One of my favorite times of the year, at least in the camp world, is right after the holidays. There is a phrase in Hebrew, Aharei HaHagim, that actually means “after the holidays”. It is a reference to the fact that it is incredibly difficult to get anything done in the professional Jewish world around the holidays. This year was no different— but just because it is difficult to be productive doesn’t mean that you get to be unproductive!
This is the time of year when we have had the opportunity to reflect on the previous summer and begin to plan for the next. Staff evaluations have been completed and are being digested. We just received the Customer Service Indicator survey results back and as my father would always point out to me, “No matter how good your best is, there is always room for improvement”. We have already begun to examine our summer program and are already in heavy preparation mode for Summer 2014. Speaking of Summer 2014, registration opens Monday and we have already begun our promotional tour to recruit new campers. The excitement of what may be the best summer yet is palpable!
It is also a time of change in our office and I don’t mean the weather. As many of you know, this was Briana Holtzman’s last summer with us at camp. Briana has been a fixture in our community; she has been with camp from the beginning. She has been a partner, an ally, and a great team player. There is no doubt that the current success of Kalsman is in no small part due to her dedication, hard work, and commitment. She recently received her MBA from the University of Washington and is excited for a set of new challenges and opportunities. As Briana transitions out of her role this month, I want to make sure I take a moment to introduce to you the new Assistant Director to the camp, Sarah Moody.
Sarah grew up in Vancouver, Washington where she was the founding president of Congregation Kol Ami’s youth group, Kol Ami Senior Teens (KAST). After graduating from Washington State University with a Bachelors of Arts in English and a minor in Women’s Studies, Sarah briefly returned to Vancouver to serve as the KAST advisor. She made the move to Bellevue in 2012. Before joining the team at Camp Kalsman, Sarah spent time working for the Bridge Family Religion School at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Bellevue and Seattle as their Pre-K to 3rd Grade Principal and Hebrew Coordinator. She has spent the past three summers at Kalsman and has already proven to be a valuable addition to the team.
Chazak chazak v’nitchazaek – Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened…
David Berkman, Camp Director