As we approach Labor Day weekend, seen to many as the close
of summer and the start of a new year, it is fitting that Rosh Hashana
immediately follows this the weekend of "reflection" this year. As a majority
of the world reflects back on the departing summer and creates goals for the
year ahead, we as the Jewish community embark on our time of reflection, goals
setting and visions for what we as individuals and as a community would like
accomplish in the year ahead.
This past year for HASC has been one of growth and success by
virtue of strengthening old relationships and building new ones with current
staff, alumni and community members throughout various New York & New
Jersey communities. With this growth and success, we have been able to continue
providing the amazing services and programs for which HASC has become known
for... and hope to continue doing.
Every year on the first day of Rosh Hashana, we read the
story of Chana in the Haftorah. This powerful story contains a lesson that is vital and central
to the message of Rosh Hashanna because it emphasizes that life is full of
changing fortunes. As we see each and every day at HASC, everyone has there own
challenges in life, some are big ... some are small. Challenges can be both
physical and emotional. Some challenges can be overcome through hard work and
some might never be overcome.
On Rosh Hashanna, everything lies in the balance of Judgment. We as Jews and as a community have to surround
these emotions with the Tekiah -- the firm blast of confidence. We can not wear
our emotions on our sleeves. We must look inward and outward. We must look into
I would like to personally wish you a L'Shana Tova U'Metuka! May it be G-d's
will that you as an individual and we, HASC as a community and family, be
written for a good, lengthy, and peaceful life. I look forward to working with
everyone in the coming year.
As always, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact my by
phone at(718) 686-5920 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
L'Shana Tova U'Metuka!
Grant E. Silverstein
Director, Special Projects & Alumni Relations
An Evening with Jamie Geller Benefiting HASC
On Wednesday, August 18th, HASC held a cooking demonstration for over 50 women in attendance and best-selling author and cook, Jamie
Geller. Jamie Geller serves as the Chief Marketing Officer for Kosher.com and is
the author of the cookbook, Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing.
The evening was a benefit to continue the amazing programming that HASC
offers. The beauty, elegance, warmth and tone of the evening were perfection.
The event was held in a beautiful home in the Five Towns. Jamie spoke about her
life and how she went from a non-kosher, non-religious TV Producer to a Kosher
cookbook author. She gave the group a dynamic cooking demonstration which was
followed by a delicious tasting.
Food of the evening included Chilled Salmon with a Duet of Dipping Sauces, Asian Cabbage Salad with Garlic Sesame Dressing,Brisket in Wine Sauce .
For more information about upcoming events, please contact Grant
Silverstein, Director of Special Project & Alumni Relations by phone at
(718) 686-5920 or by email at email@example.com.
A New Year A New
Make HASC part of your daily life...
Build giving to HASC into your
Home, Daily Routine and Social Circle.
Our new CharityBox
application allows you to give Tzedakah whenever the moment of inspiration
arrives. From your iPhone, BlackBerry, Desktopor Facebook account. Drop
virtual coins into your Tzedakah box and make a difference in a child's life.
A Note From Camp HASC Program Director, Ronn Yaish...
Dear Alumni & Friends of HASC,
I was sitting with my wife Rayzel (Kinderlehrer), over the weekend, in a nice calm moment looking over a large collection of HASC photographs and videos on our computer.
We had seen most of the images over the course of the summer either in person, or in the weekly Friday videos in the dining room. Yet they took on a different feel I guess maybe it be seeing them at the start of September or maybe taking them in all at once in one gulp so to speak.
The moments we shared together in our summers at camp literally boggle the mind. We look through our cameras or at the images framed by our talented tech staff and we see joy and beauty that we have had a large hand in creating. Though the quality of the pictures and videos has changed through the years, the meaning and the impact is the same.
We laughed with the pictures of the campers covered from head to toe in bubbles at that wacky sensory carnival we had on the baseball field in the rain this summer. We were in awe at those that day brave enough to fly in the harness jump, and those counselors devoted enough to put their campers in those harnesses and give them a taste of physical freedom.
We cried at the pictures and video of the campers leaving camp on the early pick up day. One camper after his siyum, had an entourage at his car. We remembered that holy moment of the parting, when we saw counselors struggling to find the words to say good bye.
We wanted to clap with the energy from the pictures of sing down, field day and color war. The songs still linger in our memory, "Hasc Day, Hasc Day....", the royal coronation of our little Camp HASC king...
The cloudless blue skies overhead as we spent our days traveling to grow in the therapy building, to learn in the classrooms, to sing in the music room, to hear a shiur with our campers, to shoot some hoops, to ride our bikes, to pet a bunny together at nature, to catch a quiet conversation on a shady bench.
As the sun set and the days cooled off, we laughed and cheered at so many night activities, we dressed in costume, we helped our campers make sushi, really!, we danced at so many concerts, where we lifted wheelchairs in the air, and elicited smiles and stood shoulder to shoulder.
We shared a great thing all of us alumni together. We and our campers shared a great place and great experience.
May your year, wherever this letter finds you, only go and grow from strength to strength and may your memories like ours do, continue to bring you joy in the years to come!
Wishing you a wonderful new year full of health and happiness,
Camp HASC Program Director
Alumni ProfileSandy (Appel) Klein, '87
Camp HASC has changed so much
over the last few years..... My
experience at Camp HASC dates back about twenty-five years ago when I
was a junior at Stern
College. I had just finished my junior year and wanted
to do something where I would be helping others. People suggested working at Camp HASC.
The thought of going away to a camp without many of my friends and working with
developmentally disabled children and adults was a bit scary. But it was really
something that I wanted to do, so I took the plunge. Camp HASC
at that time was more of a well kept secret. There was no Camp HASC
website, no Facebook group for HASC and not as many staff as there is today.
I will never forget the bright sunny morning
that camp started. My mom had dropped me off at the bus and asked me if I was
really sure that I was up to the task. I gave her a smile and turned around to
board the buses. In those years, campers and staff went up to camp on the same
day. We did not have the luxury that the staff has today of going up to camp
for a shabbos before the campers arrived. As you can imagine, it was a bit
overwhelming, yet also invigorating. The challenge was amazing. I still remember arriving in camp and being
directed to the lunchroom (which is now the Beit Medrash). I turned my back for
one moment only to find one of my Down syndrome campers kissing a boy camper. I
learned quite quickly that you needed to have eyes on all sides of your head. I
also learned never to play English music in the bunk (no ipods twenty five
years ago), since a Chassidic camper in my bunk who was autistic had an uncanny
ability to memorize songs. I think she went home singing all the latest hits of
The memories of my summer at Camp HASC
will stay with me forever. The relationships that I formed with my
co-counselors and friends are still strong. It was an inspiring and life
changing summer. From the day I finished working at camp, I knew that I wanted
to continue in a field that helped others. I always had a love of working with
the disabled, so I went on to pursue a career in Speech Therapy. As of recently I am now working with the
mentally ill. I owe all of this to my summer in camp HASC.
years ago, my daughter Esti who had just graduated high school expressed an
interest in working at camp. Words cannot describe the nachas that I had, when
I heard this. My daughter went on to working as a waitress her first summer and
then a counselor for the YAP division for the
next two consecutive summers. The greatest happiness was when I learned that
one of Esti's campers who is now a YAP, was my
camper years ago. The emotional reunion that I had with my camper was
indescribable. I really feel that although I had only worked in camp for one
summer, the feelings for working with the disabled have really infused my life
and my family's lives. I look forward to
coming up to HASC, on visiting days to visit with some of my former campers who
are still in camp, as well as all of the camper "friends" who Esti has formed
bonds with. When I walk through the gates on visiting day, I feel like I'm back
home again! Thank you Camp
Assistance for HASC families in need.
As the summer draws to a close, we would like to make you
aware of a brand new opportunity to contribute to a growing need in our
Due to a variety of circumstances, many families, who are
part of the Camp HASC 'extended family', may find themselves in challenging
situations and in need of assistance. This past year, for example, a child with
special needs sustained serious injuries in an accident, and had to spend
months in the hospital. To provide respite for the family, around-the-clock
coverage and support was immediately organized. Countless individuals
volunteered and spent numerous nights and Shabbosim in the hospital, and attended to the child's every
need (and even brought in Uncle Moishy!).
Unfortunately, because such cases are not infrequent, we
have decided to make a concentrated, organized effort to help such families.
We are proud to announce that this effort will be
coordinated under the label HASC Cares, a group specifically
created to organize assistance for such situations. The concept is simple;
provide a full range of supports to families whenever they need them.
In order to initiate and continue this initiative and
thereby provide the necessary care and assistance to these families,, we need
your help. If you are interested in joining HASC Cares, and becoming a source
of support for a family in need, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your
name, email address, location, and cell phone number. You will be added to our
mailing list, and will be contacted when opportunities to help arise.
As the Yamim Noraim draw
nearer, our actions on behalf of Klal Yisroel become even more significant. We sincerely hope you
join us in our efforts to make a difference in our community.
Wishing you a Shana Tova,
On behalf of the entire administration we would like to wish a special Mazel Tov to :
Rachel Goldberg ('06-'08) on her marriage to Shmuel Zavrovsky!
Sassy (Fisch) and Gabe Hanauer on the birth of a baby boy!
Beth Spolter ('07-'10) on her engagement to Mordechai Landesman!
Rachel (Apfel, '07-'08) and Rafi Abraham on the birth of a baby girl!
Charlie ('97-'98) Harary on the birth of a baby boy!
Sralli ('03-'04) and Simi Schwartz on the birth of a baby boy!
Avi-Gil ('04-'07) and Tamar Chaitovsky on the birth of Ahuva Bina!
Leah Gruen ('06-'09) on her engagement to Dov Carpe!
Half day TA in Early Intervention classroom. Hours - 8:30a.m. - 12:30p.m. daily. For more information, please contact Julie Ben-Zvi at:email@example.com.
Living up to your ideals this new year...
Rabbi Adam Jacobs
I could get 99 out of 100 people to agree that speaking gossip about another
person is wrong. I also know that if I polled those folks, 98 out of the 99
will still routinely speak gossip.
You can get the vast majority of humanity to agree up and down about the
great value of altruism and selflessness, but at the end of the day, in the
absence of extreme persistence, dedication and stalwartness in the face of
failure, most of us will not fully live our ideals. That's why we meet dating
coaches who can't seem to maintain a relationship, therapists whose personal
lives are a train wreck and even the occasional spiritual leader whose day to
day existence is anything but transcendental.
They may be fully committed to these concepts...but only intellectually, and
there is a huge chasm between the head and the heart.
Historian Paul Johnson wrote a fantastic book that deals with this
phenomenon called Intellectuals. In it, he outlines the philosophies of
several major intellectual figures from Western culture (Russo, Marx, Tolstoy,
etc) and then demonstrates through primary sources what their lives were
actually like. Needless to say, they don't match up too impressively. Marx, for
instance, was actually not very into seeing actual proletariat (just writing
about them). He spent most of his days in a pub in London racking up personal debt and treating
people amazingly poorly. Russo wrote beautifully about the "Brotherhood of Man"
yet had many illegitimate children whom he refused to assist, gambling debts
and a host of other interpersonal issues. Did they believe what they were
writing? Absolutely. But living what they wrote was another story.
The root of self esteem is for our insides to match our
Judaism has long maintained that the root of self esteem is for our insides
to match our outsides. When we behave in a manner that is consistent with what
we hold dear, we feel good about ourselves and the idea settles more deeply
within us. When we behave in ways that oppose what we know to be right and good
we feel hypocritical and unhappy.
One of the 48 ways to achieve wisdom listed in Ethics of the Fathers is to
teach. One reason is that it forces you to learn an idea very well in order to
articulate it effectively to others. Another is that is compels you to practice
what you preach...literally. Last year I started teaching a series called "Master
Your Emotions" that instructs people how to effectively understand and control
their negative emotions. I started to feel like a fraud telling others how to
behave when I wasn't really doing it myself. Suddenly I found the motivation to
really work on controlling my emotions. And the more consistent I was, the
better I felt about my self as a person and a teacher.
Rosh Hashana is just around the corner. As the leaves change and the world
turns towards Monday Night Football, the Torah teaches that it's time to start
looking within. Now is the time to start making a plan for your new year, one
that maximizes our integrity and authenticity. Here are some practical
- Get Clear: Spend one
hour doing a comprehensive diagnostic of where you're being inconsistent.
In one column list the behaviors and values that you hold dear. In the
other, rank yourself on a scale of 1-10 how closely your outer behavior
matches your inner values.
- Narrow it down: Pick
one area to focus on and keep a daily journal of your progress. Half the
battle is just coming to the awareness (in the moment) that you're doing
the thing you don't want to be doing. Then, like getting better at tennis,
you need to relearn your serve. Part of you doesn't want to do it and it
needs a lot of practice to be retrained. This is where exercising your
free will muscles comes in. Consciously resist the temptation to react as
you always have and then chart your progress
- Ask for help: Rosh
Hashana is the day when we ask the Almighty to "renew our contract" for
another year. It's the day to commit to a new business plan. Showing Him
how serious we are leading up to our "interview" is a great and rewarding
way to kick off the new year in high gear.
Puff Pastry Apple Purses
Prep Time: 12 minutes...Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Yield: 8 Servings
light brown sugar, packed
baking apples, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and quartered
puff pastry squares (from a 20-ounce package), defrosted
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
vanilla non-dairy ice cream (optional)
oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. In a bowl, mix the nuts, raisins and brown
sugar. Set aside.
3. Place 1 apple half, skin side down, on a
puff pastry square. Pastry should be pliable enough to twist.
4. Fill apple
cavity with nut mixture, approximately ¼ cup per apple half.
Bring pastry up and around the apple half to cover. Twist the corners together
so it looks like a drawstring purse.
6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Repeat with
7. Place in prepared pan.
Bake, uncovered, at 350°for 45
minutes or until apples are soft. A sharp knife inserted into an apple
should slip out easily.
Serve each with a scoop of non-dairy vanilla ice cream, if desired
Shanah Tovah u' Metukah|
On the threshold of the New Year 5771, we take this opportunity to wish you a very happy & healthy year.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time wishing that you may be inscribed in the "Book of Life & Happiness."
With warmest greetings and best wishes throughout the New Year!
The Office of Special Projects/Alumni Affairs
The Executive Office
Shmuel Menachem Chaim Ben Daniel V'Shoshana A"H -
A Camp HASC Weekly Dvar Torah L'Ilui Nishmas
Parshas Nitzavim- A Judge Isn't So Scary When He's Also Your Abba!
In my opinion,
this week's Parsha contains some of the most emotional, beautiful, and moving
Pesukim of all the Chamishei Chumshei Torah. Various Pesukim describe our
incredible relationship to Hashem and His deep love for us. Within these
Pesukim is possibly my favorite Rashi. The pasuk states in regards to the commandment
of making an oath and covenant to Hashem (29:12) "...in order to establish you
today as a people to Him and that He be a G-d to you, as He spoke of you and as
He swore to your forefathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and Yaakov." Rashi
comments that Hashem takes the initiative to put Himself to so much trouble in
order to establish Bnei Yisrael as His people. Moreover, He swore to our
forefathers not to exchange the Jewish people for any other nation. This is why
He binds us with these oaths; so that we should not antagonize Him, being that
He CANNOT separate Himself from us.
The very point of the covenant was
to ensure that Klal Yisrael would maintain its role as Hashem's people, given
that Hashem committed Himself permanently to maintain His role as our G-d. My
friends, I believe there is a very clear and important pre-Rosh Hashanah
message for all of us. And as much as I do not need to spell it out, it needs
to be said- sometimes, things need to be said, in order to be read, in order to
be internalized, in order to be actualized. This is one of those times.
Doesn't it feel like Rosh Chodesh
Elul was yesterday? Many of us sat in Shul that morning, hearing the Shofar
being blown for the very first time, marking the beginning of Elul. It was the
sound of awakening; to arise from our state of spiritual slumber and begin
preparing for judgment day. It is hard to believe that that was already three
weeks ago! All that time has passed. Has anything changed? Now we are down to
the final week, and Selichos start Motzei Shabbos. It is a very scary time.
Chances are, most of us, including myself, had planned on starting our
self-introspection period weeks ago, but somehow it just got pushed to the
side. Now we have one week to go. How do we approach it? Parshas Nitzavim tells
us how. Parshas Nitzavim reminds us that Hashem is our Father who loves us
dearly. He is a merciful, forgiving, and caring Father, waiting to take back
His child with open arms and a full heart. Hashem has already committed Himself
to us. He CANNOT separate from us. CAN'T! Yes, that's right. Hashem is limited!
Hashem is all-powerful and mighty, but there is one thing He cannot do- He
cannot abandon us. He cannot leave us. Why? Because He loves us. Hashem is not
going anywhere. All we have to do is come to him. It does not matter how badly
we may erred in the past year. We still have that holy spark within us, and
Hashem is anxiously waiting for us to reignite it. All you need to do is strike
that match. Make that first step and Hashem will reciprocate tenfold. Hashem
tells us "Open for me an opening the size of a needle, and I will open for you
an opening through which you can drive wagons". All we need to do is start with
a tiny hole. We can't overwhelm ourselves with too much at once. We can't fix
everything over night. But we can start by identifying the areas that need
improvement and start with one thing at a time. Any homeowner will tell you
that there can be times when there are 10, 20 things that need to be fixed our
repaired in the house. A leaky faucet, a shower that doesn't drain well, light
bulbs that need to be replaced, broken furniture, and the list just goes on and
on. A homeowner will also tell you that they do not try to fix all those things
at once. They fix one thing, save up some money, and then fix the next thing.
Not everything can be fixed at once. But if they don't start by making a list,
if they don't identify the problems, nothing will get fixed. The same can be
said about ourselves. Hashem isn't expecting us to fix everything all in one
shot. He wants us to WANT to be better and to become closer to Him. All Hashem
needs is to see the desire and determination to jump back into His warm and
As you enter the week leading up to
Yom HaDin, keep reminding yourself "Hashem is my Abba. Hashem loves me. Hashem
is my Tatty. All He wants is for me to come back to Him. He will never give up
on me. Never." Hashem cannot separate from us, and nor does He want to. Rav
Shimshon Pincus, Zt"l, once told over the following parable. In a less common
nusach of Selichos, there is a verse that reads "Avarechecha Mimecha, Eilecha,"
"I will run away from You, to You." This sentence is obviously paradoxical. How
can we run away from Hashem, to Hashem?! Rav Pincus answers beautifully that a
child, when he does something wrong, instinctively runs away from his father
for fear of getting punished or after getting a "potch," just as instinctively
runs back to his father because he realizes that his father loves him, and only
gets angry because of his love and care. We, Klal Yisrael, act the same way. We
distance ourselves from Hashem after we sin (really, it is the Yetzer Hora
making us distant), but then when we realize our mistake, we run right back to
Hashem and do Teshuvah.
Hashem is our Father who in a week's
time, will judge us, fairly and mercifully. But He gave us a court date for a
reason. Hashem gave us time to prepare. We have a full week to run back into
Hashem's arms! We don't need to become perfect little angels. We just need to
come back to Hashem. Even the rebellious and wayward son is accepted by his
father with a full heart. Just remember, our Father is the Judge! Think about
this, and think about how Hashem cannot separate from us. And maybe, just
maybe, you will say out loud (when no one is watching), "I love you too,
There is an inyan
that each day of the last week of the year can be metaken for every other day of the year. Make the most out of the
last Shabbos of the year, as it can be metaken
for every single Shabbos of this past year! HAVE AN EXTRA SPECIAL AND EXTRA GESHMAKE' SHABBOS!!!!! (Suggestions? Comments? Interested in contributing to SaMeaCH? Please
feel free to contact Aaron Fleksher at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Be in touch...
- Join the HASC Facebook Page: The
Official Camp HASC Group
Ways to give back to HASC...
- Join the Maaser Initiative
- Make a donation in honor of a
simcha or in memory of a family member or friend.
- Participate in the Day School
Initiative and Chessed Tzedaka Campaign
more information on how you can you stay
involved with HASC and be a supporter to HASC, please contact Grant Silverstein, Director, Special Projects &
Alumni Relations by phone at
686-5920 or by email at email@example.com
From all of us at HASC
Passover - April 2011