In the mid 1950’s, I was a camper at Camp Saratoga, at a 10 day Leadership Institute as I was sent by my congregation, Temple EmanuEl, San Bernardino, CA. Eventually renamed Camp Swig, the Camp was also attended by my three children, Deborah, David and Anne Marcus who were campers, CIT’s and counselors in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
My experience at that Leadership Institute in the 1950’s, was the influence and the guide in my journey in the Reform Jewish world. Because of the sense and focus on community, study, and exploration of my potential as a Jew. I was motivated to become involved in local, national, and international Jewish Reform and Progressive leadership. For over a span of approximately 40 years, I was involved as a congregational President and a Board Member, on the Boards of Regional and North American Union of American Hebrew Congregations/Union for Reform Judaism/Association of Reform Zionist of America and the International Reform Movement, the World Union for Progressive Judaism. I also had the honor of serving on the Camp Swig/Newman Board as well as spear heading the renovation of Camp Swig at Saratoga. After an accidental construction fire at the Saratoga site, the North American Reform Movement decided to integrate Camp Swig into Camp Newman at the Santa Rosa site.
Aside from wonderful experiences, I had the privilege of making many friends locally and world wide. We are indeed fortunate to have our Reform Jewish Camps, along with our congregations and families, that provide the environment, education and enrichment for the strength, quality and perpetuation of Reform Judaism.