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Where Strangers Become Friends, and Friendships Last Forever

Truer words have never been spoken, which was evident on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Memphis, TN for an alumni reunion. While it was not the Utica woods, a group of former campers, staff, and even some former parents came together for that Jacobs magic. Some of us were long time friends, some of us made new connections, and some of us loved reuniting with staff members from our childhood. The common thread was the same – it does not matter your connection to Jacobs camp, nor does it matter how long it has been since you have been away (or “out of the loop”), our memories and lifelong impact from our summers at HSJ are just as strong as they were from our days of dipping Puckeroo Pops into our cokes from the Coke Shack.

When I say that 90% of our conversations were related to camp, I am not exaggerating. As someone who gets a tad anxious going to adult social events, there was comfort in laughing over experiences shared across years. Our ages spanned over a few decades, but nobody would have known if they looked at our group. Stories that were told often led to a, “Well, when we planned that for you (as a camper), that was not how it was supposed to go down…” Naturally, every story led to thunderous laughs all around!

I know we always say, “L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation,” but our Memphis reunion really defined that expression. Taking the time from our busy lives – at each generation of alumni – to connect with and reminisce about our memories, and also talk about how this influences the next generation of camper and staff member, is what keeps the Jacobs Magic going!

About the Author

Edie Price Efron.

Edie (Price) Efron spent 8 summers with Jacobs camp, both as camper, Israel traveler, and staff member. She and her husband, Eric (a newly minted HSJ fan), have 3 children: Sophie Laine (Garin), Blake (Kochavim), and Lucy (future camper). Edie’s favorite camp things are camp birthdays, bunk night, song session, Avodah 1997, and chicken patty sandwiches.


Jacobs Camp Magic

Jacobs Camp Magic

Jacobs Camp Magic Leading up to my first summer as a camper at Jacobs Camp, I was nervous and fearful of what a summer without my family would look like, yet I was thrilled to begin my journey as a camper at Jacobs Camp. After my first year as a Maskilim 1 camper in...