Zach knows from whence he came! The journey to be the new Executive Director of Camp Solomon Schechter began when he first attended a summer session at the camp. He says the values he teaches his kids and practices in his everyday life were all formed at CSS.
For those who don’t know Zach, he spent a total of 15 summers at camp – 7 as a camper, 1 as an Oded, and 7 as summer staff ranging from counselor to the Assistant Summer Director. Zach has definitely kept busy since those lazy, hazy days of summer. He spent the past 17 years at the Stroum JCC working tirelessly to grow and improve their programming with way too many accomplishments to name here . . . though we tried to highlight a few in the press release below.
We asked Zach why he wanted to come back to Schechter and he enthusiastically responded:
“Schechter is the most magical place on earth! Gaga, Shabbat, jumping off the high dive, double dare, endless shira (singing) sessions, Maccabiah (color wars), Yom Israel (Israel Day), the bullfrog croaking at night, the big dipper shining bright over the lake, toranut skits, degel (flag ceremony), friendships formed, and the counselors make this camp unique, special, and magical. I want every child to experience the MAGIC that I experienced at camp.”
We hope all of you have a chance soon to get to know our next great Executive Director. In fact, he will be visiting all of Schechter’s major cities over the next few months, so look for those “meet & greet” announcements soon!
Here’s a copy of the media release that we’re sending out today announcing his appointment:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jef Nobbe
Camp Solomon Schechter
CAMP SOLOMON SCHECHTER ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF
ZACH DUITCH AS ITS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Tumwater, Washington, November 7, 2017—
Camp Solomon Schechter board president Andy Kaplowitz today announced the appointment of Zach Duitch as the camp’s new Executive Director. Zach succeeds Sam Perlin who served as Executive Director for the past ten years.
Zach, a University of Washington graduate, is an expert in Jewish camping, the foundation of which began at Schechter. Zach spent seven summers as a camper, one in the counselor-in-training (Oded) program, and seven as a summer staff member (culminating with a summer as the Assistant Summer Director). He then spent the past 17 years at the Stroum Jewish Community Center, beginning as a youth counselor in the after-school program and rising to his current position as Director of Data Insights and Security Management. His leadership of the JCC’s summer day camp program increased attendance from 300 to over 1,200 campers this summer. As Director of Programs and Services he engaged over 3,000 community members per year through innovative and creative programming and helped transform their dormant health and fitness program into a thriving business center. With this strong connection, both Schechter and the SJCC look forward to finding new and creative ways to partner.
Schechter is very excited to bring Zach on board, starting December first. Zach is already developing his vision for camp’s future with innovative programming, strategic thinking, and an eye on growth and new opportunities. This is backed by his successful track record with scaling profit centers, managing complexity, and building successful community partners. Zach is a positive role model and loves working with today’s youth.
“I’m really coming back home to Camp Solomon Schechter, a place where my Jewish identity and the values that guide me each day were formed,” Zach said. “I’ll work to make sure that Schechter continues to be a place where every camper will build self-confidence, be courageous, curious, and creative in an all-inclusive, nurturing environment.” He went on to say, “Schechter needs to be a place where campers feel safe, celebrate diversity, and build a community of friends.”
“We’re thrilled to have Zach join the Schechter family,” said Andy Kaplowitz, CSS board president. “He deeply understands the importance of intensive and immersive Jewish experiences for young people and their personal development as Jews.”
Camp Solomon Schechter has been part of the Jewish camp tradition since 1954, helping more than 25,000 youth embrace their identity, deepen their faith, and become effective participants in the Jewish community. Schechter has a 63-year tradition of fun, friendship, and Jewish education in the Pacific Northwest. They create a unique, welcoming environment, offering an innovative experience for youth of all denominations entering 2nd-12th grades. At Camp Solomon Schechter, Judaism and Joy are truly one!