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Springing Into Community Action

By: Lee Trepeck, CEO

Tamarack Camps is in action every month of the year – and within the last 5 days alone, throughout this community, our Tamarack leadership continued in full motion. The below represents only a small sample from a bustling calendar of highlights: 

Along with Andy Belsky, Calum Darroch, Becca Fishman, Jeremy Lambert, Kitty Phillips, and Matt Russell, our entire team felt so privileged to host activity in Ortonville.  At Butzel Conference Center, we were thrilled to welcome the Jewish Community Center Association, where a motivated group from various camps all around North America connected to train and prepare for best practices in leading their respective summer travel to Israel. Amongst the all-star team of guests, we were so glad that the roster included Shoshana Bittker, Zack Goldman, and Jillian Tukel – our talented trio for the Joy and Allan Nachman Teen Leadership Trip to Israel! So appreciative to host such inspirational leaders. 

Simultaneously, on the grounds of Camp Maas, BBYO (led by Tamarack summer staffer, Jen Frank, and a long list of engaged Tamarack alum), enjoyed a jam-packed agenda for their Spring Convention (and it was extra special to welcome home so many campers that are involved with both organizations)! We’re so proud to partner with another agency of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (“JFMD”).

Bookstock is one of the largest used book sales in the country – and, amongst many organizers and committed volunteers, is led by Roz Blanck (Tamarack alumnus), who, for so many years, has been an active member of our Tamarack history. Beginning on Saturday night, and, during the week of preparation and sales at Laurel Park Place, members of our year-round team joined other volunteers to participate in this iconic program – and spread the importance of literacy to a wide range of curious readers. So meaningful that, along with Stefanie Aronow, Lindsey Brenz (and Sharon, her mom!), Rachel Fine, Becca Fishman, Zack Goldman, Lori Davidson Mertz, Gabe Neistein, Jessie Pesola (and her husband, Brian!), Rachel Pitt, Robin Kaufman Trepeck, Lauren Vidak, and Carly Weinstock, we were part of the story.

On Sunday afternoon, offering COVID-19 vaccinations for our community, we appreciated the efforts of Stefanie Aronow, Jen Feinberg, and Helayne Shaw. So proud that health and safety remains the number one priority – and that others from our area joined the mission. 

On Wednesday, at Hillel Day School (with special acknowledgment of Dr. Darin Katz and his team), members of our team gathered on the Sue and Alan J. Kaufman & Family Field to celebrate Yom Ha’atzma’ut (Israel Independence Day). Here, students loved interacting with the leadership of our programs – Rachel Fine, Becca Fishman, Zack Goldman, Rachel Pitt, Matt Russell, Lauren Vidak, and Carly Weinstock – in an energized morning of Israeli-themed obstacle courses. Then, later that day, we had the pleasure of joining indoor festivities, where excitement continued with music from Star Trax (Geoff Kretchmer and his team are so supportive) and conversations with more students, our community shiliach (Yiftah Leket and his family), the Shinshinim, clergy, and so many distinguished guests – many of whom are also connected to Tamarack Camps. So important that, with yet another agency of JFMD, we honored Israel during these critical times.

And more Israel… to honor 75 years, in another planned community-wide initiative, our program team joined the birthday party at Shaarey Zedek. So fortunate that our extended Detroit MISHPACHA offers many ways in which to honor sweet milestones.   

We are beyond proud to work alongside a unique network of people and committed organizations; now, looking ahead, we hope that the community will join us next month (May 17) as we return to Shaarey Zedek and celebrate Tamarack Camps and our honorees, Doreen Hermelin and Jason Luckoff – two impactful leaders and bright lights. Send a Kid to Tamarack (SK2T) is our annual event that helps bring more kids to camp, respectful of financial ability, and further enables our agency to shine so broadly. The engagement continues. So excited to celebrate together!