Summer 2020 is fast approaching. For Camp Laurelwood, that also means welcoming Rabbi James Greene as the new Executive Director. Rabbi Greene brings nearly 20 years of professional experience and a passion for Jewish camping to his new role. He is excited to get started—even if that start is happening virtually.
“It is an interesting challenge to join a community without being able to be together,” Rabbi Greene remarked about making the transition during the pandemic. “So much of relationship building is about that personal connection and human contact. Instead, we are relying on online meetings to connect. Even with all of that, it has been so rewarding to meet with camp families and stakeholders, talk about how we are problem solving some of the unique challenges of this summer, and look ahead to a time when we can be together again. Although we are physically distant at the moment, we remain deeply socially connected through these virtual technologies!”
With so much up in the air, the camp community is coming together to support one another. As the pandemic emerged and Connecticut closed down, Camp Laurelwood went online and quickly scaled up virtual programming with Israeli dance sessions, song sessions and camp tours conducted on Facebook Live and led by camp staff and specialists. Zoom Shabbat and Havdalah rituals were led by board members and alumni.
“One of the things that makes camp so special is the deep connection that our alumni have to Laurelwood. This place is magic, and the 83-year history of those relationships is what continues to sustain us,” said Rabbi Greene.
For more information about Camp Laurelwood, visit camplaurelwood.org. Rabbi Greene can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the camp office at (203) 421-3736.