Big Dreams for Camp Continue – From Linda to Gary

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Camp has always taught me to find gratitude in difficult moments. We are in one right now of course, because we should be spending this moment together, at camp. We should be celebrating this amazing ceremony surrounded by our campers and staff, so they can see that even when their summers in Utica have ended, they never have to stop giving back to camp, caring about camp, and finding ways to ensure that camp is here for years and years to come. Our Jacobs Camp committee is here to support and lift up the work of our camp. The leadership skills that are developed as a camper and staff member come to life when you serve on the camp committee. As much as I wish that we were all together at camp right now, the gratitude I learned at camp allows me to realize this amazing opportunity we have for our entire community to be part of this event! That’s the Jacobs magic!

As a camp director I have been so lucky to have such loving and dedicated camp committee chairs by my side. I know that Macy and JC would say the same for the camp chairs who partnered with them. Thank you to Julian Allenberg z”l, Jerry Tanenbaum, David Grishman z”l, Steve Orlansky, Earle Schwarz, Rich Lewis z”l, Larry Orlansky, Joel Ashner, and Lou Good.

Thank you to Danny Mansberg who partnered and pushed me during my first year as director. And to Linda Posner, thank you for serving us so graciously the last 5 years. Linda was the vice chair when I became director and was someone I long respected. As a counselor, one of my favorite weeks of the summer was when Mark Posner came to camp as the camp doctor and Linda joined with the family. In today’s world we have a staff member who serves as the staff care and engagement coordinator. Looking back on it – Linda really always served in that role. She was everyone’s mom. We knew she loved us, but she also expected a lot of us, and because she loved and supported us so much, we were able to rise to those expectations. The same could not be more true now. 

Linda it has been an honor to serve with you. Your support and loving pushes have brought this camp to new heights.  I always had your support. Even if we disagreed, your trust and love and support gave me strength. You’re my favorite editor. Your passion for camp is contagious. We strive for excellence and you are there with us – every step of the way.  Even though your term might officially be ending- none of this will change. We still have big dreams for our capital campaign. And while we should be kicking it off now, instead we’ve had to focus our efforts to the critical emergency needs of our camp’s sustainability. I promise you that we will soon be able to talk about securing our camps future for the next 50 years, and we can’t do it without your leadership!

I’ve been through this with Joshua – now it’s your turn. You have to promise to keep in touch. We still have to talk all the time. Well here I am doing it with you too – you’re part of my family and get used to me for holidays and keeping my bedroom available at the house. Nadav and I love y’all!  

Wow I am so blessed. From Danny to Linda to Gary.

Gary! I grew up at Betty and Harry’s house. Chateau is my second home. Pretty incredible from the days of New Years to running camp in these complex times. Things certainly used to be simpler, but I’m so grateful to have you by my side for the next journey of camp. I know that you understand the impact and importance of ensuring that camp is here to bring Jewish joy to our region and beyond. Your grandfather, Bernard, literally built the camp. He was a constant partner to Macy as our camp established our legacy. I’m so happy that Ann is here to see the success of camp and her family’s legacy as you take over as chair. 

Gary, I am so excited to work with you because this is a role you have spent your whole life working towards! From your time as a camper and staff member, it was clear that camp isn’t just a part of your family’s legacy, you are a part of camp’s. You have developed into such a remarkable leader in our community, particularly in your hometown of New Orleans. And the impact you have made helping build NFTY Southern’s Mitzvah Corp project, Camp Dream Street, from a loving summer camp to a sustainable beacon of joy is inspiring. Even before you came on as a camp board member, you were assigned the greatest position of all, camp parent. We know how excited you have been to share the magic of Utica, MS with your boys! Let’s continue to dream big through these complex days. Camp has always been the light in my life and this world has never needed it more. Let’s let the Jacobs magic be the lighter fluid on the biggest bonfire we’ve ever seen. Gary I can’t wait to be on this journey with you!

Anna Herman has been the Director of Jacobs Camp since 2015. On Saturday, June 20, 2020, Linda Posner transferred the Camp Committee chairmanship to Gary Lazarus during a Virtual Havdallah Ceremony.