Wise Times Spring 2022

Page 1

A Summer of Firsts

Many amazing stories begin with: “My first summer at camp I…” Anyone who attended an overnight camp in their youth carries with them vivid memories of that first summer away from home: The start of a lifelong friendship, the first time in a canoe, mastering the climbing tower and more. And, in truth, some of those first camp memories we might also wish to leave behind such as homesickness or an embarrassing fall into a mud puddle.

My first summer at an overnight camp, I rolled out of my top bunk in my sleep and fractured my wrist! Luckily, I have no recollection of the fall and it didn’t hurt much, but I vividly remember the bonus trip to get ice cream on the way back from getting my bright yellow cast. My camp friends from that summer of 1992 still remember signing our cabin name, “The Cheerios,” on the cast with permanent marker. Only at camp can a broken bone turn into a community building activity!

Summer 2022 holds the potential for many memorable first times at Camp Wise! It will be the first summer for over 130 campers and the first summer for over 45 international staff members, including 20 Israelis. It will be the first summer for my oldest son Eitan, who

enters second grade next fall, and our family’s first summer at Camp Wise as I begin this journey with you as director. There is so much gratitude in all of these milestones. For in each of these firsts, lies an opportunity to create an amazing memory with a new community of friends. Each turn is a window that opens to new bonds, deeper connections and care for one another.

Judaism guides us to notice and appreciate the passage of time and mark key moments in our lives, especially when doing something for the first time. We celebrate each new experience by singing the words of the Shehechaynu blessing: Thank you, God, for giving us life, sustaining us, and helping us reach this new season. Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, shehechayanu v’kiyamanu, v’higiyanu, laz’man ha-zeh. At camp, our place of sacred belonging, it’s all our caring work to sustain one another and help each other reach new moments of accomplishment and growth. With so much potential this summer, just maybe we’ll walk along the paths of the Home of Happiness singing this prayer every hour!

Reflecting back on that first summer, now 30 years later, I’m relieved that we use solid safety guardrails on all of the top bunks – everyone’s beds are safe and secure. And, despite my accident, I’ll always hold onto that proud moment when my friends helped me turn a

ABOVE: Rabbi Dan and family –wife Rachel with sons Eitan, Judah and Benji BELOW: Shabbat at Camp Wise

bad experience into something filled with joy and humor. My prayer for this exciting summer of firsts: May we have the insight and patience to be each other’s caring guides for this historic 115th summer. Whether it’s your first or your 21st – may we help one another make it the very best!

Table of Contents

1 camp wise news | spring 2022
Spring 2022 | Volume 14, No. 2
Shana Says 2 Staff Spotlight 2 Alumni Happenings 3 Words of the Wise........................................ 4 Supervisor Spotlight .................................. 8 Life Cycle Events .......................................... 9 Todah Rabah 10 Winter Weekend Recap 11 Summer Programs Back page

Shana Says: The Blessings of Kehillah

When I lead services my favorite benediction to recite and my favorite blessing to conclude with, is “Baruch ata b’voecha, u’voruch ata b’tzeitecha.”

interpretively translate it as, “As you were blessed and brought blessings in your coming, so may you be blessed and take an abundance of blessings as you leave.”

Literally translated this means “Blessed shall you be in your comings, and blessed shall you be in your goings.” However, I learned from a rabbi I worked with to

This translation is so beautiful because it captures the fact that each of us brings our special and unique blessings to our every encounter. Additionally, as the result of every interaction with another and every gathering as a community, we are a little more blessed because of the gifts we receive from others. And how much more gratitude would we feel if we were aware of the blessings we were constantly giving and receiving?

This summer, the core value we will focus on is kehillah – community. Whether it is the cabin, the village, an activity group or the entire camp, community is everywhere at camp and a huge part of what makes Camp Wise so special. We make our kehillah a kehillah k’dosha – a sacred community – when we recognize, honor and offer gratitude for all the blessings we share with each other. I look forward to taking a deep dive into the blessing of kehillah with you this summer!

Staff Spotlight: Pippa Knightley

Keira Knightley is synonymous with acting all around the world, and at Camp Wise we have Pippa Knightley! Recently, CW took some time to get to know one of our many international staff members who will be joining us at the Home of Happiness this summer.

Position at Camp: I am a drama specialist

Age: 21 (I will be 22 when I come to Camp Wise!)

Birthday: 4th of March 2000

Birth city: Leeds, England

Current residence: Huddersfield, England

Is there a meaning for your name or are you named after someone?

I am named after my dad. His nickname was ‘Pip,’ so when my dad saw how tiny I was when I was born, he knew ‘Pip’ would be a cute name for me! And that’s where the name ‘Pippa’ came from.

How many siblings do you have?

I am an only child.

Why did you want to come to camp?

I really want to see what American culture is like! I’d love to see what summer camp is all about! We don’t have summer camps in England.

What do you want to do after camp?

I would like to set up my own puppetry theatre company and tour England.

Besides drama and theatre, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to embroider on my old clothes to give them a new lease of life. I also play the drums in my spare time.

How would your friends describe you?

I have asked my friends and they say they would describe me as “considerate, adventurous and creative.”

What are you most looking forward to at camp?

I am really looking forward to meeting all of you and making some amazing friends!

Tells us one fun fact about you!

During Covid, I decided to build my own life-size puppet with my best friend and we created a show at home.

What would page 237 of your autobiography say?

It would say, “I took my first step onto a stage for the first time. My heart was racing, and the crowd was looking at me, the lights shone where I stood… it was the best feeling in the world.”

What is your favorite meal?


Be in touch!

Summer: 13164 Taylor Wells Road Chardon, OH 44024 • 216.593.6250

Fall, Winter and Spring: 26001 South Woodland Road Beachwood, OH 44122 • 216.593.6250 www.campwise.org wisekids@mandeljcc.org

camp wise news | spring 2022

Alumni Happenings!


SUNDAY, MAY 15 • 1-4 PM

Impact Day is coming soon! Alumni are invited to sign up to return to Taylor Wells Road to give back to the place that gave us so much!

We’ll hear an update from the full-time team about the state of camp and plans for our 115th summer that campers and staff won’t forget.

We will then head out to work on projects intended to help get camp ready for the summer season, including preparing gardens, cabins, clearing trails and more! Pre-registration is required as we plan for a safe environment for all who wish to attend. We hope you’ll join us! To sign up, please register via www.campwise.org/impactday.

Looking for other ways to support Camp Wise this spring? You can support camp from home in these three ways!

• Make a tax-deductible donation to Camp Wise.

• Purchase an item or two off of our Amazon Wish List and give back to CW with the purchase of supplies needed for the summer.

• Camp Wise is kicking off the first RTCWN Drive (Random Things Camp Wise Needs). You ask, what are these random things? Well, we will accept donations of:

– Empty toilet paper rolls

– Plastic bags from stores

– Styrofoam trays from when you buy veggies at your local grocery store

Bring these with you to Impact Day or the Mandel JCC (labeled Attn: Camp Wise) until May 26.

Volunteer Camp Doctors Needed Host Families

Another opportunity to support Camp Wise this summer is by volunteering to be a camp doctor. Our camp health center is staffed 24 hours a day with registered nurses and a health center manager. We are looking for doctors who can be “on call” by phone to speak with the camp nurses and arrange to come to camp three times during their call week to see campers on site.

Please call the camp office to help! 216-593-6250


There are many wonderful ways for our camp alumni, families and friends to help us make our summer successful. One is by hosting some of our international staff on their day(s) off. This summer we have staff joining us from countries including Israel, Mexico, Columbia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia and the UK. Days off this summer will occur throughout the week, including Shabbat, from June 14-July 31, 2022.

Curious as to the expectations of a host family?

• Provide a place to stay during their time off, including a bed/air mattress and meals while in your home

• Provide transportation to and from camp. Ability to provide transportation/show

Cleveland landmarks is even better!

• Host families are asked to follow Camp Wise’s vaccination policy as stated at www.campwise/covid/

If you are interested in being a 2022 host, please reach out to us at wisekids@mandeljcc.org.

camp wise news | spring 2022

Words of the Wise

Camp Wise is one of the oldest overnight camps in North America. In fact, we are the third oldest Jewish overnight camp that is still in operation, and this summer we are celebrating 115 summers as the Home of Happiness. Camp Wise has existed in three different locations, but it has always been the people and the kehilla, community, that has sustained Camp Wise and allowed us to reach this special milestone. We took some time to ask past Camp Wise professionals about the impact camp had on them and what they hope for the future of CW as we look toward the next 115 summers. These are their Words of the Wise!

CATHY BECKER Registrar, 1995-2018

I have vivid memories of the 100th birthday celebration as parents joined the campers in activities and celebrations and camp was renovated with a new chadar and staff lounge, infirmary and cabin improvements. I remember the faces of kids as they stepped off the bus on the first day excited to reconnect with friends and staff. And on that last day of each session, so many hugs and tears. I watched camp change from a paper and pencil business with a handwritten newspaper to a connected world that opened up new activities and connections with families.

From the stables to the lake, Camp Wise is a place where memories are made, the connection to Judaism is strengthened, the natural environment is preserved and enduring relationships abound.


Assistant Director, 1991-2001; 2005-2008

After 15 summers and three years full time, Camp Wise has had a profound impact on just about every dimension of my life. But the one that stands out today is that Camp Wise is where I learned about leadership. Specifically, that being a strong, bold, confident leader AND a woman was possible. As a camper and then as a junior staff member, I looked at women like Michelle Rubin, Robin Lockshine, Karin Hess, Beth Young, Jodi Moscowitz, Jodi Sperling, Stacy Singer and all of my counselors with awe in my eyes. Before I came to Camp Wise, I didn’t realize all that was possible for women as leaders. And one woman stood above them all for me as a role model for what a leader could be: Maxine (Stevens) Middleton.

Given her recent passing, it has been on the top of my mind just how important Maxine was to me (and many, many

others) and the blueprint she instilled on my ambitions. Max was my counselor, supervisor and assistant director through my years at camp. She was my first accessible example in life (outside of my mother and immediate family) of what a powerful woman could look like, be like and the impact she can have.

I am forever grateful for knowing Maxine and for all the lessons I learned from her that I have used many, many, many times in my life and in my career.

SCOTT BROWN Director, 1980-1983

A core and perhaps surprising memory for others to learn is from my earliest days at staff training as a staff assistant. I was a Jewish boy from Painesville. My family was one of only a few Jewish families in our city. I was initially overwhelmed by the totally immersive Jewish experience and intensity of staff training. I initially retreated and said very little. I recall lying in bed the first few nights much like an uneasy camper listening to the veteran staff talk about me wondering what my story was. Then, we played softball one day where I had the opportunity to share something unique about me – my bat, my arm, my game. I was accepted into the “in crowd.” The rest of my softball and CW is history. This experience always made me very aware and sensitive to campers coming from smaller Jewish communities, campers that felt different, staff who were overperforming during staff training and not remembering that it is always about the campers, and how Camp Wise is and has always been about finding ways to help campers and staff shine their special light.


Assistant Director, 2004

As a so-called adult I rarely, if ever, find myself randomly drenched in water, salad dressing, ketchup or whatever may be on hand to pour over someone. On the other hand, were you really ever getting the full Camp Wise staff experience if you didn’t need to change your clothes after lunch? My mother still complains about the summer, which was so wet that we went mudsliding once or twice, and how disgusting our clothes were. This happened before most of the current staff were born. Whether it was jumping in the pool fully clothed after Maccabiah, getting slathered in various condiments while giving announcements (I was smelling ketchup for hours after this one day), or the time Rocco (the chef who famously hated wasting food) made an ice cream sundae of Jon Rubenstein (who famously hated to be dirty), getting yourself into messy situations was always part of the summer.


Assistant Director, 2004-2018

I grew up in a town with a small Jewish population, so for me, overnight camp was the one place that being Jewish didn’t make me different. I can say without a doubt that my Jewish identity was almost entirely formed at overnight camp. The Jewish traditions and values that I hold now, and will carry with me for life, almost all came from my Jewish overnight camp experience. I am proud to have given back to a place that gives so much. One summer when I was the lake supervisor, we had just started specialist training and the rest of my team came down to the lake for the first time. We geared up and took kayaks out to tour our space and enjoy some time on the water. Shortly after we went out on the water, we looked up and there was a bald eagle flying overhead. Sitting on the water, surrounded by new friends from other countries, with a bald eagle flying overhead. It just felt like the perfect way to start out our summer and the epitome of what camp does. I am proud of a ton

As we look ahead to this coming summer, and all the summers that lie ahead, we ask that you join us in showing support for Camp Wise by attending Impact Day or making a meaningful donation. We hope that you will take a moment to reflect on what makes Camp Wise your Home of Happiness. Send us your stories and memories and consider making a meaningful contribution in celebration of someone who has made a lasting impact on your Camp Wise story. And join us this summer as we celebrate 115 years of Jewish overnight camping.

camp wise news | spring 2022

of little things from my time: the giant chadar fans, fun new meals, tasty canteen treats and so much more. But I am most proud to have been there to serve camp the way it served me, and so many others, over the last 115 years. Oh, and maybe my golf cart driving skills!

One of the best staff members I ever worked with was a man named Dan Reed. He spent several summers at camp. While in the village of Ohalim, Dan used to read to and tell stories to his cabin. One session, each night he decided to tell a little bit of the story from a wellknown movie. I said, “Dan, are you telling them the story of a movie?” His response embodied the forethought, spirit and caring that Camp Wise staff have shown for 115 years. He said, “Yeah, dude. But they don’t know that it’s from a movie or the name of the movie. My dream is that years from now they will see this classic film and they’ll all remember the story and camp. They will think about each other and the time they spent here and maybe phone each other up and say, ‘Remember that story we heard?’”


Associate Director, 2017-2020

My first summer at CW was 1997 in Chalutzim. I had an incredible two summers in that village, making new friends and loving every staff member I

Once it was within sight, we noticed it was flying pretty low. Next thing we know, it was raining loads of candy over the Noar rec field. Once the plane flew past us, the campers all ran to the Noar rec field and grabbed as much candy as they could carry. Much more fun than a piñata! Thanks to Matt Weiss’ video skills and to my horror, it is documented forever! It’s titled: Camp Wise 4th of July, 1991 – Candy Air Drop 1 on YouTube.


Assistant Director & Director, 2008-2015

met. Then in 1999, Meredith Belman was my counselor in my first year Ohalim and she changed my life. She’s been a mentor and rock for me ever since. She showed me how to be strong and confident with grace and levity and modeled for me how to balance the responsibility and joy of being a leader. No surprises – she was also an AD at CW!

MARLA KLEIN Assistant Director, 1988-1991

I made some incredible friends at Camp Wise as a staff member, the summers of 1988, 1989, 1990 (for a shorter time with Camp Ma-a-seh, the camp for teens with special needs) and 1991. I still am in contact with a number of them. I am thankful to Karin Hess for hiring me about two months before camp to fill the spot as office manager. This evolved to me being a counselor, head counselor and then assistant director.

I have so many amazing memories from those summers! There is, however, one that stands out above the rest. It was the summer of 1991. Obviously July 4 was a big deal at CW. It was my goal to make it unforgettable for the campers that summer. Someone found out about a past CW staff that was a pilot and I believe had his own plane. I contacted him and we devised an awesome surprise for the campers. We set up all the campers just outside the tennis courts in Noar. They wondered what was going on. Then they heard a plane that sounded very close.

We welcome you to Wise in Chardon, mighty glad you’re here!! Anyone who has had the opportunity to spend a summer at Wise knows that you are mighty glad you’re there. Camp Wise is truly a wonderful and magical place where I had the honor of being the assistant director and the camp director from October 2008 until December 2015. The camp magic I felt being at 13164 Taylor Wells Road was shaped by the campers and staff I had the pleasure of working with each summer. The fact that I spent 16 summers growing up at a different camp, and still consider Camp Wise my “Home of Happiness” should be all I need to say.

I wish I could share something about every single person I spent a summer with at Wise. Just know that all of you had a profound impact on my life, both personally and professionally. I will always cherish my years spent at Camp Wise. Bless This House.


Camp Director, 1998-1999

I have hundreds of very distinct memories from my years as a camper (six summers, all three villages, which was pre-Solel), and staff member (three summers as assistant director and then director) but my strongest may have come a dozen years after I left Wise and moved to New York City. In 2011, I was visiting family in Cleveland and was invited to visit Wise for lunch. I brought my one-yearold daughter and as I walked into the chadar, camp was midway through a song session, mostly made up of the identical songs and cheers from when I was a camper and a staff member. I couldn’t have been there more than one minute before I was a sobbing mess of emotions and had to walk out to the flagpole to catch my breath. It was seeing a whole new generation keeping up the traditions and music that must’ve been

camp wise news | spring 2022
TOP ROW, L-R Camp Wise in 1907 • Camp Wise in Painesville in the ’30s BOTTOM ROW, L-R Phil Barnett and Roz in the ’50s • Shabbat in the ’60s

around for many decades, even before my first summer in 1977. I also remember standing outside at the flagpole and having numerous campers, now staff members, come out to reintroduce themselves and tell me about their own histories at camp.

I distinctly remember saying to my toddler, “Someday this is where you’ll go to camp.”

Epilogue: that toddler, Sally, is now a Noar camper, returning for her sixth summer at a place that is defining her as it once defined me.



My Camp Wise history starts when I was 10 in 1975 and the last year I worked was in 1990. Within that timeframe I did not attend 1983 because I went to Israel. I was a camper and started in Ohalim. Solel at that time it was called STEPS, Staff Training Entry Program. I was a counselor, Chalutzim supervisor, what we called program director and then that similar role switched to assistant director during my time. My full-time job was at the JCC and Camp Wise became my summer assignment.

When I think back on my time at camp, I think one of the standouts is Shabbat and Friday night song session. One of the amazing opportunities was when we partnered with Highbrook Lodge, the overnight camp of the Cleveland Sight Center, and we got to leave camp and go work with those campers. We also did a small day camp for the kids in the Claridon Troy School District (Burton) for those who probably could not afford to

go to camp. I also remember one year where we walked into town for Fourth of July fireworks. The most lasting impact of camp has been the friendships made that I still maintain today, 40 years later. Camp was always the time where you loved being Jewish.


Social Media Manager, 2018-2020

As camp’s social media strategist from 2018 to 2020, I had the opportunity to connect with campers, alumni, parents and staff year-round. But my favorite memory was the livestreamed Shabbat service the week we found out Summer 2020 was canceled. In a moment where we felt like strangers on this planet, when we felt most isolated and alone, when we felt hopeless that our summer home away from home would not be able to welcome us, our community came together to sing and pray in our CW tradition. Through Zoom and Facebook live, I was able to organize and produce a service for our greater Camp Wise family involving campers, alumni and staff from around the world. Many tears were shed, but it was an experience during quarantine where refreshingly, and finally, I didn’t feel alone.


100th Anniversary Coordinator, 2006-2007

I worked at camp the summer of 1981, but my most memorable experience came much later when I was tapped to coordinate the 100th anniversary activities in 2007. I was able to connect with alumni from the early years of camp all the way to the ’90s (including alumni who were in their late 80s!). Through meetings and schmooze

LEFT Lori Epstein and Jill Sadowsky in the ’80s • ABOVE Leadership Team of 2015. Top Row: TJ Klopfstein, Tivon Stern, Zoe Coleman, Brian Chessin, Zach Marlin, Ethan Goodman, Andy Saltzman 4th Row: Ben Stallsmith, Kyna Levi, Becky Sebo, Seam Morgan, Hannah Henschel, Nick Goldman, Julia Leb 3rd Row: Beth Young, Zoe Morris Jones, Sara Federman, Jon Housman, Rachel Felber, Josh Chefitz 2nd Row: Zoe Landis, James Worthington, Alena Zaslov Bottom Row: Isabelle King, Kari Semel

TOP Meredith Belman, Brian Roget, David Gruhin and Dan Stein in the ’90s

RIGHT Leadership Team of 2004. Top Row: Michael Bertner, Mark Young, Julia Steinberger, Meredith Belman, Jodi Sperling, Matt Golden Middle Row: Abby Bruell, Emily “EJ” Josephson, Amy Filzer, Rachel Felber Bottom: Mara Berde

sessions we unearthed years of artifacts, photo albums, letters, song lists and more, which led to some really creative opportunities to connect these alumni with current campers. Every Shabbat that summer was dedicated to a decade, and alumni came to camp to teach old songs, reminisce with friends and meet with campers, and participate in services. It was such a treat for me to see the commitment to Camp Wise through the years. Some weeks, grandparents were having Shabbat dinners in the chadar with their grandchildren. It was so moving (and loud!). Thanks to alumni involved in the efforts, we found a way to move the huge boulder from its original location at Camp Wise in Painesville to where it stands now at the front of camp. We held a competition for local artists to design an entryway, and the wooden structure with the glass panes that you see now when you drive into camp arose from that competition! 2007 was a super impactful one for me as a staff alum, a current parent and a proud JCC member!

JODI SPERLING Director, 2004-2011

One memory that always stands out is from 2007, when the SITs of 2007 built the

camp wise news | spring 2022

entryway to camp! There was an amazing group of older alumni in their 80s who had been a part of an alumni group called Alliwise. They wanted to make a gift to camp that would be meaningful and pay tribute to the history of camp, and we came up with the idea together of creating an entryway on the road that the SITs that summer would construct. We put out a public call to artists to submit ideas, and the idea that we chose is the current entryway to camp. A couple of really cool tidbits: There are glass photo murals on both sides that have a collection of photos from the first 100 years of camp; the mezuzah was made by a sofer (scroll writer) we found in Israel, who made it especially for us, and gave it to the group of SITs who were in Israel that summer to bring back to camp so they also could be a part of the project; the structure was built using timber framing, meaning no power tools, following the specialized way of building that’s traditional around camp with the Amish community; all of the trees used to build it were cut down from our property, and when we cut them down, we could see the number of rings on the trees lined up with when camp moved to that site in the ’60s! All in all, a super cool project that makes me smile every time I drive in or out of Camp Wise. Also, it’s amazing for me to think about all future Wise campers who are babies right now, who would not exist if their parents hadn’t met while working at camp! It’s mind-blowing for me to think about, especially when you consider that several of the couples include an international staff person, who could have ended up at any camp in their camp placement process!

BECKY WILLIAMS Assistant Director, 2019-2020

While my time as a member of the Camp Wise full-time team was short, the impact was great. As a non-Jewish person in a full-time role, I wanted to do it well, which

meant learning about Judaism as much as possible. I was unsure what that would look like for me, but what I experienced at camp and with my colleagues left me with deep appreciation for the Jewish community, especially for Jewish overnight camping. I recall often my first Shabbat at camp: the feeling of tradition and community under the canopy of nature. I recall being involved with the new Torah, one of the biggest honors of my life. During my time with Camp Wise, I experienced true acceptance and warmth from my friends and campers. They should all get extra canteen with the number of questions about Judaism they so patiently answered for me. And, while my time at camp is over, my appreciation for Judaism continues to grow deeper, all thanks to the campers and staff at CW.

BETH YOUNG Special Projects & Aquatics Supervisor, 2006-2021

When I think back on summers at camp, I love to recall staff training. When we first all come together, many of us for the first time, we start to work as a group to provide campers the summer of a lifetime. There are so many critical things that need to happen to prepare us for the arrival of campers. Sessions on: working with children, safety and first aid, and planning for skill progression are just a few of many trainings. Magically, bonds are created by participating and learning together. By the time the campers are arriving for their first day, the excitement is palpable, making the first day of each session always one of the best of every summer.

LYNNE YULISH Staff, 1985-1992

I never went to CW although my grandparents were part of the original Alliwise, my parents went and so did my older brother and sister. I started my CW adventure as Noar supervisor with my cat Shelby. I had just graduated from college with a teaching degree and spent my days off interviewing. I found a job and spent the next three

TOP Left to Right: Eugene Melamud, Carol Kreintz, Steve Horowitz in the ’70s BOTTOM Scott Brown at the flagpole in the ’80s

years teaching and being assistant director in the summer.

In my four years as director, I learned much about myself as a supervisor. I learned what to do and what not to do and how to do it. In the midst of a crisis, I would think to myself, “How am I going to feel about this in October? Will I laugh?” If the answer was yes, I pulled back.

My greatest legacy was the Little Red Wagon. When I started, campers came to camp with a canteen check (about $25) that was deposited. The office manager had a sheet for every child and whenever they wanted candy, batteries, pictures and shirts, it was deducted. The orders were placed at rest period and the office staff would spend all morning filling orders and deducting from every sheet.

I saw that just about everyone ordered a shirt and picture and candy, so we added $25 to the camp fee and just gave everyone these things. Since everyone was getting a snack each day, it didn’t really matter if they chose the day before. How about we just take things to the cabins at rest period and let them choose that day? How can we get it there from the office? The Little Red Wagon was born. Finally, I can’t say that I met my husband at CW, but I can say that he was the JCC phys ed director when I was CW director and our courtship bloomed at the Mayfield JCC. I think that counts!

FAR LEFT Shabbat Zoom in 2020

LEFT Camp friends in the ’40s

camp wise news | spring 2022

Supervisor Spotlight

Chalutzim Supervisor: Jenna Cahn

Years at camp: 12

Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH

What is the best thing you bought this year? A new speaker. Can’t wait for all of the dance parties this summer!

If you had to sing a song at a staff karaoke, what song would it be? I would sing Dancing Queen by ABBA.

Ohalim Supervisor: Josh Levy

Years at camp: 15

Hometown: Columbus, OH

What is the best thing you bought this year? A pair of winter hiking spikes!

When eating pizza, to fold or not to fold? That’s something people do?

Noar Supervisor: Gabe Perla Years at camp: 13

Hometown: Pepper Pike, OH

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? The Incredibles. Absolutely classic dinner scene in the movie and would certainly be an exciting time. Also would love to have Mr. Incredible cut my steak.

What is the best thing you bought this year? My flight to Israel. I’m having a ball here in Jerusalem!

Noar Supervisor: Carly Chessin

Years at camp: 14

Hometown: Solon, OH

What is the best thing you bought this year?

A mini robot vacuum to clean my desk and kitchen counters…highly recommend it. When eating pizza, to fold or not to fold? I simply couldn’t be friends with someone who folds their pizza – sorry not sorry.

Solel Supervisor: Ellie Shafron Years at camp: 12

Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH

What is the best thing you bought this year? A car

If you had to sing a song at a staff karaoke, what song would it be?

Love Story

Horseback Riding Barn Manager: Matan-ya Lampert Years at camp: 2

Hometown: Rakeset, Israel

What is the best thing you bought this year? My Jeep – 2009 Mitsubishi Pajero

If you had to sing a song at a staff karaoke, what song would it be? The Rolling Stones, Star Star

Lake Supervisor: Fraser Somers Years at camp: 7 (shirt year!)

Hometown: Manchester, United Kingdom or Neverland, depending on who you ask.

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? The Magical Madrigal Family from Encanto What is the best thing you bought this year? Harmonica, music everywhere!

Art Shack Supervisor: Irene Young Years at camp:15

Hometown: Solon, OH

What is the best thing you bought this year? New speaker for music

If you had to sing a song at a staff karaoke, what song would it be? Shout! Such a fun song.

Performing Arts Supervisor: Annika Balish Years at camp: 2

Hometown: Oxford, OH

What is the best thing you bought this year? A pair of overalls!

If you had to sing a song at a staff Karaoke, what song would it be? Any song by Carole King, but if I had to choose, I think if go with her demo of Pleasant Valley Sunday!

Media Supervisor: Liam Collins Years at camp: 3

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

What is the best thing you bought this year? A really expensive vintage synthesizer keyboard this year. I’m not too sure what I’m going to do with it once it’s time to come to camp though. I wonder if it’ll fit in my carry on?

When eating pizza, to fold or not to fold? Naturally I rotate between folding and not folding on every slice, sometimes even rotating per bite. Both options are valid and should be respected.

Jewish Educator/Rabbi: Rabbi Shana Years at camp: 15

Hometown: Pepper Pike, OH

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? It is a toss-up between the Roses from Schitt’s Creek and the Gilmores from Gilmore Girls.

When eating pizza, to fold or not to fold? Having lived in NYC for four years, I got very used to the fold.

Ropes/Teva Supervisor: Adam Cohen

Years at camp: 17

Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? Gallaghers from Shameless

When eating pizza, to fold or not to fold? Fold only when in NYC.

Health Center Manager: Elana Clavner

Years at camp: 1

Hometown: Cleveland Heights, OH

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? The Weasleys from Harry Potter – lots of people to chat with!

When eating pizza, to fold or not to fold? Don’t fold the pizza!

Social Worker: Leia Withee

Years at camp: 15

Hometown: Columbus, OH

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? It would be fun to have dinner at camp half-blood from the Percy Jackson books. What is the best thing you bought this year? Pierre by Ryn Weaver

Social Worker: Marissa Greismar

Years at camp: 1

Hometown: Lyndhurst, OH

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? Definitely the March family from Little Women, they seem very fun. What the best thing you bought this year? It’s a tie between my paddleboard and my couch – I spend a lot of time on both!

camp wise news | spring 2022

“I’m tryin’ to tell you something about my life...”

C.I.T.s (Campers in Training)

Camp Wise Alum Years at Camp Future Camper

Amanda (Goldie) Sieger 2002-2002, 2009-2011 Ellie

Evette Yedid Hakimian 2005-2012 Michael Kyle Bray Reza Josh Sebo 2001-2007 Warren Mike Diamond 1996-2004 Mia

Jamie & Max Garber Jamie 1999-2003, 2011-2013, 2017-2018

Max 2005-2011, 2014-2016, 2018


Meredith Belman 1991-2001, 2005-2008 Jacob Melissa Shamis & Eli Steinberger Melissa 1998-2007, 2010

Eli 1996-2008, 2010

Aubrey Adam Josephson 1996-2007 Caleb

Andrea & Adam Goldberg Andrea & Adam 1999-2007 Aster

Zach & Rheame Merida 2012-2022 Merida

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 with their families 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

Nan Auten Eden Cohen Leila Cohen Charlie Newman Leo Pevnick Max Resnick Emma Reiss Olivia Rudolph Sari Streem Lila Sukert Josh Wolfe Zoey Zimmerman

Supervisor Spotlight (continued)

Mental Health Counselor: Julia Leb

Years at camp: 14

Hometown: Canton, OH

What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? I wish I could have dinner with the characters from The Office.

If you had to sing a song at a staff karaoke, what song would it be? Maybe a song from Moana or Encanto?

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

“I Can Hear the Bells...”

Pool Supervisor: Simone Portnoy

Years at camp: 1

Hometown: Austin, TX

What is the best thing you bought this year?: A hoodie blanket

If you had to sing a song at staff karaoke, what song would it be? We Don’t Talk About Bruno

ILS Supervisor: Ryan Singer

Years at camp: 16

Hometown: Orange, OH What fictional family would you like to have dinner with? The Wizards of Waverly Place

What is the best thing you bought this year? A guitar

camp wise news | spring 2022
Reza Jacob Aubrey WarrenEllie Caleb Mia Aster Merida Michael Sadie Sara & Sam Goldman September 18, 2021 Matthew & Elizabeth Newman February 5, 2022 Ben Lubitz & Daniella Kohan March 21, 2022


We are honored to recognize the families, individuals and groups who have chosen to make thoughtful and generous contributions to Camp Wise. Please let us know if your name was inadvertently left off the list.


Meredith Belman

Amy & Scott Bilsky

Deborah & Howard Bobrow

Craig “C.J.” Brenner Brian Chessin

Mitchell Cronig

Irene Danz

– IMO Carol Rifkind Gelber

Deedra Dolin

Jodi Fish

Joan Flinker

Alayne Getze Andrea & Adam Goldberg

Danny Goodman Jennifer & Bernard Gordon Delores Kleinman

Lee Korland Rebecca Lord

Renee & Dean Marinchek

– IMO Maxine Middleton Barry Marlin Zachary Marlin Evan Meles

Arielle Miller

Jill Muencz

Margot Petler Taylor Redfearn

– IHO Dan Utley

Enid & David Rosenberg Patricia Rubin

Irene Sheets

Deborah & David Shifrin Angela & Jay Siegel

Stacey Singer

Shani & Scott Spiegle

Jennifer Topalian

Marni Weinstock

– IMO Maxine Middleton Mark Young

– IHO Rachel Felber Cathy & Brian Zbanek

IHO the marriage of Andy Saltzman & Georgia Lewis

Ben Becker

Neal Felstein

Scott Figler Alan Gecht Jeff Greenwald Dave Hausman Seth Osnowitz Steve Porter Mike Saig Melissa Shamis Daniel Shapiro Aaron Terkel Michael Walenstein

IMO Simone Gross Julie Bauman

Chagrin Valley Study Club Jennifer Rich-Dransner & Jason Drasner Laurie & Burt Engel Pamela & Marvin Goldstein John Goodman

Judith Holder Teri & Craig Koslen Shelley Magde


Glimpse Into Camp Wise’s 115 Years

Theresa Markowitz

Susie & Paul Nathan

The Novak Family Leslie Waxman Karen Weiss

PHILANTHROPIC FUNDS Board of Jewish Hope Foundation for Jewish Camping, Inc.

Harold Grinspoon Foundation Jewish Education Center of Cleveland John Andrew Lang Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland The Nachshon Project RootOne at The Jewish Education Project Robert and Sandy Zieve Scholarship Fund

WISE MADNESS 2022 Noah Appel Debbie Arnold Rachel Arnopolin Jennie Becker Scott Bilsky Adam Bloom Rachel Braun Jill Braun Bess Brown Jessie Bruder Abby Bruell

For summer 2022, like many summers in recent memory, Camp Wise will host 500+ campers over two successive sessions: four weeks followed by three weeks, known as “Trip I” and “Trip II.” The idea and name of camp’s trips began way back at Camp Wise’s very first summer in 1907 on the shores of Lake Erie. Two trips of 50 campers each spent two weeks at Sam Wise’s summer property in Euclid, Interurban Stop #133. In those first years, campers gathered in downtown Cleveland on Public Square and traveled by light rail to camp – hence the name, trip. After hugging parents goodbye they boarded the Interurban Rail for the trip out to Lakeshore Boulevard. In the words of former director and Camp Wise historian Albert M. Brown, “With screams and shouts of joy the train approached. We boarded

Hannah Caplan

Brian Chessin

Loren Chylla

Hannah Davidoff Mindy Davidson

Michelle Eisenberg Matthew Golden Heather Greene

Amanda Huffman Adam Josephson Hilary Lade

Joanna Laytin

Joshua Levy Deborah Lewis Zachary Marlin Barry Marlin Evan Meles Matthew Paley Allison Peterson Michael Post Jeffrey Resnick Celena Ritchey Sarah Senkfor Marty Shankle Jake Simon Jennifer Slate Max Steiger Lexi Stovsky Alexa Stovsky Jessica Traeger Sydney Ungar Beth Young Marcy Young Nancy Zimmerman as of 3/30/22

the train to be transported, as if by magic, from the turmoil of the city and hot streets to a new world of trees, green fields, fresh air, the smell of the woods. The leaders (counselors) were kind and considerate, and saw to it that we were happy. I felt so safe!” While we no longer travel to camp by train, similar standards and goals still guide us on our “trips” today: Care for each and every camper; transformative Jewish life experiences in nature; and a much needed break from the “turmoil” of everyday life.

The Train to Camp Wise, 1915

camp wise news | spring 202210

Winter Weekend Recap

Our first ever ILS (Israel Leadership Summer) retreat brought together teens who traveled to Israel in 2021 and those traveling to Israel in 2022! While the retreat served as a formal ending for the teens who traveled to Israel during the 2021 summer, it was also the beginning of the experience for the teens traveling to Israel for the 2022 summer (pre-trip experience). This never-before-done retreat allowed the Camp Wise teens to reflect on their past experiences from camp and Israel and provided a space to share and look ahead toward their future with camp, Israel and beyond. While on the retreat, the pre-trip teens were introduced to several program components: Places they will be traveling, the mifgash program in Beit Shean, the elective choices and their own roles as leaders of their peers through committees. This retreat served as an important connection mid-year for our teens; posttrip teens shared their experience with their near-peers allowing the pre-trip group to get even more excited about their trip.

At Camp Wise, a favorite (albeit slightly sad) song among all is “Closing Time.” In the song, there is a line, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” This line is similar to the Judaic concept of L’dor V’dor, from generation to

in this retreat, we are constantly teaching and providing opportunities for our campers and staff to give back to the next generation.

In celebration of the first ever ILS Winter Retreat, we asked a few teens to share their experiences.

Gabe Feinberg, a sophomore traveling to Israel in 2022, shared, “I chose to go on the ILS winter retreat because even though I was at camp several months ago, I just couldn’t get enough of it! Camp is my favorite place in the world, and I would never miss an opportunity to spend even an hour there. My favorite part of the whole experience was reconnecting with my old friends whom I haven’t seen in months or years, as well as already making new ones. Two of my closest friends flew all the way here for this weekend, one from New Jersey and the other from Colorado, which was so special to me. The Cleveland ShinShinim were also invited to this weekend, which gave us new insight into Israel and the culture there. I spent hours talking with the ShinShinim and became such good friends that we are getting coffee next week to practice speaking Hebrew before Israel. This whole weekend just got me so excited to step foot in Israel and made me feel like part of a community between first and second session teens.”

We said goodbye to our teens on Sunday morning and by Sunday afternoon had a whole new group at camp for our Winter Weekend. With over 50 kids spanning grades fifth through eighth, it was awesome to bring a small part of our camp community together.

Julia Klein, a seventh grader who will be spending her fifth summer at camp said, “I chose to come to the winter weekend for three reasons. One, to see my camp friends and make new friends. Two, so I can go to camp during the winter! Three, so that I could have a really fun weekend! The best moment of the weekend was being at camp with friends. Being at camp in the winter brought back many summer memories! I am most excited for the summer because I can’t wait to be back at camp again! I love doing camp activities with the very nice counselors and my friends. I am super excited!”

Her twin sister Ellie Klein, who will also be celebrating her fifth summer at camp, said, “I chose to come to the winter weekend because ever since my first summer at Camp Wise, I wanted to go to the winter weekend when I was old enough to go. Camp Wise is so fun, partly because I feel like I am part of a community there. I went to see my friends and make new friends, and to feel like I am a part of something important. I liked when we went sledding and played in the snow on the Noar rec. I am excited to make new friends, eat lots of dessert and am overall really excited to have fun!”

camp wise news | spring 2022 11


Join us throughout the summer! Be on the lookout for more information coming later this spring!



Considering Camp Wise for your children? Come see camp in action! Meet our leadership team and experience the fun of Camp Wise! You will even have the opportunity to make your own tie-dye T-shirt.

For more information and to register, visit www.campwise.org/summertours.



Escape to camp for the weekend 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

• Campfires and songs

• Arts and crafts

• Climbing tower and zip line

• Magical camp Shabbat and Havdalah

• Delicious kosher meals

• Activities for kids led by our amazing staff

• Welcoming, inclusive environment




As soon as you arrive at camp, you will feel like you are back in your glory days at the “Home of Happiness.” This weekend is for adults only – open to CW alumni who graduated high school in 2018 or earlier and their partners.

• Hop in a canoe and relax at the lake

• Grab a seat in the Art Shack and get your craft on

• Reconnect with fellow alumni

• Sing songs around the campfire

• And most importantly relax, disconnect and have fun



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

• Celebrate each day with delicious kosher meals

FACEBOOK facebook.com/campwise

MandelJewishCommunityCenterofCleveland 26001SouthWoodlandRoad•Beachwood,Ohio44122 FOLLOWUSONINSTAGRAM campwise.org@campwise13164 LIKEUSON
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.