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Let My People Go… To Camp!

March 26, 2021by Josh Niehaus

Shalom, CSS Camp Community:

The Board of Camp Solomon Schechter would like to recognize Executive Director Zach Duitch for navigating the organization through the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the resulting economic crisis, and also for taking the initiative to organize and create the Washington State Camp Coalition (WSCC).

Zach recruited other camp leaders to form the WSCC, which now has over 70 member organizations from across Washington State. With the help and support of the WSCC Steering Committee, Zach worked with Governor Inslee’s office, the Washington State Department of Health, and key stakeholders to secure guidance that allows overnight summer camps to operate safely this summer.

Zach has demonstrated true leadership and advocated for all 145 overnight camps and their camp families. Zach and the WSCC Steering Committee crafted a solution that works for small camps as much as it does for large programs. CSS’s Board is so proud of Zach’s initiative and commitment to the entire camp community. It’s the ultimate expression of tikkun olam (repairing the world), and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.

Thanks also to David Shore of Environmental Health & Engineering and Michelle Branconier of the American Camp Association for their invaluable input and guidance to ensure a path that complies with Washington State’s expectations, as well as those of the CDC. We are also grateful to Max Patashnik and Nancy Sapiro of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and Andy Kaplowitz of Tikkun Olam Consulting and CSS’s Immediate Past President for their assistance on strategy and advocacy during the process and, of course, to the WSCC Steering Committee members for their dedication to getting this right.

Our children will now have access to another memorable summer at the place where Judaism and Joy are One!

B’Shalom,

Mark Kalenscher

Josh Niehaus

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