Last Wednesday, November 22, our staff, campers, friends, alumni, and supporters stood on the soil of Camp Newman’s Santa Rosa home and celebrated a BIG event: the groundbreaking of our very first building since the Tubbs Fire – the 6 Points Community Center.
This is a monumental milestone in our return to Porter Creek, and it couldn’t have happened without the support that extends way beyond our camp gates – from our neighbors, to our city, county and state officials, to the governor’s office, to both Jewish Federations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and many, many more. It’s only been two years since the Tubbs Fire, and the fact that we’re here now, building this community center, is a testament to the number of friends, supporters, and organizations who have helped us get here. And this is just the beginning. Camp Newman is coming back – stronger and better than ever before.
See below to read the inspiring words Rabbi Allie Fischman spoke at the event, along with some fun photos. Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Rabbi Allie’s Words from the Groundbreaking Celebration
We stand here today with reminders of the Tubbs Fire all around us. And yet, I still can hear the reminders of what this sacred and holy space was before the fire. The sounds, feelings, and joy come through loud and clear:
…the laughter and giggles of hundreds of children
…learning about what it means to be their authentic selves
…the moment that a camper realizes a new lifelong passion
…the (metaphorical) fire being lit in the belly of a teen to become a warrior for social justice
…the sounds of the men’s choir
…the healing of the participants who came to grieve and grow
…the crackles of campfires and the surge of singing
…and communities strengthening one another, holding each other up, and being the place that so many call home.
This day is momentous. The impact that Camp Newman has on individuals –whether they attend a summer session, a weekend retreat with our teen youth group, or another program enjoying this beautiful nature-filled haven – that impact lasts a lifetime and sits deep within so many of us. This place is a safe space. A happy place. A joy-filled arena where growth and fulfillment fill every corner and every crevice. This is a sacred and holy space.
I’m touched to look around and see this important gathering of people – some who have (not quite yet) experienced the magic and love that fills these acres throughout the year, some who took their first steps on these grounds, wed the love of their life here, or planned summer and weekend experiences built to touch lives, impact hearts, change minds, and affect growth.
I can still hear the sounds that filled the air here and my heart is bursting to hear those sound again soon. Because of the work of so many of you here today, those sounds will once again fill this space, renewing this place as sacred and holy ground.
–Rabbi Allie Fischman, Camp Director