In September 2017, nearly 90 percent of the grounds and buildings at URJ Camp Newman were burned and damaged by wildfire. Like many of the devastated establishments across California, we had no idea when – or if – we would be able to return to our community’s sacred home.
Now, at a moment in time that requires hope, inspiration, and the mindset that “it’s all going to be OK,” URJ Camp Newman has risen from the ashes stronger than ever before – against all odds and faster than anyone thought possible.
As Michelle Tandowsky, Camp Newman’s indefatigable board chair, says:
“This is game-changing. The resilience and strength of the Newman community is pure magic. It represents the best of collaboration and partnership, bringing together a vision of what can be and a legacy dating back almost 75 years, as well as grit and perseverance of a deeply committed board, volunteer, donor, and staff community.”
In March 2020, when the Reform Movement made the difficult-but-necessary, values-based decision to cancel in-person camp for the summer, our team immediately began looking toward the summer of 2021. Early on, we realized that the best pathway to operating in the summer of 2021 was to find a pathway back to our home in Santa Rosa, CA, affectionally called Porter Creek.