Rabbi Joshua & Goldie Stampfer (z”l) Migdal Or Award Recipients


Judith & Garry Kahn

Garry & Judith Kahn were unable to attend Jewish summer camp when they were children. Garry was raised in a Jewish family that we would now describe as “unaffiliated.”  Judith, whose father was a Portland Hazan, kept kosher, and there were no local kosher camps when she was young. That, of course, changed when Rabbi Joshua Stampfer created Camp Solomon Schechter. As soon as Garry & Judith’s oldest son, David, was eligible to attend, the Kahns became a Schechter family. As members of Congregation Neveh Shalom, the decision to send David to CSS was easy. The Kahns knew and trusted that the camp, run by Rabbi Joshua & Goldie Stampfer, would provide a safe, fun, and educational experience. And, since David was the oldest of 3 boys separated by less than 4 years, 2 weeks of Aleph session made the summer a little easier to manage. David was followed by Steven, Robert, and then Sarah, all of whom attended CSS for as long as they were able, and most of whom spent at least one summer employed at camp.

Garry & Judith Kahn’s devotion to CSS is multi-generational and multi-state. Six of their nine grandchildren have attended CSS; the others attended Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, where Robert and his wife, Camille (also a CSS camper and staff member), worked. Five of their grandchildren have worked at camp. Judith’s Los Angeles nieces attended CSS, and their daughters are now CSS campers.

But there’s more! Judith spent six summers at CSS as its administrative director following Goldie’s tenure. Garry has served on the CSS Board of Directors. And throughout all those years, Garry & Judith have been generous supporters of Camp Solomon Schechter, including the funding of the new Chadar kitchen.

In addition to her years as the camp’s administrative director, Judith dedicated many hours to Jewish organizations and causes. She was the Executive Director of the Oregon Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, served on the Board of the Jewish Education Association, and was co-president of the Melton Jewish Education Board, receiving the Song of Miriam Award in 2014 for her work with that organization.

Garry’s career as a trial lawyer spanned 54 years, during which he served as president of the Oregon State Bar, the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, and the Western Trial Lawyers Association. Garry was appointed by Governor Barbara Roberts as a Judge of the Multnomah County Circuit Court, State of Oregon, in 1991, where he served for 2 years before returning to private practice. Since retiring in 2016, Garry has worked part time as a pro bono lawyer representing clients referred by Oregon Legal Aid Services.

Garry & Judith are the patriarch and matriarch of this Schechter family for a very obvious reason, says Garry:  Every summer their children would return from camp smarter, wanting to be more Jewish, and singing Jewish songs. By far, nothing brings more naches to Garry & Judith than their children and grandchildren, all of whom have had their lives molded and shaped for the better by their summers in Tumwater, Washington, experiencing the joys of Judaism.

The Rabbi Joshua & Goldie Stampfer, z”l, Migdal Or Award

The Migdal Or Award honors Rabbi Joshua & Goldie Stampfers’ legacy and commitment to Jewish life and camping.

A Migdal Or is a beacon of light. The award is given out to remarkable individuals that keep the spark of the Stampfer’s legacy alive and light the way for others to follow.  

Rabbi Joshua & Goldie Stampfer are both the inspiration for the award as well as the first recipients in 2020.

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