Dear Jacobs Camp Family:
Mah tov chelkeinu u’mah na’im goraleinu! From the words of our prayer book: “How good is our portion and how beautiful our fortune!”
We at Jacobs Camp are richly blessed…
Blessed by a visionary Camp Director, who leads Jacobs Camp, driven by her words, “Jacobs campers deserve the best.”
Blessed by campers, who participate enthusiastically, in kehilla and t’filah as much as on the fields, the tower, and the lake, on Messy Night or Bunk Night.
Blessed by our year-round leadership team, which supports Anna, recruiting campers and staff in the fall and winter, then building an awesome summer in the springtime.
Blessed by the staff, ever-changing and growing, as campers become Gesher participants, then counselors, then leadership, giving back to the Camp that has sustained and nourished their Jewish life from a young age.
Blessed by parents, whether Jacobs Camp alumni, new to Judaism, or everywhere in between, all of whom lend their most precious possessions, their children, to Jacobs Camp for several weeks each summer, knowing that each one will return with new friends and new skills along with deepened Jewish identity.
Blessed by the Jewish communities of our region, which offer scholarship assistance to assure that the Jacobs Camp experience isn’t out of anybody’s financial reach.
Blessed by our Camp Committee and its Chair, who keep Jacobs Camp growing to exceed the expectations of campers, parents, and communities.
Blessed by rabbis and cantors, educators and youth directors, who spend a week or more at camp each summer to enrich Jewish education and t’filah, whether on the fields or in the Ed Center, the Dining Room or the bunks.
I am blessed to be the rabbi who helps to recruit our Jewish faculty, so that all of our campers get to be with “their” rabbis, cantors, educators, and youth directors at camp, whether those Jewish professionals be from their own congregation or have become “theirs” at Camp. I am also blessed to collaborate with Anna, Nadav, Sarah, and Joshua, all year long, as they work to build an ever-better Jacobs Camp.
Five years ago, had you told me or any of our region’s congregational professionals that Jacobs Camp would have waiting lists before the end of early bird registration, we would not have believed you. Now, we have the “best problem” a camp could have: More kids who want to come than beds to hold them, at least during second session.
Let me propose some solutions, some immediate and others longer term: 1. First session is awesome! Try it! 2. In the years ahead, let’s all come together to build Jacobs Camp’s facilities to the point that they match the natural beauty of Lake Gary and its surroundings. 3. To our young adults: Keep coming back to Camp as staff members, again and again, for the another “best summer of your life,” enabling Jacobs Camp to expand.
As Jacobs Camp prepares for its historic 50th summer, its biggest and best ever, join me in a commitment to honoring our Camp’s awesome past by building an even more spectacular future!
Rabbi Barry Block
Congregation B’nai Israel, Little Rock
Jacobs Camp Faculty Dean