After 50 years of magic-making, we can take pride in the fact that Jacobs Camp has thrived to an extent that surely exceeds the fondest hopes of the founding leaders and the congregations throughout our region who raised their “fair share” to ensure that the dream would become a reality. The miracle of the Camp lies in the sustained dedication that it has fostered among its camper, staff, and parent alumni. Once the goal of securing a summer camp for Jewish children of the Deep South was reached, it grew into something much bigger: a community of life-long friends and families who consider this special place in Utica Mississippi to be a centerpiece of their lives.
My first summer at Camp (apart from the “SoFTY Camp” sessions that some will remember) was in 1975, when I was a C.I.T. Over the years I was a counselor, a unit head, and the Kibbutz Director, and I later served on the Camp Committee and as its Chair. My fondest Camp memory is not event-specific but instead is the sense of comfort that the place has always seemed to provide organically, the feeling that we all know as we roll through that gate off Morrison Road. I am most happy that my immediate and extended family all have shared and continue to share in the miracle that is Jacobs Camp.
Larry Orlansky served as the Chair of the Camp Committee from 2001-2003. He lives with his wife, Naomi, in New Orleans, LA.