Close to 40 special campers and staff members from Camp HASC spent last Shabbos at Boca Raton Synagogue as guests of the community.
Before the sun had even risen on Friday morning, the excitement and anticipation was palpable as the children and staff gathered at Newark Airport. Accompanied by direct one on one counselors, as well as by additional staff members and medical personnel, the special campers enjoyed a fun-filled beautiful day in Florida, and an uplifting Shabbos at the Boca Raton Synagogue. Joined by local Yeshiva High School students, camp alumni spanning the past 30 years as well as supporters and community members, the Shabbos meals were filled with Ruach, Divrei Torah and sharing amazing memories.
Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Rav of BRS, shared inspiring words regarding his visit to camp this summer. “Visit Camp HASC and you see young men and women spontaneously displaying hugs, kisses and affection to campers they only met a short time ago but have come to love as their own children…Those fortunate enough to spend a summer there are blessed to come close with some holy neshamos and develop relationships with some truly special people. HASC alumni are among the most selfless community leaders everywhere and undoubtedly, the experiences they gain there contribute to learning the skills necessary to be a devoted and giving spouse, parent and friend.”
Rebbetzin Yocheved Goldberg reflected on how impactful her experiences were as a Camp HASC staff member, and now as a parent of a staff member.
Addressing the main shul at BRS, Medical Director Alyssa Sacks spoke movingly about her personal feelings and experiences as a parent of a child with special needs, and how Camp HASC plays such a central role in her family’s day to day life.
Motzai Shabbos, everyone enjoyed a fun night of music, dancing, pizza and a chesed project/art activity together with members of NCSY JOLT. The campers got a chance to interact with the community in the true spirit of Camp HASC – through music, dance, and fun.
“So many community members expressed interest in learning more about the unique summer program and year-round services that Camp HASC provides, so spending Shabbos with the community was also a form of ‘Pirsumei Nisa’ – a great way to begin Chodesh Kislev by educating the amazing BRS community through first-hand exposure and involvement in what we do,” said Rav Judah Mischel, Executive Director.
As Nina Butler, Director of Special Projects, explained, “We were thrilled when Rabbi & Rebbetzin Goldberg extended the invitation for us to join their wonderful BRS community for Shabbos… With so many alumni and families that share a connection to Camp HASC there, joining BRS was a natural fit for us.”
“It was phenomenal to see the magic of Camp HASC outside the confinements of a summer in Parksville, NY. Those unfamiliar to Camp HASC’s rep were able to witness firsthand, the love and care with which our counselors treat their campers. With as much time and effort that was put into this Shabbaton, it would have been nothing without the incredible enthusiasm and care each one of the counselors brought to this weekend,” said Jenny Konigsberg, one of the coordinators of the Shabbaton.
Thank you so much to all the people who worked tirelessly in making this Shabbaton a success: Camp HASC’s Dr. Nina Butler, Michael Adler, Jenny Konigsberg, Alyssa Sacks, and Baila Mandelbaum; as well as Boca Raton’s very own Rabbi and Rebetzin Goldberg, Rabbi Steve Moskowitz, Dr. Liora Adler, and Donna & Kelly Tripp.
Throughout the year and all summer long, Camp HASC is committed to providing meaningful care and support services for individuals with special needs and their families.
To see more of the magic that happens in Camp HASC and to get involved in miracles that happen daily, visit CampHASC.org.