Retiring Tiferet

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Anaaaaachnu ohavim et Tiferet…v’ein acheret…” 

The words of this cheer carry so much truth – we love Tiferet and there really is no other program like it. For three decades, Tiferet, its campers, staff, faculty, and artists have created beautiful artwork and performances each summer while exemplifying OSRUI’s commitment to Jewish learning.  As camp programs evolve over time, we reached one of those points of evolution this year and made the decision to sunset Tiferet. The lifecycle of an eidah is not new at camp – as our community grows and evolves, the makeup of the programs offered at camp evolve as well.  Sometimes it is an evolution of chugim, building of new buildings, renovations of old buildings, adding a waterslide… and sometimes it is the retiring of a program that many have loved and grown within.   When a program evolves and ends, we know it doesn’t erase the many years of fun, friendships, laughter, etc – and we want to lift up, celebrate, and honor those memories  

Thank you! To everyone who has loved Tiferet, campers, counselors, specialists, Rashei eidot, and faculty. You have graced this intimate, loving and creative community for years. The friendships, laughter and love that have passed through the art center, beit am and barn will be forever held in the story of OSRUI.  

A special thank you to the many artists who shared their talents, expertise, and love of art and Judaism with our campers. The moomchim of Tiferet dedicated many summers of their lives to tending to this community and facilitating the art making not just in this unit but all over camp. A special thank you to Ohad and Margalit Shaaltiel who gave life to Tiferet throughout the last three decades. Ohad and Margalit are truly synonymous with Tiferet and we are so grateful to them for their leadership, creativity, and passion. We are blessed that they, along with so many others, returned summer after summer to Oconomowoc. 

The decision to retire Tiferet was not an easy one, because we know how much this program has meant to so many in our community, and, at the same time, we know it was the right one for OSRUI at this time. Over the past several years, campers have been gravitating towards other units and looking to engage in the arts in less immersive ways. We know that by taking some of the elements that made Tiferet special and infusing them into other parts of camp, we can better serve our entire camp community. 

OSRUI is committed to keeping our camp filled with art! OSRUI is rooted in joyful Jewish music and we will continue to offer visual arts, theater, and dance chugim to all our units. Additionally, Gesher will now offer Making a Musical – a chance for performers and non-performers to engage in a full musical production process throughout the entire session in addition to participating in arts chugim. All our Gesher intensives will take an important cue from the curriculum of Tiferet – integrating limmud with the intensive choice that speaks to them. Giving campers opportunities for more small groups and friendship. 

As alum of this program (Beth in 1994, Solly in 2002 and 2003), we are excited to honor Tiferet. When we are able to safely gather, we hope our Tiferet alumni will join us at camp to celebrate almost 30 years of immersive Jewish art making. We invite you to post your photos and videos on social media – tag OSRUI and use the hashtag #ThanksTiferet. Additionally, we are gathering material for the camp archive (and to be shared widely later this year) – use this Wufoo form to share any art or memories you made in Tiferet so we can save and share them for years to come. 


Solly and Beth