Blog  Comments from the Chair

Comments from the Chair

By: David Abrams, Steering Committee Chair

Left- Marc Newburgh, former Steering Committee Chair, right is David Abrams, current Steering Commitee Chair

The purpose of the Camp George Steering Committee is to support, advise, provide feedback, proactively plan and provide additional resources towards the accomplishment of the Mission of Camp George, together with the camp’s professional staff. The Steering Committee plays an important and significant role in developing and sustaining the camp.

What is our mission?
URJ Camp George will strive to nurture a passion for Reform Jewish identity, knowledge and values through an immersive summer camp experience that transforms lives, building community within and beyond its borders.

My term as Chair of the Camp George Steering Committee officially began during the Annual Camp Steering Committee weekend up at Camp this past August. It is always a special time… joining lay-leadership with the camp community of campers, counsellors, professional staff, faculty and parents. This year was no exception.

In addition to participating in the joy of a Camp George Shabbat and hosting the Annual Staff Appreciation BBQ, the Steering Committee joined together for a meeting that included a Camp Directors’ Report, Leadership Transition and a facilitated visioning session focussed on our roles as committee members, engaging faculty and professional staff in the fundraising process and the development of compelling messaging to engage prospective donors.

Harry Levy, the Chair of the NAC (the governing body of the URJ camping system) was able to join us for the Leadership Transition, bringing greetings from the larger camp community and offering his perspective on the role of lay-leadership in working towards our camp’s mission. I had the opportunity to personally recognize and extend our appreciation to our outgoing and now Past Chair, Marc Newburgh. Marc’s commitment to camp cannot be measured and his contributions to camp are extensive. Some of the highlights include the completion of the camp’s strategic plan and governance guidelines under his watchful eye, and his role in strengthening the ties between Camp George and the greater Jewish community in the GTA. Fortunately I don’t have to say that we will miss Marc, because he will be continuing to work side-by-side with our new Vice Chair, Sandi Smith, and me.

In the coming months, we will be working as a committee, and with the support of our sub-committees, to set goals for the coming year that will work toward achieving our long term objective… to ensure that every Jewish kid that wants to come to camp can… both in terms of financial resources and to have a bed to sleep in. To that end, our fundraising efforts are focused on raising funds to support our annual scholarship requirements (and scholarship endowment fund) and to continue to build cabins and other facilities to accommodate our growing camp community… now numbering close to 700 campers and staff each summer.

If you are interested in joining us in this sacred work, please feel free to reach out to me directly at


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