I have been connected to the Camp on many levels over a span of 50+ year: I was President of SoFTY (now NFTY, Southern Region) and held a shovel when we broke ground for the first edition of the Camp born from the determination of Jewish leaders and funded by contributions from SoFTY and similarly modest gifts from the community such as those in honor of Steve’s Bar Mitzvah. I then went onto serve as a counselor, Kibbutz Director, Assistant Director and, after I grew up, Camp Chair, parent of campers and grandparent of campers.
The miracle of Jacobs Camp is that my tale is a familiar one, shared and replicated by many, many people shaped by the Camp in their formative years in profound ways that keep them connected with Camp throughout their lives. Despite my dimming memory, I can recall with great fondness, many things that happened within the gates. But my most abiding memory is from the road trip to Camp for year two of my daughter, Anna’s, camper career, when she turned to me and said with the earnest innocence of a nine (9) year old: “Daddy, I have been waiting for this day all year.” May the eternal light of Jacobs Camp never dim.
Earle Schwarz served as the Chair of the Camp Committee from 1991-1997. Earle and his wife, Patricia, live in Memphis, TN.