Testimonials

In the words of camp supporters and campaign donors

“All of my experiences at Schechter laid the foundation for my life as an adult. Camp gave me lifelong friendships, self-confidence, and an even greater appreciation for my family. It enriched my spirituality and taught me to appreciate Jewish history, what others have endured in order to practice it, and about how faith can give one the strength and guidance to live a better life. While the ups and downs in life can sometimes knock us off course, camp shines many lights that can help us find our own unique direction.”

Jay Holzman, Trustee, The Holzman Foundation

 

“There were no other Jewish families but mine in the small, rural Washington community where I grew up. Camp Solomon Schechter was my entire Jewish experience, and it defines who I am today. The lessons I learned about Jewish faith, culture and traditions have stayed with me. It’s why I sent my kids to camp and it’s why I’m so committed to seeing that Jewish children, regardless of whether they come from a big city or rural community have, and will continue to have, access to all that camp provides.”

David Schwartz, CSS Board Past President, camper 1975-1980, and counselor 1983-1984

 

“Camp Solomon Schechter remains my home away from home. It’s where I met my closest lifelong friends. It’s where I grew up and learned about Judaism. It is the reason I am a Jewish educator today.”

Amee Huppin Sherer, Executive Director, UW Hillel

 

“When my kids are 30 and they think back about the top three memories of their childhood, I don’t know what two of the three will be, but I know that Camp Solomon Schechter will be on that list. I want my children’s children to have that experience, and my children’s grandchildren. This is literally what the campaign is about: ensuring that one of the West Coast’s most powerful experiences for building Jewish identity and engagement continues to thrive for the next three generations.”

Corey Salka, CSS Board of Directors

 

“My understanding of Jewish life really began at Camp Solomon Schechter. You immersed yourself in it as a camper and felt it all around you every day. My Zionist identity also began at Schechter and continues to this day. It’s how I’ve raised my children and it’s why I’m involved in Jewish life and Jewish communities still today. This is my kids’ happy place. My daughter, Abby – who goes to a Jewish day school and is part of a family that celebrates Shabbat and goes to Israel and is enjoying a very rich Jewish upbringing – comes back from camp each summer and says it is the place where she feels most Jewish. It’s where she really feels like she belongs to this big Jewish community that is loving and supportive. It is so powerful to hear her say that, and I think all three of my kids feel that way about camp.”

Sarah Kahn Glass, CSS Board Co-President, camper, 1976 – 1984

 

“The experiences that you have and the relationships that you build are so intense and so wonderful. Throughout every moment of every day you find that Judaism is playing a role in the best memories that you’re making growing up. You spend your whole life growing up with people, look forward to seeing them every summer, and as you get older you realize that they are becoming relationships that you’ll treasure the rest of your life. As a camper you need to learn how to clear your table and your cabin, play nicely with others, and work with people to achieve common goals. You learn a lot about yourself, too. And then you realize as you become an adult that you have a leg up on the rest of the world because you’ve learned at Schechter to be a leader and a follower, to work collaboratively, to resolve conflicts – skills that are essential for so many different things in your life.”

Eliot Low, Kirkland WA, Schechter camper, 2001 – 2008, and counselor, 2012 – 2014

 

“Three other campers and I went to Israel between our junior and senior years of high school. It was an incredible trip. I was with an entire country of people who knew my traditions and knew my experiences and we got to visit so many places that we’d learned about at Schechter. It was amazing and I can’t wait to go back. I think going to camp and the fact that camp was part of my trip to Israel has made Judaism more important to me and made me feel the most connected to Judaism.”

Casey Kaplowitz, Olympia, WA, Schechter camper and counselor, 2001 – Present

 

“I grew up as the only Jew in a lot of my classes and among my friends. Schechter was a safe space for me to be myself and express my Judaism and make Jewish friends. That did so much to build my Jewish identity and teach me to be proud of my Judaism. I just graduated from college and I know I want to do something that’s meaningful and work directly with people to improve the world in some way. Those values, and the values of building community and being responsible for one another in the Jewish community and in the world, are really rooted in what I learned at camp.”

Tanya Fink, Boise ID, Schechter camper and girls’ side supervisor, 2002 – 2014

 

“Coming to Schechter solidified my Jewish identity and the importance of lifelong friendships. Now, my two children are at camp and I’m seeing them experience the things I did and developing the same love for Schechter that I have. It’s so important that we care for the camp so that it continues to be here for her kids and for all the generations that will benefit from the connections they’ll make.”

Suzie Dadoun, Seattle WA, Schechter camper, 1976 – 1974 

 

“When I look back on camp, what stood out for me wasn’t so much the lake or the activities, it was the friendships and the common values we shared with our friends. Both my wife and I went to Schechter, and while we didn’t meet there, we met through mutual camp friends. This camp is a beautiful pillar in our past, one of the pillars we’ve built our family on. We’re sending our four kids to Schechter now. It’s an investment in their future, and we couldn’t think of a better place to put our money.”

Andrew Altow, Vancouver BC, Schechter camper, 1978 – 1980

 

“Most of my Jewish memories are from my summers at Camp Solomon Schechter. When I’m in synagogue, every word in the prayers and all the songs come back to me from camp. When we celebrate Shabbat in our home, we do it in the same fun ways that we did at Schechter. My kids and I are all really thrilled that we share the same experiences. It’s fun to be in a place that has so many memories for me and see them making their own memories there, too.”

Stephanie Glotman, Vancouver BC, Schechter camper, 1975 – 1979

 

“Schechter was a really safe environment to learn independence. From a very young age, I began to figure out how to be on my own away from my parents, how to get along with all different types of kids, to put together programs and projects, and to teach. I learned to be a leader, as a camper and then as a counselor. And I learned to create a warm and wonderful Jewish environment for my own kids who are now at Schechter, too.”

Jessica Shapiro, Seattle WA, Schechter camper, 1981 – 1989