by Rabbi Allie Fischman, Camp Director

This week’s Torah portion, Kedoshim in the book of Leviticus, teaches us about a variety of important mitzvot. Right at the beginning is the commandment to honor one’s parents. Reading the Torah portion this week, I just kept coming back to this first mitzvah of the portion because every summer, we teach our counselors that one of the most important pieces of framing for their roles is to think of themselves as a surrogate parent to every one of their campers during their stay with us.

Camp counselors are so much more than just college students working a summer job … they ensure safety, they create comfort and they are the unconditional-loving adult for the over 850 children and teens that will spend time at camp. They offer guidance and support, while encouraging campers to grow and stretch beyond what they think is possible. They show our campers that being Jewish and engaging in a life full of Jewish values is important by role modeling their continued involvement in camp, their Hillel, synagogues, youth group, and other areas of Jewish life.

In this way, we see our staff members grow, learn, and begin to understand the true value and immense responsibility that comes with parenthood. They begin to understand the magnitude of being responsible for other peoples’ lives and the weightiness of their role in the summer. And we are so proud of these young adults for shouldering this immense responsibility with joy, compassion and love.

This Shabbat and this weekend, we offer a l’chaim to all folks who care for kids and teens – to all the amazing adults in our childrens’ lives who lift them up, encourage their growth, and create spaces of safety, love, and comfort. Shabbat shalom!