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A Holy Community

Dear Members of the Goldman Union Camp Community,

I want to thank you for your support over the past two days, and for calling in to last night’s conference call concerning this weekend’s lightning strike.

Our camp community is strong. Today at camp, we begin programming for the final week of the session. Anaf has Bunk Night and is making final preparations for Project, their full-scale musical production, on Wednesday evening. Other campers have the usual range of activities, and continue to work on their chug presentations for Thursday evening.

I know that many of you may have questions concerning what your campers know about the lightning strike, and what kind of information you should share. All of our campers know that three campers were sent to the hospital as a result of the incident, and that one of them, a camper from Cabin 12, has been released and has gone home with his family.

Below you will find my remarks from our conference call yesterday. In addition, a number of you have asked for some advice about how to discuss this with your children. I hope that the attached will be helpful to you.


Rabbi Mark Covitz


First, I want to thank you for your support over the past 24 hours. After lunch this afternoon, we sang, as we often do, Kehila K’doshah. I was struck, as I am daily, by what a remarkable and, yes, holy community this is.

Let me tell you what I can.

We had a lightning strike here at camp, and three campers were injured.

They and their families are at the hospital, and are receiving excellent care. Our faculty, rabbis, and staff have been with them throughout. As parents, I’m sure you understand that we will not be sharing the details of the camper’s conditions, nor will we be releasing their names. They are from the following synagogues: Shaare Emeth, St. Louis; Rockdale Temple, Cincinnati; and The Temple, Louisville

Yesterday, our focus – as we know you would want it to be – was on the injured, and on our campers and staff. We reached out to the entire camp community as soon as practical, ensuring that we shared only completely accurate information. We will continue to so as appropriate.

I could not be prouder of how our staff reacted yesterday, nor more appreciative of the outstanding response from the Zionsville paramedics.

Today, camp is up and running.

This afternoon at the end of song session, the entire camp sang Mi Shebierach. We joined hands, we joined our voices, and we joined our prayers with all of yours.

And then the campers left the Chadar Ochel with their bunks for menucha, and from there to our traditional array of activities.


  • Geza has Bunk Night and will grill out for dinner and do special programming based on each cabin’s theme.
  • Shoresh and Anaf have a great program exploring Hebrew as a living language in Israel.
  • Garin is, for some reason (!), having a fashion show. I’m sure it will be great!

Camp goes, joyously, on.

Again, we appreciate all your love and support. We feel it here!