I have been around Jewish summer camp my entire life. My wife, Shannon, has not. In 2019, I brought Shannon to GFC for the first time, and this summer, I have the pleasure of bringing my daughter as well. I am so thrilled to be able to share my love of Jewish camping with my family, passing what I feel so passionate about to the next generation.
This summer, I am Rosh T’filah at Greene Family Camp. I have been wrestling with how to provide meaningful and engaging t’filah experiences for all our campers and staff at GFC for months. In the end, I think the most important thing is to try to give every person who enters GFC this summer a wide array of options for t’filah during their time here: traditional, thoughtful, active, artistic. By providing a range of experiences, I hope everyone will return home at the end of the summer feeling a deep connection to at least one Jewish experience on camp – and hopefully more.
At camp, t’filah sometimes falls by the side as something extra that exists only to make Jewish camp feel more Jewish. This summer, we can change our perception of t’filah, recognizing it as something that really connects us to camp and to each other. Yes, t’filah is a way for us to feel Jewish, but it is also a way for us to feel closer to ourselves and our community and to think about what means the most to us. Not every camper will be able to relate to every t’filah we have, but through t’filah, we can add something magical to every camper’s experience this summer.
As we get ready for camp this summer, we can all make blessings out of the small things, appreciate each other a little more, and take a moment to breathe. This is what camp, and t’filah, are all about.
Leonard Cohn, Rosh T’filah