Our total vision has two phases. The first phase will bring our facility fully back online, enabling us to deliver on our mission (providing original, innovative year-round programming and retreats for people of all ages and stages of life along with an excellent summer camp) in a financially sustainable way. The proposed physical and operational overhaul and expansion of our campus and programs will allow us to serve 20,000 people annually, increase the number of groups we can host each year from 50 to 90+, and serve multiple groups onsite simultaneously. These cumulative increases will both secure the long-term financial sustainability and ensure greater financial flexibility so that we can ultimately help more people experience the joy of Judaism in an immersive setting.
In the aftermath of the fire, we established a Master Plan Task Force to develop a plan for rebuilding that would be safe while, at the same time, provide physical facilities to reach our bigger dream with mission excellence. This Task Force was comprised of community leaders and camp community members with expertise in a variety of fields and was led by co-chairs Michelle Tandowsky (chair of the URJ Camp Newman Board) and Rabbi Doug Kahn. Using the following agreed-upon guiding principles, the team worked to prioritize what should be featured on the final master plan:
- Environmental and safety issues must enter into every decision.
- There should be emphasis on shade and ADA accessibility everywhere.
- Community-building is of high value to us.
- We need to pay as much attention to outdoor spaces as to indoor spaces.
- Year-round needs should guide design, but all spaces must provide enough flexibility to deliver programmatic excellence for summer camp and respect camp legacy.
- We will strive to return to operations at mission excellence as quickly as possible, while balancing cost vs. perfection.
- We must plan for long-term vision and sustainability.