June 16, 2024
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June 16, 2024
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Camp HASC Is Raising the Bar on Bar Mitzvahs

At Camp HASC, bar mitzvah celebrations are transformed from typical to fantastical, from ordinary to unforgettable! And it makes perfect sense that special children have special celebrations.

Our bar mitzvahs are a celebration of each camper’s unique strengths. The fact that a camper may not be able to lain by himself does not diminish the simcha. On the contrary – the focus is on what each camper CAN do. Many campers receive aliyot, with the brachot often recited together with their fathers or a family member. The feelings of love and support at those moments bring tears to the eyes of all those participating.

Over the last few weeks, Camp HASC celebrated bar mitzvahs with campers Lior Citron and Saadya Grossbard, and a staff child, Michael Levovitz. All three young men received aliyot with their fathers and helped out by doing pesicha and gelila. Their courage and determination were truly heroic as they took their unique place as adult members of klal Yisrael.

Elie Lisker is another camper whose bar mitzvah was celebrated this summer. Elie is best known for his amazing smile and loving personality. For his bar mitzvah, earlier this year his family had a sefer Torah written in his honor. The Liskers generously loaned that Torah to Camp HASC in honor of Elie’s camp bar mitzvah. That great moment was celebrated with an electrifying hachnasat sefer Torah dedication. Music, dancing and unlimited joy absolutely overtook the campus in an inspiring display of ‘kvod haTorah’ and ‘kvod shamayim!’

It is difficult to describe or measure the enormous impact that these smachot have on the families. Mrs. Milaine Grossbard beautifully expressed how she felt in a letter that she wrote thanking all of the staff. “I have tried many times to formulate my feelings to words but I feel that I can’t do it justice. Coming into HASC I had in my head that I wouldn’t expect anything. I wouldn’t get my hopes up that my Saadia would even allow us to wrap his arm and place tefillin on his head. I wouldn’t allow myself to even dream that he could stand in front of the beautiful holy sefer Torah. I could not fathom the concept that he would allow this to take place for 15-20 minutes. It was surreal. It was such a special moment that we will remember forever.”

Mr. Yanky Adler, Michael Levovitz’s grandfather wrote, “We are still marveling the way the HASC family went well beyond the call of duty with every detail. The meals, the aliya and davening, the kiddush and the genuine love and warmth you gave to our family will be remembered and cherished forever.”

As Rav Judah Mischel, executive director, explained, “The families are blown away by these events because in Camp HASC their children can have a regular bar mitzvah just like everyone else.”

Rabbi Avi Pollak, boys’ head counselor, added, “When you walk through the gates of HASC disabilities disappear. In camp all of our campers are completely typical.”

Camp HASC is all about ruach, all about bringing the excitement of yiddishkeit alive. Through these bar mitzvahs, celebrated together as one camp family, our bnei mitzvah, their families and friends get to experience that joy.

Raising the bar on bar mitzvahs is just another reason why people say that at Camp HASC miracles happen.

To learn more about Camp HASC, please attend the HASC Experience Day on Sunday, July 31 from 10-2.

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