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Camp Newman for Rabbi Paul is Winding Down!

Camp is winding down. I am so sad. It has been a great, uplifting time:

  • 2 weeks of walking around in shorts and sandals, celebrating Shabbat for 25 hours, shmoozing Jewish breakfast through bedtime.
  • Relaxed. Refreshed.
  • Hanging with my posse of Or Ami kids (and other LA area friend’s kids).
  • Climbing the 50′ tower – okay, I didn’t make it to the top but I got farther than in year’s past.
  • Exploring Kol HaOlam Kulo (the whole Jewish world), our eidah (unit) theme.
  • Rocking to music of Jewish rocker Dan Nichols (dancing, of course, in the back of the Beit Tefilah (prayer amphitheater) so I don’t embarrass my kids).
  • Reconnecting with the same camp friends (rabbis, educators, cantors, spouses/partners) with whom we have been attending camp for the last 15 years.
  • Eating three meals a day prepared by someone else and cleaned up by someone else (we do have to bus our own plates, however).
  • Watching my kids have the times of their lives, schepping nachas (sharing the joy) with them, without having to be responsible for them for two weeks.
  • Watching, amazed, at how wonderfully these college and grad school aged counselors and administrators help kids and teens through the daily ups and downs of life.
  • Creating a Facebook page with its moderated “Or Ami Graduate Connection” group so we can keep in touch with our Or Ami graduates (it is amazing when our B’nai Mitzvah students keep in touch once they go off to college).
  • Shooting archery while receiving shooting tips from a patient specialist half my age.
  • Going wine tasting with friends (designated driver chosen and responsible) and figuring out that Beaucanon and Cuvaison wineries are our favorites this trip.
  • Eating Its It ice cream sandwiches on Shabbat for snack.
  • Teaching college students Jewish texts about abortion and choice and then having a great discussion about it with them (the camp schedules special time for the college students to enjoy continuing Jewish education).
  • Bonding with my wife Michelle.
  • Realizing that I have enough underwear to go to camp for 2 weeks, changing them at least once a day, yet not having to do laundry (I’ve grown up… my Mom tells the story of the year, as a young child, that I came home from camp with packages unopened)
  • Having a camp party with my Or Ami kids.
  • Hiring great staff for our Mishpacha and Temple Teen Night programs.

The list goes on and on. It has been a great run! Shabbat begins this afternoon, and when it ends, we are off for a few days of vacation as we meander our way home. Its sunset at Camp Newman for Rabbi Paul and Michelle. We’ll miss Camp Newman!!!

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