A Summer of Kehilla – a campaign update

21 Sep A Summer of Kehilla – a campaign update

It’s about SO MUCH MORE than buildings . . . We’re building a community!

To sum up the summer in one word, it would be kehilla (community), with all of the joys, celebrations, challenges and sorrow that comes with being part of a close-knit kehilla.

As I mentioned in my last update, the summer started off with our Groundbreaking Ceremony.  About 100 people joined us to celebrate this auspicious occasion, including several members of local government. It was remarkable to reach this milestone in the campaign and mark the beginning of turning our dreams into a “brick and mortar” reality.

On August 1st, the Sephardic Adventure Camp (SAC), an Orthodox camp from Washington State, was evacuated from their campsite in eastern Washington due to a forest fire. Consistent with our Jewish value of hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests), Schechter met this challenge and hosted SAC with less than 72 hours of preparation time to accommodate nearly double the number of people we had planned for that session! It was bashert (meant to be) that we had enough beds to house everyone. This was exciting and challenging for Schechter, but we believed in our hearts that this was the right thing to do. I am still amazed that things went as smoothly as they did with all of us living in such close quarters and sharing our facility for the last two weeks of camp. This experience also highlighted the importance of this project and our need for an expanded Chadar Ochel (dining hall) and additional programming spaces, like the planned Merkaz and Welcome Center.

We were then saddened by the loss of our beloved Goldie Stampfer, z”l, who passed away on Sunday, August 14th.  At her funeral, her commitment to Camp Solomon Schechter was made abundantly clear. Many who spoke mentioned this, including Rabbi Joshua Stampfer who said, “Her attention and concern (for Camp Solomon Schechter) was as intense as it was for her own children. She always referred to (Schechter) as her 6th child.” He went on to say that Goldie was the real founder of camp: he was just the idea man; she was the one who made sure camp happened every day, every year, for well over 25 years.

In order to ensure that Goldie’s memory lives on at camp, the Board of Directors has committed $375,000 toward the goal of re-dedicating the Dining Room in the Chadar Ochel to her memory and are asking the community to match this.  If you would like to make an additional commitment to the campaign in memory of Goldie, please contact us (development@campschechter.org or 206.447.1967).  Every new dollar donated will be matched by both the Schechter Board Match and the Samis Foundation Challenge Match.

Our summer closed with a beautiful sight: The arrival of a construction crew, backhoe and trucks to begin the first stage of construction . . . extending the city sewer system to our front gate. Our engineers and crew will lengthen the sewer 3,000 ft. and, in one section, must dig a 22 ft. deep trench.  This work will be followed by the construction of the remote storage area near the front gate and beginning to lay the new utility lines. This infrastructure work will allow us to efficiently deconstruct and build the new Chadar Ochel and install new utilities throughout camp in the ten short months between summer camp 2017 and 2018.

Of course, none of this would be possible without YOU, our generous and committed community. Thank you so much for being an instrumental part of building an even better camp to serve our Pacific Northwest Jewish community for generations to come.

What can you do to ensure the continued success of this campaign?

  • Be a connector: Introduce us to other potential donors; host a Schechter capital campaign party or meeting.
  • Act as a camp ambassador: Share your excitement for the project with your friends, in person and on social media, and tell them why you supported the campaign.
  • Renew your commitment: With the Schechter Board Match to rededicate the Dining Room in memory of Goldie Stampfer, z”l, and the Samis Foundation Challenge Match, every new dollar can be tripled!

Camp Solomon Schechter belongs to the entire community, and now is the time to get everyone involved in building our future. Thank you for your continued support.

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