by Alexandra Argentar
On August 4, 2018, more than 400 OSRUI alumni and guests were joyfully welcomed back to camp to celebrate Shabbat together and break ground on the new Heichal HaTarbut Kaye (Kaye Cultural Center). The group represented alumni and guests from the 50’s until the present time, some of whom hadn’t been to camp since Jerry and Paula’s early days and were shocked to learn that the Rotunda is no longer the dining hall and there’s an Aquatic Center in addition to beautiful Lac La Belle. We were thrilled to welcome former U.S. Ambassador to the State of Israel Dan Shapiro and Julie Fisher, beloved OSRUI alumni, who traveled from Israel to join us.
Shabbat morning worship was beautifully led by Rabbi Richard Prass, Chair of OSRUI’s Rabbi, Educator and Cantor Committee (RECC) along with songleaders Micah Brandhandler and Naomi Gamaron. The Kaye family was honored throughout the service, along with past and present rashei eidot (unit heads), past and present segel (faculty), and the many multi-generational OSRUI families. Campaign Chairs Joel Bayer, Debbie Krupp, Neal Sabin, their families, along with all campaign leadership present, led the group in Kiddush and Motzi before we joined with all of camp for lunch and Israeli dancing.
In the afternoon, alumni song leaders from different generations joined together in a group shira (song session). We heard inspirational words from OSRUI and URJ leadership: Solly Kane, Director; Steve Wolf, Chair of the Board of Governors; Michael Lorge, Chair of the Development Committee; and Paul Reichenbach, URJ Director of Camping and Israel Programs. Rabbi Leora Kaye and Michelle Kaye Silverman beautifully introduced their parents, Jerry and Paula, who added a few words about the power of the OSRUI community. Led by our alumni songleaders, we walked together from the welcome tent to the site of the new building where we ceremoniously broke ground and ended in a group Shehechiyanu. For a “sweet” finish to the day, guests enjoyed a groundbreaking “dirt cup” – shovel, worm and all – for dessert!
A special thank you to Steve Wolf, Michael Lorge, the OSRUI Board of Governors, our year-round staff and summer staff, who all came together to make this such a special day.
We are grateful for the tremendous support of the OSRUI community, who together has raised more than $4 million to begin building the new Heichal HaTarbut Kaye, a purposeful place for worship, performance and community. If you have not yet had a chance to participate in this community campaign, we still need your help! Please join us with a gift of any amount. Naming opportunities and multi-year pledge payment opportunities are available for gifts of $1800 and above. All gifts make a difference and enable us to build a meaningful place where we can all gather together.
If you have any questions about how to participate in this campaign, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all who came out on the 4th and to all who were with us in spirit!
Alex Argentar is OSRUI’s Director of Development, as well as an OSRUI alum and mom of three campers.