26 Nov Schechter celebrates sixty!
Today, over 400 Schechter family and friends gathered together to celebrate the simcha of Camp Solomon Schechter reaching its big 6-0. The gala was an opportunity to honor Camp’s incredibly rich history: From its humble beginnings at Echo Lake and Camp Casey on Whidbey Island to today, Schechter has become a home away from home for tens of thousands of campers, staff members and community volunteers. Hosted at the beautiful Hilton Bellevue, Schechterites from near and far came to share in camp memories, ruach and a delicious kosher meal together.
Alumni, parents, and supporters of Schechter’s strong traditions were able to mingle and reminisce during the cocktail hour, featuring a gorgeous reception for Whidbey Island and Echo Lake alumni and music by the Jazz Pearls. The evening’s program began with a camp-style havdalah ceremony, led by Assistant Director, Josh Niehuas, accompanied by a group of young volunteers comprised of former campers and camp staff.
Following a fun and delicious “Schechter-style” kosher meal, we heard from current Camp Executive Director, Sam Perlin, who welcomed guests with a heartfelt speech about what camp means to him and the larger community. Sam reminded the room full of dedicated Schechter supporters that now is the time to help ensure the future success of the Pacific Northwest’s vibrant Jewish community. Sam’s speech was followed by some lovely words by two camp alumni, Anne Kelly and Davey Friedman. Kelly and Friedman spoke fondly about their times at camp and the strong foundations camp helped them build for perusing meaningful Jewish identities as adults.
Surely the highlight of the evening, Founder Rabbi Stampfer took the stage and shared some incredibly moving words about the role that camp has played for many of us and how important its continuation is to our community. Lastly, current Camp Solomon Schechter Board Vice President, Sarah Glass, talked about camp’s exciting, bright future and all of the possibilities that lie ahead with the introduction of our capital campaign.
“I am so proud to be a part of the leadership of this beautiful place that every summer inspires hundreds of children and young adults to begin their own life-long journeys of building Jewish community. And now, we all have an opportunity to ensure that generations of children and teens can feel the very same way… that they have the chance to immerse themselves in the joy and Judaism that is Camp Solomon Schechter.”
With the launch of the campaign, we are excited to talk with the community about the amazing future ahead of us, from 60 to 120 years of Camp Solomon Schechter.