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Home » Goodbyes, Gratitude, and Giving back: Week 2 of HSJ 50

Shalom Y’all!

Another amazing week at HSJ has come to an end, and this session feels like it’s flying by! Our second Shabbat is already here, and our campers have been up to some incredible stuff. Check out this week’s review video for a glimpse of the magic!  With this being our 50th anniversary summer, we’ve been working hard to make it the best one yet! From Talmidim to Olim, our campers have been running around, laughing out loud, and making friends that will last a lifetime. It’s been truly extraordinary!

Of course, a week ago we celebrated our first Shabbat as a camp. Between our “thanksgiving dinner” and one of the most rocking song sessions in Jacobs’ history, our campers had an impactful and fun night together celebrating the Sabbath.

Since then, all of our units have been busy with their many activities and programs! Our youngest campers in Olim have been enjoying tons of fun and exciting activities. They were active in their sports program with a relay race, experienced a new kind of Jacobs magic with a visiting magician, had a pool party, and HSJ favorite messy night transformed into an Olim exclusive: messy day! As always, our youngest campers shared their enthusiasm, giggles, and silliness with our whole camp community. We were so sad to see them go!

In Garin, our campers had a very busy week! The boys and girls both had a special snack at Anna’s house, campout, bunk night, and experienced some hollywood glam in their movie making program! During the day, these campers are busy with their chugim and puelot, doing everything from cooking to soccer to learning sign language! Garin always brings curiosity and compassion to HSJ, and we can’t share even more Jacob’s magic with these campers.

It was another exciting week in Maskilim as well! They had their gender empowerment program, and learned how to support each other with consideration and compassion for all genders. It was a pertinent way to develop and grow this already amazing kehila kedosha! They also splashed around at their pool party, always a memorable program! In addition, they have been enjoying their speciality camps everyday, and love to spend their meals cheering for “the number 1 unit!”

Talmidim headed off on their trip to Atlanta, which focused on social justice programming — as well as a quick detour to six flags! They spent a day with Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta with Repair the World learning about discrimination and injustice in our incarceration system. These campers demonstrated maturity beyond their years and engaged with the program laudably. In addition, these campers got to enjoy an Atlanta Braves game and stop in Montgomery to tour the Legacy museum, an impactful museum that focuses on the history of slavery and the way its legacy persists in the form of mass incarceration. We couldn’t be more proud of the work they are doing and jealous of the fun they are having!

Finally, we continue to count down the days until our oldest campers in Chalutzim arrive at camp! We know they will bring their leadership, enthusiasm and true passion for HSJ through the gates, and we simply can’t wait.

Our Solelim have been incredibly active as well. They visited the Mississippi Animal Rescue League where they spent the afternoon playing with puppies and kittens, learned about the Jewish value of responsibility, achrayut, by plunging toilets with Rabbi Todd Silverman, and had a relaxing day off full of sushi, shopping, and sleep!  

Our sports department has been active as ever. Between athletic evening programs and specialty camp, our campers are constantly moving and staying active. Everything from soccer to machanayim is available at HSJ! Being active at HSJ is also not exclusive to land as many of our campers enjoy swimming at the pool, and using some of our lake toys!Our newest lake toy, the Rock-It, has quickly been embraced as a new favorite!

Additionally, our arts department remains a major component of camp life. Campers have made their own water-color kits and sketchbooks, learned dances and gymnastics routines, and overall enjoyed being the kooky, collaborative, and creative kids they are. Offering Shabboptionals from portrait drawing to friendship bracelets, and daily peulot like watercolor wonder and nature art, our campers are constantly using their imaginations and ingenuity to create masterpieces!

And as always, Jewish life and education remains a focus here at HSJ. While our Talmidimers used their trip to embrace Tikun Olam in communities far and wide, our Gariners are participating in Kehila and learning lessons about our shared faith. Our older campers in Maskilim and Talmidim also engage in daily Jewish education during specialty camp, with lessons relating to the skills they are working on in these departments. The Specialty Camp Curriculum enables our Maskilim and Talmidim campers to explore the value of Shmirat HaTeva – protecting nature – through interactive and engaging lessons focused through the lens of each Specialty Camp. The curriculum centers on our four specific ways that we can live out Shmirat HaTeva –  Shomrei Adamah, protecting the earth, Ba’al Tashchit – not wasting earth’s natural resources, Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim – caring for animals and Jewish Food Ethics.

As always, we bring fervor and excitement to judaism during song session, sharing our passion and love for Jewish life through music. With this summer’s focus on gratitude, we have been sure to prioritize the intersections between thankfulness and faith, using these values as a catalyst for community improvement and engagement.

With another incredible week at HSJ behind us, we can’t wait to keep making memories and sharing smiles with this beautiful community! As always, we look forward to a wonderful second Shabbat this evening, and a relaxing Sabbath day tomorrow! We hope our amazing Jacobs families at home have one as well!

Shabbat Shalom,


Jacobs Camp Director