The shock has subsided. We live with the reality that there will be no Jacobs Magic this summer, at least not the way it has been experienced for the past 50 summers. Our recent camp reunion in New Orleans demonstrated that the times spent at Jacobs have shaped a multitude of lives – for some, their own, for others like me, the lives of our children and now our grandchildren. So it’s no wonder that the tears flowed freely, and for some of us unexpectedly, when we received confirmation of what we knew was the only responsible decision for URJ camps.
Since then, I’ve converted my sadness for my grandchildren’s summer without camp to a mission: I must work to preserve the camp that gave Warren, Gilbert, and Jordan the happiest summers of their young lives, the camp that provided them with community and independence and joy in living Jewishly every day. Jacobs Camp simply must be there in the future for their children, 6 of whom would have been campers this summer.
Bill and I didn’t have to talk long before deciding that this is the year to support Jacobs with a contribution that is much greater than in previous years. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need fewer material possessions. And certainly, as we stay at home every day, and especially as we are unable to travel to see our children and grandchildren, we are not spending as much even on the things we do put a high value on. Those savings mean that we can do more to support the institutions and organizations that matter the most to us, and Jacobs Camp is at the very top of our list.
We know that digging deeper into our pockets allows us to leave a legacy to our grandchildren, not to their bank accounts, but to their spirits. With our help Jacobs will continue to nurture them and shape their Jewish lives. Then, when times are tough, as they are this year, they will be able to withdraw from their own memory banks, and face the future with resiliency and hope. Despite COVID-19, the Jacobs Magic is alive and well. Please help us sustain it for all the kids who are impacted forever by that magic.
Please join me in making a meaningful donation to the Jacobs Camp Sustainability Fund. Checks can be sent to Jacobs Camp at 3863 Morrison Rd. Utica, MS 39175, and if you would like to make a donation of appreciated stock, please email Jacob Fijman, Development Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helaine Braunig and her husband Bill, from Shreveport, are parents to HSJ alumni Warren, Gilbert, and Jordan Braunig and grandparents to HSJ campers Max, Billy, Ike, Toby, and Levi, plus future campers Asa, Shira and Ezra. Helaine also serves as a member of the Jacobs Camp Committee.