By Loal C. Isaacs, Director of New Initiatives

Last week our URJ Camp Newman community felt a great loss. This week we felt a completely different loss. We are at a loss for words.

The overwhelming deluge of love, compassion and support has left us speechless.

A poem from a second grader, the proceeds from a campers lemonade stand, a letter from a Kindergartner oozing with limitless love and hope began coming in within an hour of the news breaking.  Then waves of messages endlessly flooded into our phones, inboxes and front doors from all members of our local, national and international Newman Family. Messages of love from current campers, alumni, camp parents, Rabbis, educators, community partners, camp directors, vendors, and the list goes on and on. Each caring word, warm embrace, soulful song dedication, memorable post, and prolonged hand-hold, was a reminder of the power of camp and the power of our community of faith.

The barriers of distance and time faded away, and our Camp Newman Family was all in one place; all together as one. We were inspired and humbled to feel that unity. And as Shabbat arrives this week, we finally found our words, and there is only one thing we can say:  Thank you.

The following is just a small sampling of ways our community has shown their support:

Attendees posted these at the concert in honor of Camp Newman hosted by Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco Oct 14th

Attendees posted these at the concert in honor of Camp Newman hosted by Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco Oct 14th

I love Camp Newman with all my heart, so lets get together and fill our hearts with love and joy and memories like art. It burned down by a fire but we still admire whats left. It barely stands today but most of all, we still honor God.

NFTY Missouri Valley and NFTY Ohio Valley have teamed up to raise money for Camp Newman in a purely NFTY way – a Penny War!

These 4th grade campers turned their sadness about the wildfires destruction into a fundraiser for those impacted. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!


Upon hearing news about camp, Avi Shapero immediately made a Go Fund Me – and raised over $7K for camp!

Our team was visited by Israeli Consul General Shlomi Kofman, on his way to visit Congregation Shomrei Torah and others impacted by the wildfires

Our team thank you photo to Camp Tawonga for bringing us lunch all week!

One of many spontaneous camp community gatherings and fundraisers – this one in San Francisco