2024 Schechter Spark | Honorees
Honoring Lifelong Friendships
Historically, Camp Solomon Schechter has awarded the Migdal Or Award to honor remarkable individuals whose support provides a spark of light that guides the way for others to follow. Rabbi Joshua & Goldie Stampfer (z’l) were not only the inspiration for the award, but also the first recipients in 2020. As part of our 70th Anniversary Celebration, Schechter Spark is becoming an in-person event this year. In place of awarding a single Migdal Or Award on this special anniversary circumstance, we are honoring four lifelong relationships built at Camp Solomon Schechter that reflect Rabbi Joshua & Goldie Stampfer’s legacy, virtue, and commitment to Jewish life and camping.
Lisa & Andrew Altow
Lisa and Andrew have a strong connection to camp, which has played a pivotal role in their lives. While they were both campers at Schechter, they met instead at a party hosted by a friend’s father, who was hoping to find a nice Jewish girl for his son. However, Lisa and Andrew ended up falling in love and eventually got married. The Altows have four children who have all attended camp and developed a strong Jewish identity. They believe in the importance of instilling a sense of Jewish identity early on, as it helps navigate challenges like anti-Semitism and provides a positive self-identity. Camp has been a significant part of their lives, shaping their values and fostering lasting friendships within the Jewish community. Lisa and Andrew’s connection to camp has been a thread woven throughout their entire lives. The friendships they formed at camp have endured for over 30 years. Lisa and Andrew cherish the memories and traditions associated with camp, recognizing its impact on their lives and the lives of their children.
Eva Corets, Rochelle Huppin, Wendy Rosen, and Karen Twain
Eva Corets, Rochelle Huppin, Wendy Rosen, and Karen Twain (originally from Bellevue, Spokane, Mercer Island, and Portland, respectively) connected in the early 1970’s at Camp Solomon Schechter, and have been friends for the 50 years since then! Together they have traveled to Israel and Europe, as well as within the states to visit each other. Eva, Rochelle, Wendy, and Karen have been together through the ups and downs of life, from weddings, births of children, B’nai Mitzvot, and graduation ceremonies to cancer diagnoses, job stress, family issues, and funerals. They are each other’s “first calls” to share exciting news or to seek guidance and comfort when tough situations arise. The friendship and love go deep.
Melissa & Matt Korch
They do not remember the exact day they met, but as young Jews in the Pacific Northwest, Melissa and Matt crossed paths as campers and at USY events in high school. They knew of each other as camp counselors, but first connected as boys’ and girls’ side supervisors during the summer of 2007, and have been together ever since. Camp has laid the foundation of their relationship, and has continued to influence them at every step along the way. From career paths, to choosing the members of their wedding party, to the bedtime songs they sing to their kids, the values and lessons learned at camp have guided their choices. Now with young children, and in light of the current situation in Israel and on college campuses, Melissa and Matt both believe that Jewish identity and summer camp are more important than ever. Camp has always been the place where they have felt most comfortable and safe being Jewish, and it has served as one of their earliest connections to Israel.
Yvonne Rosenberg and Sharon Stern
Yvonne Rosenberg and Sharon Stern met in the early 1960’s, when Camp Solomon Schechter was located at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island, and serviced fewer than 90 campers per session. The girls lived upstairs in the rooms above the Chadar Ha Ochel, and knew each other well. At the end of summer, Yvonne and Sharon wrote letters back and forth before re-meeting in Vancouver in 1975 and starting families at the same time. Yvonne and Sharon raised their children like cousins, and even after Sharon moved back to Portland, she and Yvonne stayed close, and the kids all attended camp together. More recently, their grandchildren have cemented the bond between Sharon and Yvonne through being at camp together during Family Camp. Camp Solomon Schechter has blessed them with a lifetime of shared memories, a very dear friendship, and a special connection spanning three generations.