stronger Than Ever

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The camp family is as strong as any family we know. You know how we know that? When our camp rabbi, David Eshel, knew he was going to be in Israel through the month of December, he thought it would be meaningful to have a reunion event, especially given the recent fire damage to our camps. One hundred and five Israelis who worked at camp from as far back as the summer of 2001 showed up. Some brought their significant others. Some brought their children. That night, it was certain that camp will come back stronger than ever.

Our camp family is as strong as any family I know. You know how I know that? When our camp rabbi, David Eshel, knew he was going to be in Israel through the month of December, he thought it would be meaningful to have a reunion event, especially given the recent fire damage to our camps. 

We have a Facebook group of our Israeli staff alumni from the last 20-plus years. Just a few weeks prior to the reunion event, Rabbi Eshel posted the details: “Friday, December 21. A hotel just outside of Tel Aviv. The conference room to the right of the check-in desk. T’filah. Shabbat dinner. Song session. Israeli dancing.” 

One hundred and five Israelis who worked at camp from as far back as the summer of 2001 showed up. Some of them had been there for just one summer. Some of them brought their significant others. Some of them brought their children. 

Now there are more enjoyable ways to spend your time than driving nearly three hours through Israel just before Shabbat. But anyone who has been to camp also knows that there are few more enjoyable ways to spend Shabbat than at camp. That night we prayed, sang, and danced the way we have for decades. That night with our family and friends, we shared the love and joy that camp fosters. That night I became certain that camp will come back stronger than ever. 

You know how I know that? Because that night, it wasn’t winter, and I wasn’t in a conference room at a hotel in Tel Aviv. It was summer, and I was at camp. 

 

- Ari Kaplan, Assistant Director

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