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!
Camp Solomon Schechter