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GESHER ACHSHAV - A BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE
Please join us on the Day of Giving, Thursday May 20 at 7:30pm EST, for a special gathering of our community over Zoom.
We are inviting you all to participate - all Gesher alumni, chanichimot (campers), madrichimot (counsellors), parents, grandparents, and special friends. Bring your ruach (spirit) and your Gesher memories and shtick to a special evening of celebration and nostalgia.
We will be hosting live virtual musical acts, storytelling, interviews and more with Gesher folks old and new, past and present - a Gesher that keeps us linked to one another and ensures the legacy of our sacred space and our thriving community. Come out and show your support… you won’t regret it!
After the main event, there will be breakout rooms for current campers and alumni, and current parents will have an opportunity to meet with our directors.
Evening Event Celebrating Camp Gesher
7:30 PM EST
Enjoy some familiar faces hard at work planning a wonderful event for you!
What is the status of camp for summer 2021?
Since 1963, Camp Gesher has created powerful, positive Jewish experiences for thousands of campers in Ontario and across the world. It was heartbreaking for our community that we were unable to open our doors last summer for the first time since our establishment. Our closure also had significant financial implications for camp, for our full-time and summer staff, our Israeli and international partners, our infrastructure projects, our programming, and of course, our hardworking families who make sacrifices every day to provide their children with an unforgettable summer camp experience. This pandemic has impacted us all in so many difficult ways and we are hopeful, every day, that we are steps closer to being able to safely open our doors this summer, for Kayitz 2021.
Why is the campaign called Gesher Achshav: A bridge to the future?
All Gesherites know that achshav is the Hebrew word for “now.” There’s an urgency to the word achshav when it comes over the rumkol (loudspeaker) at camp. It means that something big is starting right now and that if you don’t join right away you will miss something important. It is in this same spirit of achshav that we are calling our community to come together. Gesher needs your help. Now more than ever. With your help, we can build a strong bridge to the future. Let’s come together to guarantee many more years of lifelong friendships, kvutza, tikkun olam, and progressive Jewish values in an intimate outdoor setting on beautiful Lake Pringle. Has there ever been a time when Gesher’s values were more important than they are right now?
Why another fundraiser?
Following the unprecedented success of Yom Gesher in 2020, we know we are asking a lot of our community to donate again so soon. We are ready to open this summer, if the government grants us permission to do so. However, opening safely during a pandemic will not be possible without incurring significant additional costs to support our COVID safety plan. For example, we are hiring a second nurse, building new outdoor spaces for dining and activities, and improving ventilation in every tzrif, to name but a few. We will also see a significant reduction in revenue due to restrictions on international travel. While things can change rapidly, and if allowed, we will welcome our international campers, we will greatly miss those American, Israeli, and European chanichimot who won't be able to join us this summer, but cannot wait to welcome them back with open arms in future years! The most dire scenario, of course, is not opening at all this summer and having to go a second straight season without any tuition revenue, which covers almost 100% of expenses in a typical year.
Can I give to Gesher before the actual Day of Giving?
Yes, you can. In fact, our matching campaign has already begun. We are accepting donations at any time.
All donations will be matched 2:1 through the generosity of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Azrieli Foundation. We are proud to announce that we have already received pledges for over $15,000!
How can I get involved?
Whatever happens, whether we are allowed to open safely this summer or not, we must rely on the spirit and generosity of our hardworking families and alumni to help Gesher navigate the challenges that lie before us. Please consider giving in any way you can: with your shekels, your time, your voice, your social media account, and your presence on May 20th. Your generosity will enable us to continue to offer current and future generations of families fun-filled, memorable summers at machaneh, and to provide alumni with a “home away from home” in an inclusive environment that sets Camp Gesher apart from other Jewish Camps. We are looking forward to seeing you all virtually on May 20th. Until then, please feel free to reach out with any questions, thoughts, pledges, or ideas.
For More Information or to follow up on any questions:
Shoshi Camp Director
Matthew Assistant Director
Dana and Sheara Board Co-Chairs