May 20, 2024
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May 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A Counselor’s Reflections

This past Shabbos, Camp HASC kicked off their first-ever out-of-camp Shabbaton with a weekend trip to Florida! Fifteen campers, accompanied by fifteen counselors, as well as upper staff members, who came from all over the continent (New York, New Jersey, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Canada and Miami) were warmly welcomed by Rabbi Efrem Goldberg and the entire Boca Raton Synagogue and community for a fun-filled weekend.

The trip began early Friday morning, with flights from all over meeting in Sunny Florida, where we then headed to an incredible indoor play-gym, designed specially for individuals with special needs. It was great to hang out with our campers in a facility that so well mimicked the environment that we and our campers are used to in camp, with adaptable swings, trampolines and jungle gyms. After having lunch, we spent some time in the nice warm Floridian sun by chilling in an outdoor playground, where some campers climbed, swung, rested or ran through sprinklers. The fun had just begun as we headed to our hosts’ homes in the community to get ready for Shabbos.

After starting Shabbos with a lively davening, we ate dinner with the 11th and 12th graders of the community, and had a Boca-wide Oneg Shabbos at the Tripp home, filled with singing and words of Torah and inspiration from campers (“I love the Rambam!”), staff, alumni and rabbis from the community. We had a great time meeting new friends, and showing them a taste of the magic of Camp HASC!

Rabbi Goldberg and his family joined us for Shabbos lunch, where we were privileged to hear from Rebbetzin Yocheved Goldberg, an alumna of Camp HASC, about her own experiences as a staff member, and now parent of a staff member, as well as some insight from current counselors and staff about how HASC has impacted their lives. During Seudah Shelishit, Executive Director Rav Judah Mischel addressed the entire shul and explained Camp HASC’s mission of revealing and embracing the natural and infinite light within every Jew, regardless of external abilities. We were so happy to be able to show the shul some of the excitement of a true Camp HASC Shabbos!

On Motzei Shabbos, we were treated to a special concert by the Katz Hillel High School band, as well as arts and crafts projects with NCSY JOLT. After the dancing, we headed into the gym to watch the Katz Hillel Lions take on Donna Klein Jewish Academy in a high school basketball thriller! After the game and some group photos, we headed to sleep, and boarded the plane back home early Sunday morning.

We’re so grateful to our hosts—Boca Raton Synagogue, Rabbi Goldberg and all the families who welcomed us into their homes and community with wide-open arms. It was such a treat to reunite with our campers in such a welcoming environment, and we loved watching the community be amazed with the campers we all know and love. A special thanks to organizers Dr. Nina Butler, Jenny Konigsberg, Michael Adler, Alyssa Sacks, Baila Mandelbaum and Kelley Tripp for all their hard work. We hope that everyone in Boca got a taste of the unique light of Camp HASC and that we can continue our connection in the future! Looking forward to seeing all of our new friends at the Camp HASC Marathon in Fort Lauderdale in February! #HASCTakesBoca

By Elliot Fuchs

 

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