In this week’s Torah portion, Emor, God declares the Sabbath a holy day, a day of complete rest (Lev 23:3). At GFC, we like to refer to camp as the “Shabbat of the Year.” When our campers and staff enter our gates, they step into a space where they can be their best selves. Face-to-face relationship building is a priority. We create a safe space to try new things and work on things we love to do.

As we get ready for this Shabbat of the Year, we are counting down the days until summer officially begins at GFC. Our staff is arriving and beginning their training, and camp is physically getting ready. I want to share with you some new things you will see at GFC this summer:

  • Campfire site revamp – The round logs have been replaced by beautiful, comfortable benches. New mulch and woodchips have been laid out, making the site ready for singing and smores. Thank you to one of our regular rental groups for making this happen.

    Imagine of new benches around our campfire site

  • Lake inflatables have arrived! Once the rain stops and the lake subsides (it’s currently past the boat house!), we will install our inflatables and unveil our new Lake Waterpark. We are excited for our campers and staff to have even more places to play in the water!
    image of lake water filled above our boat house!
  • Cabin improvements – In the spirit of beating the heat this summer, some of our cabins will have brand new showers, air conditioners, and/or roofs this summer. We want to make sure that our camp community is comfortable and cool in their living spaces!
  • Security enhancements – In a previous email, I mentioned that we were in the process of undergoing a site assessment. After reviewing the draft with our security consultants, we are beginning to put plans in motion. While our security enhancements will take place over a number of years, I want to share with you what is happening now.  When our 1st session campers arrive, they will notice a new security fence in the process of being installed, replacing part of our property line fencing. We are also installing more cameras and adding a Summer Security Coordinator to our summer security personnel. As usual, we work with off-duty sheriff’s officers to provide security for our camp community 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week throughout the summer.

This summer, we are excited to expand our opportunities for visitors to experience the magic of GFC. In addition to 2 visitor Shabbatot, Lisa Smith, our development director, is coordinating times for donors, both current and potential, to visit camp. Be in touch with Lisa directly about donor visits at Registration information for visitor Shabbatot coming soon!

  • Session 1: Friday, June 28
  • Session 2: Friday, July 26

We want our campers, staff, and visitors to feel the love, care, and family that is GFC. As we count down the days to camp, our hearts are in the east as we pray for peace and the return of the hostages taken on October 7th. We look forward to welcoming campers and staff from throughout North America, Israel, and around the world to GFC in the coming days and weeks. We welcome this Shabbat as we prepare for our Shabbat of the year and can’t wait to welcome you home!


Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Erin