10 years ago I walked into the gates of Henry S. Jacobs camp a very scared little girl who knew nothing about herself. All I knew was that I was trying to escape the realities of a sick father recently diagnosed with cancer. It took me some time to warm up to the idea of being so far away from home with so many people I didn’t know; but let’s be real, have I ever known a stranger?
Fast forward to November 2, 2019 celebrating Jacobs Camp’s 50th anniversary at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA. It was an incredible night of reuniting, laughing, dancing, and lots of tears. Not because I was sad — although that friendship circle brought back a lot of memories. But because I’m immensely grateful for this place. A place that gave me all of the amazing people that I can now call family. A place that provided me with the most amazing mentors and individuals to look up to. A place that taught me to follow my dreams no matter what stands in the way. The place that brought me to the city of New Orleans. The place that, when I lost my own father, gave me people who never left my side. The place that gave me the Jewish identity I always craved but couldn’t find. But most of all, the place that gave me a home away from home.
I’ve spent a long time thinking of the right words to reflect on why camp is important to me. It’s important because it made me. Camp gave me an identity and a life that I’m so lucky to have. The Jacobs Magic is alive and well and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be a part of it. Please consider making a gift to the Jacobs Magic Fund today so the scared little girls who walk into the HSJ gates for Summer 2020 have the same opportunity I had to build friendships and a strong Jewish life!