Monthly Archives: September 2017

Hurricane Maria: Help Our Families in Puerto Rico

Dear Camp Judaea Family,

L‘Shana Tovah to you and your family. As many of you know, the Puerto Rican community has been an integral part of the Camp Judaea family for over 50 years. Almost two dozen families from Puerto Rico currently send their children to CJ and many other CJ families are originally from or still have family living in Puerto Rico. We have been in touch with all of our families affected by Hurricane Maria, and fortunately they are all safe. However, many of our families are reporting significant damage to their homes, may not have electricity for an extended period of time, and are considering relocation so that their children can attend school. Simply stated, this hurricane has devastated the entire island, and it will take months (or possibly years) for the Puerto Rico community to rebuild.

We want to assist the Puerto Rico CJ community in any way that we can, so we have created a new scholarship fund called the CJ Hurricane Maria Scholarship Fund. This fund will go towards assisting Puerto Rican families in need of scholarship money to make sending their children to CJ a little easier while they rebuild their lives. Donate today to the CJ Hurricane Maria Scholarship Fund

In addition, we want to share with you some of the many ways that CJ families are currently assisting the relief efforts. We encourage you to reach out to them directly to provide assistance.
To name a few:

  • CJ Alumni David Solomiany, the Shub family, and other members of the CJ community are working with the Jewish Community Center of San Juan to help rebuild two local towns that were devastated by the hurricane. They are collecting and delivering water, food, and essentials for families located in these areas. Contact David ( for more information.
  • CJ Alumnae and camp parents Jennifer Zeuner and Vicky Cohen are working together with a group in Boca Raton, FL that is flying essential goods to those in need. You can click on this link to obtain a list of what supplies are needed most: PR Amazon Wish List. Contact Jennifer ( or Vicky ( for more information.

The CJ community is strong and committed to helping one another. After all, we call it the CJ family for a reason! Thank you for your continued support of Camp Judaea and for your help with our Puerto Rican families in need. We hope that you will consider making a donation to the CJ Hurricane Maria Scholarship Fund or reaching out to our alumni who are already coordinating relief efforts.

If you have any questions please contact our office or e-mail Walter (

Camp Judaea

Camp Judaea Acquires a New Torah

This year, Camp Judaea had an opportunity to purchase a very old and well-loved Torah from a small and shrinking congregation in New Castle, Pennsylvania called Temple Hadar Israel. The Jewish history of New Castle, PA dates back to the mid-1800’s and Temple Hadar Israel originally began in the mid-1870’s as a small minyan held in congregants’ homes. From there it grew to a congregation of several hundred with youth activities and a religious school. However, by the 1960’s the Jewish population in New Castle was dwindling and in 2015, Temple Hadar Israel sold its building to a local business owner. The congregation still gathers in the space occasionally, but decided to sell their one of their Torahs to a community where it would be cherished.

We were matched with this congregation through a partnership with the Jewish Community Legacy Project which is a resource for small congregations located outside of metropolitan areas that have an aging population and dwindling leadership and a desire to insure their legacy.

After we purchased the Torah, it was sent to be restored in Florida through an organization called Sofer on Site. We got some incredible action-shots of our very own Torah as the Sofer worked to restore it to a condition suitable for our community.

The Torah made its way up to Hendersonville before the summer kicked off. The CJ community enjoyed the Torah on two very special mornings during which we celebrated B’nai Mitzvot of some of our campers. We will continue to treasure the new addition to the CJ community and our journey with Jewish Community Legacy Project, and we look forward to many future simchas with our Torah.

Leah Perez (Bogrim 2018)

Ethan Fisch (Kesher 2018)

Ayelet Baisburd (Bogrim 2019)