In my first four months as Director of OSRUI, I have visited many congregations across the Midwest. I am grateful to have had the opportunity during these visits to hear firsthand from OSRUI families about the impact of camp on their lives.
At one congregation, I met Michael*, a high school student who has attended camp for many years. Michael is struggling between his desire to come back to OSRUI and the need to get a summer job. Michael’s mom told me that she made sacrifices in the past to send him to camp because it is that important to her, but she just isn’t sure she can find the funds this year.
At a small congregation, more than half of the religious school students stood up during Kabbalat Shabbat services and shared from the bimah what it means to come to camp from a community with a small Jewish population. As I sat in the sanctuary, I watched their beaming parents as the children talked of new friends, first-time experiences, and what being Jewish means to them.
One of the leaders of the congregation whispered to me that they do all they can to make sure every child who wants to attend OSRUI is able to, but sometimes it is still cost-prohibitive.
During a recent weekend event at camp, I met Elana* and her parents. Elana’s parents came up to tell me how much their daughter loves OSRUI, and how much they appreciate the scholarship funds they receive from camp. I could see the excitement on Elana’s face as we talked about her returning to camp this summer and could hear the gratitude in her parents’ voices.
I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received from so many of you in the camp community during my visits. Now, I need your help so we can welcome as many children as possible to OSRUI next summer.
Michael, Elana, and so many others from across the country, in large and small communities, will only have the opportunity to come to OSRUI with your support.
Please join me in making OSRUI a reality for these kids.
Donate generously to our year-end scholarship campaign. The requests we receive for financial support increase every year and we need your help more than ever.
Warm wishes to you and your family for a Happy and Healthy 2018,
Solly Kane, OSRUI Director
*Names have been changed.