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Pay no attention to the number by the month.  Here's a good thought for the New Year.  Shannah Tovah. Ron                        ...

Wednesday, May 1, 1996

Standing on the Teachings of Those Who Came Before

                                                                                                                         May, 1996

Dear G.U.C.I. Staff:

It's May.  The sounds of racing motors at the Speedway are always a sure sign
that camp is about to commence.  As we are about to, once again, embark on the
grand challenge here in Zionsville, my mind  wanders into the misty memories of
camping's past.  To me, it is important to acknowledge how our past helps shape
our present, and, in turn, our future.  Goldman Union Camp Institute is built
upon the foundation of years and years of camp staffs, rabbis, educators, and
directors.  Their ideas and energies paved the way for G.U.C.I. 1996.  Their
passions led us to this point, we take over from here.

It is impossible for me to psych myself up for what lies ahead without thinking
of those who taught me the joys of Judaism and camp as I was growing up.  My
counselors at Union Institute in Wisconsin, the Levys, Merle Singer, my rabbis,
Lorge, Wolf, Mahrer, my unit heads, Jerry Litsky, Gene Levy, my director, Irv
Kaplan, all stand with me as I begin again to build what will be our camp
community this summer.  So do the hundreds, perhaps thousands of campers and
counselors from those fourteen years up north and twenty-two down here. 

 When I begin to open the pool this spring, Jim Bennett and Mike Weinberg will be
minding the filters with me. 

Joe Eiduson, Linda Ross, Marty Zinko, Joel Block, Amy Wolf, Jon Stein, Andrea Lerner, Bruce Lustig, Danny Gottleib, Mark Lerner, and Shirley Idelson will be driving the truck along with all the others who have painted and swept out the Oolam, mopped the cabins, carried the canoes,
helped plan orientation. 

When I first look out at Eagle Creek lake this summer, I'll think of Brad Lander arguing, pushing me to implement a canoeing program. 

As we count tents for Anaf's Kesher program I'll remember Mark
Glickman, out with 100 Anafers at Morgan-Monroe in a thunderstorm. 

When we begin talking about counseloring I'll remember the lessons Simcha Bob and
Sandford Kopnick taught the counselors in their day. 

When our Program Director, Mark Covitz and I began planning orientation, Steve Goodman, Mike Weinberg, Jim Bennett, Lee Freedman, Rachel Hertzman, Sandford Kopnick, Josh
Bennett, Mike Moskowitz, and Jay Moses were sitting on the floor in my office
with us, if only in spirit. 

 I gain a tremendous sense of confidence and strength at the thought of so much creative energy collected over the years, adding to our own strengths, propelling us into another camp season.  I can only imagine how many images of former songleaders will appear (if only in my
mind), strumming their guitars in the shadows of the chadar during Shabbat song

We share a fine heritage, the history of our people and the history of those
who taught it to us.  But now comes the time to roll up the sleeves and get to
it.  Now we take our place in the lineage of Jewish communities, of camp
staffs, of the creators of the history of Goldman Union Camp Institute.  This
will be our summer.  We will build it.  I am sure that we will uphold the high
standards set for us by our rabbis, program directors, and counselors of the
past.  In doing so we add our own creativity and passion to the collective
pool.  The spirit of the community we create this summer will build the
future.  It seems only natural to think that years from now some unit head will
reflect back on what we may have given him/her this summer; that someone will
conjure up a misty memory of a warm Jewish feeling received at G.U.C.I during
the summer of 1996.  It is our turn.  This is our challenge.  Thank God for the