My name is Carolyn Harari and, when I was 16 I participated in the URJ Crane Lake Camp Machon program (the equivalent of Solelim). I begged the Machon Director to let me shadow the Associate Director around for the day. I wanted to see how the organized chaos happened, learn the secrets of the camp magic, and if I’m being honest I heard the Associate Director had a key to the Canteen. After two weeks of pleading, I finally got the opportunity; from then on I knew I wanted to be a camp director. To say this is a dream job for me couldn’t be more true.
I grew up in Westchester, New York and moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University. Like many, I felt four years in New Orleans was not enough and decided to stay to teach. Camp always has a way of calling me back though and I started as the Camp Director at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center. After getting married with the big second line in New Orleans my husband Alex, goldendoodle Daphne (who is ready for the responsibility of being a camp dog), and I moved to Atlanta. One year without beignets, Mardi Gras, and the small town feeling of New Orleans and we knew it was time to come home. I’ve run camps in Colorado, Atlanta, and New Orleans- what I keep coming back to is the power of overnight camp, so I continued to bring overnight traditions to day camp.
I cannot wait to experience Opening Day, Messy Night, and Maccabiah for the first time. From all the tutus and tailgating pictures I know I will fit right in. I will definitely be requesting a tractor ride from Nadav and screaming my head off as I go down the Wet Willie. (Is one slide faster than the other?) Though what I am most excited about is for the small moments that can only happen at camp. I want to walk to the dining hall with campers who tell me about climbing the rock wall, or how in cooking the recipe completely failed but their bunk laughed the whole time. The weird jokes that happen amongst units and the fast friendships created during a shared chugim, those are the best parts of camp to me.
What a blessing it is to be joining the Jacobs community. Jacobs has such a rich history and commitment to its mission. I am blown away by how connected and supportive the Jacobs alumni are. Campers, staff, alumni, lay leaders, and committee members please call, text, email, or even stop me in the grocery store in New Orleans. I want to meet you and hear your Jacobs Camp story.
More than ever camp is what we need right now. I am ready for summer 2021 and I know you are too. The countdown is on-74 days until we can be together!
Carolyn Harari is the new Associate Director at Henry S. Jacobs Camp. Carolyn believes a dance party can make any day better and thinks chocolate chip cookies should be served with every meal. She can’t wait for her first summer at Jacobs camp.