Makom Jeff — Jeff’s Place at OSRUI

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Makom Jeff —Jeff’s Place at OSRUI

Jeff Erlanger (1970-2007)

We have some exciting news! Just this week, OSRUI held a small ceremony to rededicate Makom Jeff —Jeff’s Place, in memory of Jeff Erlanger. 

Jeff spent many summers at OSRUI in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. He completed the entire camp program, from “staff brat” through Avodah and served as a counselor for several years. Although Jeff couldn’t use his legs and just had partial use of one arm, his disability didn’t define him. Camp was a place of acceptance and inclusiveness, and his presence taught these values to everyone he encountered. Like so many others at OSRUI, he was blessed with lifelong friends he made there. 

Solly Kane sharing remarks at the Makom Jeff rededication ceremony.

This week’s Torah portion, Naso, concludes with Moses setting up the tabernacle, or Mishkan, and then subsequently consecrating it. We are taught that the Mishkan was the earthly dwelling place of God and a beautiful place where our ancestors could understand the divine will of God.

Beth Rodin marking this special moment with the hanging of a new mezuzah.

Like the Mishkan, we had the opportunity to consecrate a new beautiful space at camp as Makom Jeff. For a generation of campers at OSRUI, this building has special power as a place of gathering and a place of community. This building was also an important place to Jeff and his time at camp. And, like many of the sacred spaces at camp, if you pause while you sit in this building, you can feel the divine presence of God.  

Thanks to a generous gift from the Jeff Erlanger Memorial Fund, Makom Jeff will continue to be a sacred space for community in Oconomowoc. In the same way that camp was a welcoming place for Jeff, we want to ensure OSRUI continues to be a warm and inclusive home for each and every camper who we care for this summer and into the future. 

We invite you to read more about Jeff and his impact here: