Wise Times Fall 2022

Page 1

Fall 2022


A Brighter, Kinder Community

Latkes, sour cream, applesauce, chocolate gelt, doughnuts…yum!

Who doesn’t love Chanukah? Fun fact: the word Chanukah is short for the Hebrew phrase chanukat ha-bayit meaning “dedication of the house.” This refers to the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after they liberated Jerusalem from the Greeks in ancient times. We celebrate their victory and our freedom of religion by lighting the Chanukah menorah and eating treats. We also share the idea of light overcoming darkness and injustice in our world. I wonder: what if Chanukah happened during camp? I think we’d need a massive menorah!

At Camp Wise, we witness light each day–the joy in a camper’s eyes, the brilliance of the summer sun, the sparks of a campfire and, most of all, the unique gifts we each bring to the camp community. For years, our tradition of “village candle” exudes the metaphor of light. Village

Give The Everlasting Gift of Camp This Chanukah.

Register by Dec 31 and your camper will get a limited edition Camp Wise Shalom Hoodie!

Already registered? We have you covered too. Refer a friend who registers by Dec 31 and you will get a hoodie.

Candle is given to a camper who has carried the positive values of the Camp Wise community. They’ve demonstrated kindness and leadership, overcome challenges, brought people together and helped the community become the Home of Happiness. But just as lighting only one candle would fall short of celebrating the fullness of the Chanukah miracle, choosing only one village candle at the end of the session seems to underrepresent the many kindnesses our campers do for one another each day.

As Camp Wise moves into an era of growth and envisioning the future of our physical space, we are ever focused on enriching the experience of being a camper and staff member. In Summer 2023, we will build upon the values represented by the village candle honor by adding a daily framework that reinforces positive behaviors and choices. Intentionally and publicly we plan to celebrate the small actions of kindness among campers and staff each day. Many sparks together become a brilliant light of community.

Camp Wise Awarded Mental Health Grant

Increasing our Reach for Camper Care

Camp Wise has been awarded a $36,000 grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Yedid Nefesh initiative for mental, emotional, social and spiritual health (MESSH) at camp. This grant is generously funded by The Marcus Foundation.

In an initiative spearheaded by Community Care Manager Amy Kalk and Director Dan Utley, Camp Wise will receive funding over four years to develop a new leadership track in our seasonal staff focused specifically on camper care. Third-year camp staff, who may already apply to be programmers or specialist supervisors, may now apply to be camper care specialists for specific age groups. In addition to deepening our staff capabilities, the grant supports wellness activities and mental health “zen” space for staff, increased marketing and additional budget for staff training.

Table of Contents

1 camp wise news | fall 2022
| Volume 14, No. 3
Highlights .............................................. 2
Says...................................................... 3 New Adventure Ropes
4 Alumni Spotlight 5 Staff Scholarships 5 Life Cycle Events 6
7 Summer Programs ................... back page
Todah Rabah
Maxine Middleton.......................................
continued on page 3


This past summer, our Noar campers split up into two groups (8th and 9th graders) for overnight trips out of camp.

Noar Eighth Grade Trip Our eighth graders headed south for some outdoor adventures. Stops included ziplining and canoeing in Hocking Hills and camping in tents at the Hocking Hills Campground. This helped our campers develop new outdoor adventures and improve on canoeing skills they learned at camp. Campers were also able to challenge themselves on a multi-line ziplining course. Finally, while in Hocking Hills, all 50+ campers and staff also experienced the joy of canoeing on the Hocking River.

The trip highlight was tent camping overnight night in Hocking Hills. Everyone contributed to setting up tents, cooking dinner and cleaning up – again, working to hone skills they either learned in CW’s Teva Chug or on camp overnights with the Teva staff. The meal ended with the traditional s’mores over a camp fire.

The following morning Noar 8th grade was back on the road, returning to camp for a much deserved ice cream treat.

Noar Ninth Grade Trip In an adventurous day trip campers headed northwest to PutIn-Bay where they too were able to put their kayak and canoe skills to the test.

Following their water adventure, the group settled down at South Bass Island State Park for lunch from Cameo’s Pizza followed by games on the beach. Their trip concluded at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center where each person could choose to explore the Butterfly House or challenge a cabin mate to mini golf.


Camp Wise Solel 2022 was the most rewarding experience and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. The family we formed attending camp cannot be replaced. On trips to Cincinnati, Louisville and Pittsburgh we remained a family. These trips added to the special summer experience at Camp Wise and impacted us in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

The trips to Cincinnati and Louisville were a new surprise. As soon as we got on the bus, we received the itineraries for the destination. The first stop was the Cincinnati Zoo.

We split up into groups and most of us went straight for the food. The animals like the gorillas, monkeys, giraffes and kangaroos were so cool to see.

Next on the list was the fan favorite Jungle Jim’s, where we did a scavenger hunt that took us inside a grocery story with food from all over the world. We enjoyed time exploring and getting all the food we wanted to eat before we had to return to camp.

The next morning we took a hike and visited Mammoth Cave. We had to duck and squeeze between cold rocks that were over 100 feet below the ground. Before heading back to camp, we couldn’t miss delicious ice

cream at Graeters in Cincinnati.

We all got to bond on the long bus rides and play games in the temples and JCCs where we stayed overnight. This trip was one of the most memorable experiences at camp.

Pittsburgh: We started our fun trip with a bus ride, which may sound boring but to us is one of the best parts. We all talked and watched funny movies for hours.

Before heading downtown, we stopped at Repair the World to do a community service project. We helped with planting seeds, moving rocks and painting to help with the building of their garden.

Once downtown, we rode an incline rail with the most gorgeous scenery and took photos. We ended the night at Rita’s Italian Ice, which was delicious. We spent the night at Temple Sinai and played card games and talked through the night.

The next morning we toured Falling Water, a unique mansion with insane architecture. We went on an official tour and learned about the history and Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect who created the home for the Kaufmann family.

Arguably our favorite part was the group challenge at Ohiopyle white water rafting. It was thrilling and awesome. We ended the night with pizza and then a bus ride home. Pittsburgh brought all of Solel even closer together.

Overall, these experiences in Solel all added up to be the best year of camp. The relationships we formed will always remain. We formed the closest bonds that we didn’t think were possible and we can’t wait for ILS to continue the fun.

Thank you Camp Wise for these memorable trips.

camp wise news | fall 2022 2 LEAVING ON A CW BUS 2022 Trip Highlights
Trip II Solel Solel on the road

Letting Our Light Shine in Darker Moments

Chanukah, our Festival of Lights, is near. Let’s think for a moment about some expressions we use often involving light. When, for example, we are going through a particularly long difficult period but the end is nearing we say, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.” When we begin

to understand something new, we say, “We can see the light.” And when someone else helps us to understand something, they “shed light on the matter.” We say those we love are the “lights of our lives.” Their presence makes our lives brighter. These expressions teach us that we, like the menorah glowing on a dark winter night, each have the capacity to shine our own light and to bring light to others and to the world. We each have the power to make the world better through our words and our deeds and, like one flame lighting another, each act of kindness sparks another.

Milestone Summers

For the past three summers, we have focused on our core values of B’tzelem elohim (being created in God’s image), Tikkun Olam (repairing our world) and K’hilah (living in community). Through these values our campers and staff have learned how to let their own light shine, how to celebrate the light in others, how to use their light to make the world more just, decent, safer and more whole, and how to lean on each other in moments of darkness. Wishing all our families a bright and joyous Chanukah and may it inspire you to shine.

While this initiative is still under development, we envision a daily “be the light” moment or “Live Wise” awards that name and celebrate positive actions: helping a friend in need, sharing, being an up-stander, doing an unprompted action of kindness, and more. Campers will receive bracelets or pins related to our core values, connecting their good choices with the pillars of what it means to create the Home of Happiness.

We all know too well the rise of bullying and harassment of all kinds in our society and it’s naïve to think that our camp villages are immune from external trends. The awesome community of Camp Wise requires everyone’s vigilance and dedication to prioritize kindness, inclusion, friendship and compassion for one another as B’tzelem Elohim, people made in the image of our Creator.

It takes many small flames together to make a fire large enough to overcome darkness. Just as the practice of lighting candles each evening of Chanukah helps us remember this truth, daily recognition of kindness and mentschlekite at camp will help these values reign true at our beloved Home of Happiness. Live wise, be the light – this Chanukah and always.

camp wise news | fall 2022 3
Ellie Richards Maddie Rosenblitt Katie Rusnak Rylie Sharp Gabe Perla Maya Cohen Leia Withee
Amy (Filzer) Kalk
Raleigh Arnopolin Shayna Caruso Adam Hollander Abe Katz Simon Mendelsohn Sarah Namrow Josh Newman Adam Kling Irene Young Shana Nyer Josh Levy Message from Rabbi Dan, cont.

It’s Not The Destination. It’s the Climb.

There are New Adventures Coming to Camp Wise Summer 2023

Help us Reach New Heights

Camp Wise is building a new adventures ropes course on our property in Chardon, Ohio. A cornerstone of the Camp Wise experience, our ropes course allows campers to challenge themselves, take risks, gain confidence and be more independent.

Help us complete this significant, immediate camp upgrade in time for summer 2023. With your support, campers of all ages will reach higher, grow stronger and have more fun. Be a part of the climb and make your permanent mark on this ropes course that will stand for years to come.

Donations will be matched $1 for every $2 raised by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Every Dollar Makes a Difference.

$50 – one climbing harness, which all campers use when climbing

$180 – one belay device for descending the climbing tower

$360 – two full-body harnesses for extra secure climbing adventures

$500 – climbing helmets, which are always worn when on the ropes course

$1,000 – one Safety Response Bag worn by the instructor at all times

$5,000 – Help motivate climbers. Choose an inspirational message that will be inscribed on the climbing wall next to your name.

Naming and Visual Recognition Opportunities

Available from $10,000 to $400,000

Contact Traci E. Felder, Chief Development Officer, tfelder@mandeljcc.org or 216-593-0456.

camp wise news | fall 2022 4
DONATE AT bit.ly/CWropes

Abby Bruell and Yoshi Silverstein

Abby returned to camp and they were both supervisors living in the Noar staff cabin. Abby wore her Speedo and intimidating Oakleys, and Yoshi carried around an ax. The rest is history.

Share your most memorable moment from camp.


2022 Staff Scholarship Honorees & Staff Auction

This fall we celebrate the Silverstein/Bruell family! A big thank you to Abby Bruell and Yoshi Silverstein for their support and involvement in Camp Wise. Abby stepped up to work in the Camp Wise office during our year-round team transition, and Yoshi has worked as a visiting educator in the summer and at programs year-round. He also led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for the Mandel JCC staff.

What years did you attend or work at Camp Wise?

Abby: 1993-1999 (camper); 2000 (Lake SIT), 2001-2002 (Lake Specialist), 20032005, 2009 (Lake Supervisor), 2021-2022 (“BASH” Associate)

Yoshi: 2008-2009 (Teva and Trips Supervisor)

What are your very first memories of camp?

Abby: First day of Rishon (1993) was the Fourth of July. There was a huge rainstorm. Camp flooded. Evening program was watching staff from each village face off in the mud pit. They took us to the Geauga County Fairgrounds to watch fireworks. I used up my entire disposable camera taking pictures of the fireworks.

Yoshi: Cleaning out the Teva shack with Andy Saltzman and teaching the Teva/ outdoor cooking specialists how to make coal-baked orange brownies (still a hit today!)

All camp couples have their first “meeting.” Describe yours.

Yoshi first heard of Abby from a story about her mythical swan dive told during the summer before they met. In 2009

Abby: That’s a tough one. There are so many memories. It’s between Solel ‘99 havdalah with Scott Figler and Alan Gecht totally slaying Free Bird on guitar or the 2001 Pop Maccabiah break. Both are equally epic.

Yoshi: In 2008, I led an overnight canoe trip for the Noar girls on the Allegheny River when a thunderstorm came in fast. The Allegheny is a big river and the best place to get off the water fast was an island in the middle. So we booked it for the island, pulling our aluminum canoes off the water just as the storm hit us. We ran for protected ground, spread out and assumed “lightning position” while the storm passed through. Because of our training, ability to manage risk and navigate a scary moment, we got through the storm safe and secure.

How has camp impacted your life and what you do now?

Abby: Camp Wise has been such a huge part of my, my family’s and extended family’s lives. I would not be the person I am today without camp. Camp gave me self-confidence, taught me to be a leader, gave me the gift of being able to speak in front of large groups of people and showed me how to manage high pressure situations. It taught me to let go and be silly and be whomever I wanted to be.

Yoshi: Camp is a place where you have the opportunity to take a step away from the day-to-day and into a different space. It’s the kind of place that allows you to try on new expressions of yourself, to test your skills and competencies in a nurturing and supportive environment, and to step more fully into the newest reincarnations of yourself. At its best, camp creates the kind of space that

At the end of each summer we honor outstanding staff with Staff Scholarships. This peer-nominated and peer-selected program recognizes staff members who have gone above and beyond to care for our campers. A committee of previous honorees chooses the current summer’s recipients.

Honorees receive a bonus at the end of the summer from funds raised at an end-of-summer auction during the staff banquet. Staff and community members donate items such as vintage Camp Wise merchandise, tours of the hometowns of our International staff or hand-crafted items. Everyone has a great time outbidding one another, knowing the money goes to recognize outstanding contributions to camp and a portion is donated back to camp.

Our 2022 honorees are Amelia Katz, Zach Lehner, Sarah Namrow, Irene Young and Or Zenaty.

Amelia Katz Back for a 12th summer at Camp Wise, Amelia was a counselor in Noar for our rising 9th grade campers. Her favorite part of this summer was realizing that she made an impact on her campers. She also loved watching her village have a great time at some of her successful evening programs like Water Fight Night and Zombie Apocalypse Night. Her favorite place in camp is the Chadar Ochel because she loves the close community and being surrounded by the wonderful people at camp. She loves the spirit and joy that brings everyone together. Amelia is currently in her second year at the University of Vermont and is studying psychology.

camp wise news | fall 2022 5
Goldberg, Bruell and Silverstein Families
continued on page 6 continued on page 6


(Campers in Training)

Camp Wise Alum Future Camper

Lauren Rubin Dia

Celia (Bernstein) Livshin Caleb

Iliya Weinstein & Ann (Kravec) Weinstein Romy

Daniele (Levin) Bilfield Carson

Sarah McGaw Oscar

Sam Radwany Rosemary Matt Venning Eloise

Stacy (Scholnick) Lundy Lucy

Jessica (Horowitz) Moore Declan

Zoe Morris-Jones Ronnie

Nick Hilton Grace

Sarah (Kest) Philips Jet

Andy Saltzman & Georgia (Lewis) Saltzman Nola

B’nai Mitzvah

We are proud of you, I said we are proud of you... uh!

When someone at Camp Wise celebrates a big day, we all stand on our benches and cheer about it! Here is a big CW cheer for all those campers who have celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah since our last newsletter. Please let us know if we’ve missed you and we will include you in our next issue.

Jamie Ashby

Asher Beachler

Ava Benavides

Elan Blond

Eleanor Bogard

Elliot Botnick

Sophia Buchner

Zach Dvorin

Ellie Klein

Julia Klein

Dave Kleyner

Emily Langel Scarlett Lehner Gideon Polster Micah Port Coby Saidel

Caleb Seaman Eli Schloss

Olivia Silver Asher Solomon Jordan Uria

Jesse Vaytsman Parker Wirick Benjamin Woolf

“I Can Hear the Bells...”

Jenna Eisenberg & Kyle Dannenberg, October 2021

Helen Grubb & Kristofer Mann, May 2022

Sarah Judis & Johnny Maclean, May 2022

Amy Saltzman & Brian Barasch, May 2022

Kari Semel & Andrew Exler, June 2022

Stephanie Dworken & Dean Seitz, July 2022

Amy Williams & Jeremy Guy, July 2022

Moriah Shtull & Justin Arnold, July 2022

Vosh Hallowell & Zachariah Hoberman, July 2022

Aaron Friedman & Esther Seif, August 2022

Andy Leubitz & Elizabeth Rosenfeld, August 2022

Rachel Rinehardt & Chris Green, October 2022

The CW alumni is in italics

Please let us know when any Camp Wise alumnus welcomes a new baby and we will send them a Future Camper onesie.

Alumni Spotlight, cont. from page 5

allows you to fully embody the best of who you are and everyone else around you. It’s the real world but a special version of it. And by giving campers that taste of who they can be, it makes more space for the possibility of becoming that person throughout your entire life.

Staff Scholarships, cont. from page 5

Zach Lehner As a Noar counselor for his 10th summer, “Big Z” as he is known to everyone at camp, was exceptional. His spirit extended throughout all of camp – from meals to Noar evening programs or as a Maccabiah judge. He was a beloved counselor and a strong role model for other staff members. He is focused on international studies at the University of Miami.

Sarah Namrow This was Sarah’s 10th summer at camp and she was a counselor in both Solel and Noar. She loved being a part of these villages as a staff member as well as taking on leadership roles. Another bonus for her was becoming close with fellow staff members and campers. Her favorite place at camp is the Chapel. She loves how she immediately feels at home whenever she’s at camp. Whether she has been away from camp for a few days or a few years, she still feels like she belongs at camp. Sarah is studying cognitive neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis.

Irene Young For her 15th summer at camp, Irene was the Art Shack Supervisor so it’s no surprise that is her favorite place at camp! She loved making new friends and spending time with her Solel campers. Irene loves that camp is such a special and safe environment for everyone who comes. It’s the place where she learned how to be her best self. Irene attends The Ohio State University and is studying education.

Or Zenaty This was Or’s first summer at the Home of Happiness and he came to us all the way from Israel. As a Chalutzim counselor, he was always surrounded by campers. He loves all areas of camp. Whether it was planning an exciting evening program or patiently comforting a homesick camper, Or was an exceptional staff member who everyone loved to be around. Fingers crossed he joins us in Summer 2023!

“I’m tryin’ to tell you something about my life...”
Romy Lucy Grace Jet Nola Caleb
camp wise news | fall 2022 6

AVery Special “Todah Rabah”


We are honored to recognize the families, individuals and groups who have chosen to make thoughtful and generous contributions to Camp Wise.

Contributions to Camp Wise continue to help make camp possible for a number of campers. Your donations of $18 can help support us in new programming supplies for a cabin or village program. $36 will help support camp’s ability to post over 7,000 photos over the summer. $180 goes towards amazing out-of-camp trip experiences for our older campers. $13,164 will make it possible for five desiring campers to experience the Home of Happiness for the first time.

Please let us know if your name was inadvertently left off the list.


Stewart Kohl

Marcy Young

Dan Goodman

Jon Grischkan & Jennifer Slate

Jessica Goldstein

Matthew Golden

Allison Zofan

Hannah Davidoff


Mitchell Cronig

Jessica Jones

Randi Nathenson

Phillip Friedman Jennifer Rich-Drasner

Kerry Kertesz

Yair Weinstock Sharon Stein Jon Rubinstein

Rachel Kay Beth Young Archie Berk Corinne Andres Amy Porter

Naomi Lamb Jennifer Rich-Drasner

Loren Chylla

Janice Adell

Mark Kleinman

Amy Kalk

Andrew Leubitz

Kandle Dining Services, Inc.

John Lang

Melissa Steinberger

IMO Maxine Middleton

Jonathan Hausman

Thomas Hausman

IMO Rhonda Wachs

David Shepherd

Deanna Cowan

Tracy Juran

Maxine Middleton Fund


Last spring a small group of alumni gathered by Zoom to reflect on the everlasting impact made on camp and the countless individuals by alumnus Maxine Middleton, of blessed memory. As many on the call shared, Maxine was their friend, mentor, leader and inspiration for many paths in life. Whether leading the camp atop a Chadar bench or serving as a grounding presence in the Noar Village, Maxine developed numerous young people into thoughtful leaders during her time at Camp Wise.

Morgan Kaufman

Lori Josephson

Jean Simmons

Anonymous Donation

Jordan Marks

IMO Simone Gross

Chagrin Valley Study Club

Lisa Davidoff


Columbus Families

As of 11/1/22


A huge thank you to our host families! Our international staff loved having a taste of home from these amazing families. Our host families transported our staff, fed them, housed them and sometimes even toured them around Cleveland! You helped make the summer experience even better for our incredible staff who are far from home.

If you would like to help out and meet some amazing international staff next summer please email wisekids@mandeljcc.org.


Debbie & Carey Arnold

Rachel & Scott Arnopolin

Tracy & Matt Bernstein

Julie & Alex Beynenson

Amy Bilsky

Deborah & Howard Bobrow

Leah & Josh Caruso

Staci & Adam Cohen

Rebecca Copeland

Jill & Brad Davidson

Jen Rich-Drasner & Jason Drasner

Stacey Ehrenberg & David Buchner

Elizabeth & Andrew Elia

Aliza Falk & William Wilson

Rebecca & Mike Fellenbaum

Sallie Fine & Michael Lewin

Julie & Brooks Gerbitz

Lynn & Avi Goldman

Chava & Marcus Harris

Jon Hausman

Debra & Jason Hollander

Kerry & Daryl Kertesz

Amanda & Kenny Kurland

Yolanda Latimer

Sharon & David Lockman

Laura & Bryan Loebl

Hannah & Cliff Mendelsohn

Jennifer Mintz

Julie & Jeremy Pilloff

Cynthia & Rob Port

Susan & Adam Roth

Maxine’s husband, Scott, met with our alumni to determine how to best honor Maxine’s legacy at Camp Wise. To answer that question, Scott has generously begun a new endowment fund with the proceeds supporting women in leadership and seasonal staff leadership development training at Camp Wise. This gift will allow us to engage a different female Jewish leader or educator to train and inspire Camp Wise staff as a female leadership role model. Camp Wise is incredibly grateful for this gift and honored to be part of entrusting Maxine’s memory in this community for many years to come.

To contribute to the Maxine Middleton Fund and note a donation in her memory.


Becky Sebo & Michael Hirsch

Shani & Scott Spiegle

Darby & Jon Steiger

Olga & Gregory Stepanyan

Allison & Charlie Vann

Christie Yonkers & Sagi Shilo

Beth & Chris Young

camp wise news | fall 2022 7
Max and Beth Young

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK facebook.com/campwise

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @campwise13164 campwise.org


Join us for these fun events in 2023


SUN, FEB 19 – MON, FEB 20

For kids grades 5-8 Enjoy a jam-packed overnight filled with sledding, snowman building and winter games and activities! When it’s cold, we’ll head inside our cozy rec hall to hang by the fire and enjoy delicious kosher meals and treats. Stay overnight in our comfy heated cabins!



Escape to camp and experience what all the kids are raving about. Your family can enjoy:

• Swimming, boating, water skiing and tubing

• Sports including tennis, archery, basketball and mountain biking, Amazing Race

• Campfires and songs

• Arts and crafts

• Climbing tower and zip line

• Magical camp Shabbat and Havdalah



Relax, unplug and have a blast at Camp Wise at this women’s-only retreat.

• Relax at the pool

• Enjoy a massage

• Kayak, canoe or jet ski on our private lake

• Create unique jewelry, tie dye clothing and pottery

• Enjoy outdoor yoga classes led by a professional instructor

• Soar high on the rock wall or ropes course

• Delicious kosher meals

• Activities for kids led by our amazing staff

• Welcoming, inclusive environment

• Celebrate each day with delicious kosher meals Up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations are currently required to attend.

Jewish Community
Center of Cleveland 26001 South Woodland Road • Beachwood, Ohio 44122

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