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L’dor V’dor at Henry S. Jacobs Camp

Cantor Joel Colman



One of the great joys in having a long tenure as cantor at Temple Sinai in New Orleans for over 23 years, is celebrating wonderful life-cycle events such as weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and so much more.  Coming to Henry S. Jacobs camp as faculty since 1999 has always been a highlight of my summer.  The fact that Henry S. Jacobs also served as the Executive Director & Organist at Temple Sinai has strengthened that connection for me.

When I was on faculty for this first week of first session the other week, I could not help but notice that one of the young campers, Azalea Rufo, 8 years old was having the time of her life at camp.  I mentioned to Anna Herman, our wonderful camp director that I officiated at Azalea’s parents wedding almost ten years ago.  Anna immediately commented that I should write a blog about that fact, and so here it is.

It gives me great delight to see a camper like Azalea, making new friends, learning new skills, singing Jewish songs and celebrating Shabbat at Jacobs camp, especially when I can remember officiating at her mom and dad’s wedding.  You can see a delightful and happy wedding ceremony photograph with Rachel and Matt Rufo that took place on October 14, 2012.

As I thought more about this, I realized that there is a counselor at camp, a long time Jacobs Camp attendee, Hanni Gerowin, who just graduated from Ben Franklin High School here in New Orleans, whose parents Karoline and Sean, got married at Temple Sinai. I co-officiated with Rabbi Cohn, at their wedding almost 20 years ago. Her younger brother Banks, another Jacobs camper, is currently on NFTY’s trip to Israel.  And checking my old picture files on my hard drive, I found a picture of Hanni’s mom, Karoline wearing her beautiful wedding dress just minutes away from marrying Sean.

We all know that Jacobs camp has been around long enough to see campers from decades ago, now having their own children and grandchildren at Jacobs camp.  What a legacy HSJ has become!  

L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation, our Henry S. Jacobs continues to always celebrate the past, but is always striving for new ways to bring an amazing summer experience for 2022 and beyond.

About the Author

Cantor Joel Colman

Joel Colman is the cantor at Temple Sinai in New Orleans. His first summer working as staff at a Jewish residential camp began in 1975 at Camp Tamarack in Ortonville, Michigan.