1st Night Memories – Contributions to Something Called C.A.S.T.

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My earliest memory related to Jacobs Camp dates to 1968, when my Bar Mitzvah gifts included a large number of white cards announcing that contributions in my honor had been made to something called CAST (Camp Association of Southern Temples). I confess that I had neither the maturity nor the foresight to appreciate the value of those gifts, which helped bring into existence the cherished institution that has been so important to me and my family for the past half-century.
CAST contributions throughout our region were the result of a grassroots movement that, to say the least, was met with much skepticism by the national leadership of Reform Judaism. Since that time the Camp has overcome long odds not only in its creation, but also in meeting later challenges such as the changing demographics of the Jewish South and, currently, the pandemic that forced the closing of the Camp last summer. Each new test has been met by a resolute community which has refused to allow its dream to be extinguished. Our Camp is indeed a modern miracle with which even the Maccabees would be impressed.
Steve Orlansky served as the Chair of the Camp Committee from 1987-1991. Steve and his wife, Beth, live in Jackson, MS.