This was yet another great summer at Schechter! The campers made new friends, enjoyed camp activities, and filled up on great food. But what meant the most to me was that so many chanichim (campers) and madrichim (staff) told me that they had a meaningful Jewish experience while at camp. I feel optimistic that the future of our people is going to be very bright: the Jewish leaders of tomorrow are being fostered at Camp Solomon Schechter today!
The tipping over of canoes, the laughter heard throughout the backwoods trails, the raucous singing in Hebrew, the joyous Shabbat celebrations, sadly, are all behind us now. But the good news is that Summer 2017 at Schechter is just around the corner! (See the blue box below.) I can hardly wait for the whole camp community to be back together again next summer for a special Shabbat dinner!
This year the sounds of summer included the drilling and hammering from the construction of our amazing hekhal (siddur shed), which was built thanks to a grant from the Samis Foundation. This will store our siddurim, tallitot, and the other religious items we use for services at the amphitheater in a much more fitting manner, and for many generations to come.
Both of our Israeli staff are heading back home: our Shlicha, Chen Midany, who has been with CSS for two years, and our Shinshinit, Shavit Gittel, who has worked with us for one year. They have been so skilled with programs at Schechter and are delightful people. Next year we will have a new Shlicha and Shinshinit, and so we just keep improving our Israel Education at CSS!
As you know, this past weekend at the end of our last session, Goldie Stampfer, z"l, a beloved founder of Camp Solomon Schechter, passed away. As her husband, Rabbi Joshua Stampfer, said, "Her attention and concern was as intense (for Camp Solomon Schechter) as it was for her own children. She always referred to (Schechter) as her 6th child." Donations can be made in memory of Goldie Stampfer (z"l) here.
Thank you for entrusting Schechter to keep your child safe, happy, and well-fed. With so much nature around and a spirit of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), we get to live a Jewish existence connected to the land and the people.
Campers truly transform their mind, body, and spirit in the short three weeks that they are here: so many campers found their Judaism at camp, and I've witnessed so much chesed (holiness). I am certain that we have strengthened the ties that bind our local Jewish communities. "Yesh bamakom hazeh vanochi lo yadati." ("Surely G-d was in this place and I did not know it.")
Shabbat Shalom -
Have a peaceful Shabbat
Dear Camp Solomon Schechter Community,
It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Goldie Stampfer, z"l. With her husband of 72 years, Rabbi Joshua Stampfer, Goldie was a beloved founder of Camp Solomon Schechter and a tireless advocate for creating a place "where Judaism and joy are one" for every camper.
This is a very sad day for Camp Solomon Schechter. Goldie was a founder of the camp, a tireless worker in the kitchen (the dining hall is named after her) and in all areas of camp. Her memory will always be a blessing here at Camp Solomon Schechter, which was so important to her. -- Sam Perlin
The funeral will be held Tuesday, August 16 at 2:00 pm at Congregation Neveh Shalom (2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland, OR 97239).
Following the funeral service at the synagogue, internment will be at Ahavai Shalom Cemetery (9323 SW First Avenue, Portland, OR 97219).
Shiva Minyanim will be held Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm at Neveh Shalom.
May the family be comforted along with all other mourners in Zion, and may the memory of Goldie Stampfer, z"l, be for a blessing.
Donations can be made in memory of Goldie Stampfer (z"l) at our donations page.
I am always surprised when we get to the last Shabbat of the summer! Time flies when you're having fun, and I sure had fun this summer, as did all of our campers and staff. (Indulging in one of my favorite pastimes of the summer, this morning I got up early to watch as campers reeled in many large trout from Lake Stampfer. My favorite part is when they toss them back!)
This was such a full and fun week! We had a ton of great food (such as banana boats, brisket, black-bean burgers, fresh salad, and fruit), our Yom Tevanut (Art and Nature Day) was very inspirational (we are certainly keeping it green here at CSS!), and Israel Day was invigorating.
The extra activities this session have been amazing. Favorites, such as the talent show and band chug performance, were some of the best ever--the talented musicians at Gimmel have been a thrill. Our dances, like this week's Hoedown Throwdown, are so much fun at this age. The 10th grade camping trip at Shaffer State Park in Elwha was the perfect site for enjoying the natural beauty Washington has to offer. We hiked, played sports, ate great food, and slept out under the stars.
Our last few days of Gimmel will also be packed. Tonight, as we prepare for our final, delicious Shabbat dinner, Portland resident and Holocaust survivor, Menachem Taiblum, will be here to tell us about fighting and hiding from the Nazis in Poland from age 11 to 15. Tomorrow night we start Tisha B'Av with the reading of Aicha (Lamentations) and have a very meaningful day of programming on Sunday. Three quarters of camp is going to attempt to fast for Tisha B'Av, and we will break the fast in style. (By the way, it's our minhag (custom) at Schechter to drink water on Tisha B'Av.) This coming Monday we will wrap up Gimmel session with the 10th grade banquet and the camper/staff football game, which everyone looks forward to.
The sounds of zipping, swishing, running, screaming, and laughter are the sounds of Gimmel that stick with me all year long. As with every session, relationships got tighter and new acquaintances became lifelong friends. I am very proud of the staff and campers this session, and all summer long. Camp Solomon Schechter absolutely is the place where Judaism and Joy are One.
Shabbat Shalom and Tzum Kal -
Have a restful and peaceful Shabbat and an easy upcoming fast!
What a fantastic week at camp it has been! Thank you for sending your talented and smart campers to Camp Solomon Schechter this summer! They are great athletes, musicians, and schmoozers.
This past week we enjoyed plenty of physical activity. For example, during our exciting Cabin Basketball Tournament, the 10th grade girls were inspirational against some very skilled boys teams. The ruach was off the charts during Maccabiah with sports, cheers, and zimriya(song and performances by the teams). This was topped off with the Double Dare evening program.
Early in the week we had Backwards Day, which meant we ate dinner in the morning and breakfast at lunch, and did our ever-popular Top Chef evening program at the start of the day. As sunset marked the end of the day, we went back to normal with our usual with degel(flag) gathering and our great and beloved Lip Sync evening program.
Tonight is Shabbat, and we are all so excited not only for our great food, our rousing shira(song) sessions, and all the free time afforded on this important day of rest, but also because of some very special guests!
As you have probably heard, starting yesterday and for the next couple of weeks, we are hosting the Sephardic Adventure Camp (SAC), which had to quickly move out of their original campsite due to nearby fires. (You can read more about this elsewhere on our blog .) The campers were so excited when I told them that SAC was coming to our facility to run their camp alongside our Gimmel session this summer. I am truly impressed by our staff, who have been fantastic at accommodating SAC and going the extra mile to prep for them. I also appreciate the many parents who have written to us and expressed how thankful they are that CSS truly lives its Jewish values. This will certainly be a special Shabbat with two special Northwest Jewish camps celebrating our shared heritage together!
Shabbat Shalom -
A Shabbat of peace to all of us,
|On Monday, August 1, the Sephardic Adventure Camp (SAC), an Orthodox camp from Washington State, was evacuated from their campsite in eastern Washington due to a forest fire. Consistent with our Jewish value of hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests), we will be hosting SAC at Camp Solomon Schechter August 5 - 17; and our staff will embrace Schechter's theme for the summer of "Lo Lefached Clal (Have No Fear at All)" as we deal with double the number of people we had planned! It is bashert (meant to be) that we have enough beds to accommodate them. The logistics are complicated, but we are certainly up to the challenge. They will run their programs concurrently and separate from ours. Food service is one of the greatest challenges; we will eat in shifts, and SAC will prepare all of their nut-free and strictly-kosher food offsite and bring it in to camp each day.
SAC has about 90 campers and 30 staff for a total of 120 people, so our camp will be filled with Jewish children enjoying their summer. Our staff is prepared to work extra hard to ensure that the Schechter Gimmel experience is not impacted but is enhanced by this unexpected change. SAC staff know that the Schechter campers must have their fun in the Schechter way and that we will not change our halakha, kashrut, dress code, dancing, swimming, or programming; nothing will change for the Schechter campers other than they may meet more Jewish teens. Since SAC will be here with 3rd - 10th grade campers, we have a very clear plan to make sure that our Gimmel campers still have their usual dances and fun without impact from having younger campers on site. This is exciting and challenging for Schechter, but I believe in my heart that this is the right thing to do, and that our campers and staff will understand and live up to our Jewish values to help other Jews in need. We wish SAC a great summer session and look forward to our Schechter campers continuing to have an amazing summer!
Please contact me with any questions, comments, concerns or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camp Solomon Schechter