Herzl Camp is building an endowment to ensure camp’s future – today, tomorrow and forever… Our goal is to reach $10 million in commitments in 2018.  Many friends of camp have already created named endowments to support camp, bringing us to over $8 million pledged today.

To start an endowment at Herzl Camp, you make an initial donation or a pledge to give over the course of a few years. Each year, a percentage of the value of the fund is given out for the purpose you determine – typically 4-5%, depending on recent investment returns. You can set a specific purpose or area of camp for your fund to support like inclusion services, scholarships or facility maintenance or your fund can provide a general donation. Your gift will support camp in perpetuity – forever.

It’s a simple process to set up a fund. Meet with Holly Guncheon, our Development Director, and set up your fund today!


Greatest Need Fund

A high quality camp experience is expensive – weekly tuition is over $1,000. Your donation to our General Fund improves camp for today’s campers, adds special programming and activities and helps keep camp tuition in reach of the average family. Your support for Jewish camping addresses many of the concerns that face our community. As adults, Jewish campers are significantly more likely to join a synagogue, donate to a Federation, care about Israel, and marry and raise children as Jews.

Scholarship Fund

Your donation provides camp scholarships for kids in financial need. A $117 donation provides one day of camp for one camper in need. Each summer, Herzl gives $200,000 in tuition assistance to families in need – over 28% of our campers receive a scholarship from Herzl Camp.

Israel Education Fund

Campers are 55% more likely to feel a strong connection to Israel than non-campers. At Herzl Camp, we have a vibrant Israel Education program funded through contributions from friends who care about Israel’s future. Each year, we bring teens from the Sderot region of Israel to participate side-by-side with their American counterparts. We also bring several Israeli bunk counselors for the summer in addition to special learning opportunities with Israeli Scouts, dancers, musicians and scholars. Not every family can afford a trip to Israel, so we bring Israel to Camp!

Building and Maintenance Fund

You’ve invested over $8 million in Herzl Camp’s facilities. Our camp is beautiful, functional, accessible and safe – Your gift to the Building and Maintenance Fund is used to keep it that way! Whether it’s a new roof, a new water heater, or replacing screens in cabins, we are committed to keeping camp in great shape for future generations and your donation makes that possible.

60sreunionatmercaz 1960-64 Staff Scholarship Fund

As part of the 1960-64 staff’s 50th reunion, the staff reunion committee decided to create the
1960-64 Staff Scholarship Fund at Herzl. “Our goal was to leave our legacy at camp and make it possible for many future campers to have the Herzl experience”.

 1968-1973 Staff Scholarship Fund

In honor of their 40th reunion and their love of Herzl Camp, the staff of 1968-73 have established a scholarship fund. They hope to provide many campers the chance to discover their Jewish identity and to make lasting, meaningful friendships at camp, just like they did!

 1972 Ozo Camper Scholarship Fund

In the summer of 2012, the 1972 Ozrim returned to camp for their 40-year reunion. The group quickly renewed their friendships and got to explore camp as it is today. They marked the occasion by creating a scholarship fund. They were inspired to create this fund to ensure that many more children will enjoy the Herzl Camp experience.

1990 Ozrim Fund

When the 1990 Ozrim returned to camp for their 25-year reunion in 2015, they were inspired to pay it forward to future generations of Herzl Campers.  Together, they have established an endowment to support camp scholarships now and forever.  Each summer, 25-30% of our campers need help to afford camp so their generosity is making a meaningful difference for many children!

1994 Ozo Fund

The 1994 Ozrim returned to camp for their 20-year reunion and set a Herzl record. While many reunion groups have established scholarship funds as a way to celebrate their return and pay it forward to future generations, the 1994 Ozrim are the FIRST AND ONLY to have 100% participation! Though not everyone could return to camp, every 1994 Ozo made a personal commitment to their fund! They cheered each other on and celebrated in the knowledge that they were giving the magic of Herzl Camp to kids who might otherwise miss out. Kol Hakavod, 94 Ozrim!

1995 Ozrim Fund

When the 1995 Ozrim returned to camp for their 20-year reunion in 2015, they celebrated their reunion by establishing an endowment to support camp scholarships now and forever.  They wanted to be sure that every child had access to the amazing Jewish camp experience that had brought them together 20 years before.  Their generosity is well-placed:  each summer, 25-30% of our campers need a helping hand in order to attend camp.

2005 Ozrim Fund

The 2005 Ozrim were inspired to support camp’s inclusion program when they returned to camp for their 10-year reunion.  This group was in camp and on staff in the years just prior to the launch of our inclusion program.  Their experiences helped shape our program today and they were excited to see the great progress made in the years since they left camp for the real world.

Joyce and David H. Abramson Fund

Joyce and David Abramson like providing camping experiences for children. They both were campers and David was a camp counselor for 4 years. Their children Laura, Michelle and Jeffrey all had also been campers with Jeffrey an especially avid camper and a counselor.

David’s family’s relationship with Herzl started almost at the Camp’s inception. His father Ted and mother Bee were among the early supporters of the Herzl Camp. Furthermore, they were very good friends of Harry and Rose Rosenthal the principal founders and especially of Rabbi Walter and Hadassah Plaut, the camp’s first Directors. Sister Abby was a camper there 3 years beginning in 1949 two years after it opened. David has film of Herzl at that time which includes showing Abby and other campers dancing the Hora with big smile on the Plaut’s faces with pride in their campers. And brother Frank was also a Herzl camper as well as a camper at two other camps.

David and Joyce were campers at Herzl in the mid-50s from which they recall many wonderful memories. Yet their paths did not cross during those camping sessions.

David went on to be a counselor at Camp Butwin and then for 3 years at a Jewish Camp (Naticook) near Nashua New Hampshire; a camp owned and managed by Abby’s sister and brother-in law.

Just over 10 years ago the lure of Herzl Camp for their grandchildren brought David and Joyce back to Devil’s Lake as they participated in the weekend long intergenerational Herzl Family Camp. Being back at Herzl reminded them of the many memories they had made there.

In recent years four of their five grandchildren have had summer camping experiences; 3 of them at Herzl. Clearly family camp, the grandchildren’s’ recent camping experiences, including visitors’ day and the access to internet daily posted photos caused Joyce and David to again marvel at the facilities and programs of this generation’s Herzl Camp. Upon reflection, they realized that their family has been involved over four generations.

David has expressed “I find the camping experience to be very powerful. It enables children to grow, to mature and to become comfortable with their independence and have many new learning experiences without the shelter of their home. And wonderful summer and/or lifetime relationships are often made during the camping sessions.” Joyce added “that their love of nature and outdoor activity is intertwined with camping experiences.”

Because of their generational connection to Herzl and specifically what Herzl has done for the Jewish Community, they decided to establish The Family of David and Joyce Abramson Herzl Camp Scholarship Fund for youth who without such scholarships would be unlikely to have a Herzl camp experience.

Baldinger Jewish Education Fund

This fund provides support for Judaic and Israel education at camp, including professional staff, scholars-in-residence, and curriculum development and supplies.

 Shirley & Zollie Baratz Fund

This fund supports camp’s scholarship and inclusion needs, giving many children access to camp and the tools to succeed when they arrive!

 Stephen & Joel Bard Family Scholarship Fund

Father and son Stephen and Joel Bard shared a love of camp and that shared experience led them to help others attend camp.

“My first connection with Herzl Camp was as a camper for three summers (1951-53). When I was in college, I spent two summers on the staff (1961–62) which were two of the most rewarding and memorable times in my life. My nickname was “Ali Baba” after the song I used to lead in the old Chadar Ochel. My two oldest children went to Herzl but never caught the Herzl bug. However, my youngest son, Joel was a camper, an Ozo and counselor. Joel loved the Herzl experience as much as I did. He was known at camp as “Shrek” though I never did know exactly why.

When I became involved in the 1960-64 Staff Reunion, I realized that although I had supported other Jewish organizations over the years, I had never done anything for Herzl Camp, even though it had played a more meaningful role in my Jewish life. I also was shocked to learn how expensive camp had become since my kids went to Herzl.

I talked it over with Joel and decided that we wanted to create a scholarship endowment to help young Jewish kids have a Herzl experience like my family had enjoyed.”

Bat Sheva Fund for Challenged Children

This fund provides support for camp’s inclusion services program as well as for physical improvements and equipment to support campers with extra needs.

Elliot G. Belzer and Robert S. Belzer Waterfront Fund

BRAND NEW FUND! Their story coming soon…

Charlotte & Richard Berman Family Endowment

“All three of our daughters went to Herzl and loved it! We sent them because it was a safe Jewish environment where the girls could strengthen established friendships and make new lasting ones. Herzl fostered a pride in their Judaism and in their heritage and taught them leadership and independence. Now the next generation, our grandchildren, are Herzl campers who start counting the days until the next session on the day they come home from camp. We wanted to give back to our community and ensure Herzl will be there for our great-grandchildren and for all future generations.”

Madelaine, Nora, and Cecelia Brody Family Fund

BRAND NEW FUND!  Their story is coming soon…

Chalfen Silvers Family Fund

Susan Chalfen and Dan Silvers recently established an endowment to support Herzl Camp.  For Susan and Dan, Herzl is a family affair!  “Our friends and family have all created funds at Herzl and we realized that we’d like to share that love of camp in common with them!”

Susan and Dan’s grandkids attend Herzl and Camp Warren, a wilderness specialty camp.  “We love the way Herzl is strengthening their skill-based programs and building up their outdoor education programming,” said Susan.  “It’s something we want to get behind and help make happen!”


unnamed-1Martin & Esther Capp Capital Reserve Fund

This fund provides support to maintenance and upkeep needs at camp.  After investing $8 million in our donor’s money in rebuilding and expanding camp in 2008-12, we are committed to keeping our buildings and grounds in great shape.  The Capp’s support is helping us keep that commitment!

Todd & Amy Cytron Family Fund

For Amy, growing up at Herzl was a huge part of forming her Jewish identity. Although Todd didn’t attend Herzl, he has spent a lot of time at camp volunteering. For both Todd and Amy, seeing camp through their children’s experiences has clearly shown how powerful Jewish camping is.

“We felt it was important to leave a legacy for our children, Hanah, Dara and Mia. We picked Herzl because it is an important place for all five of us.” Amy said.

Elaine & Gary Dachis Fund

This fund provides annual support for camp’s greatest needs.   These dollars help us improve and maintain camp for today’s campers without raising tuition, keeping camp more affordable to more kids!

hanc & Harriet Davis Family Scholarship Fund

This fund was established by Mrs. Harriet Davis to provide camp scholarships. Harriet and hanc’s grandchildren and great grandchildren all attended Herzl Camp, some later became staff and it was their passion. “With this economy, I though it was important that children who might not have that privilege could have the opportunity to go to camp, too.”


Jesse Davidson Fund

Carole Davidson established an endowment fund to support camp’s greatest needs to honor the memory of her son, Jesse, who passed away five years ago.  Jesse was very anxious about going to camp his first year. While being away from home was difficult and he was homesick initially, he overcame it and Herzl became a very positive experience in his life.


Carole’s three kids – Dawn, Steven, and Jesse – were all campers as are her three grandchildren – Nate, Levi, and Jadyn.  Visiting her campers reminded Carole of her own positive experiences as a camper.


Being part of the special camp community was important for Jesse and all of Carole’s kids and grandkids. “Herzl is their happy place,” said Carole.


Carole created this fund to support the place that has been so important to her family and to ensure that other kids can have a Herzl experience, too.


“Jesse would be so thrilled that this fund will help others experience the fun of camp!”


Cy & Sally Ettinger Family Endowment

The Ettinger family has a long history at camp and many staff from the 1960s fondly recall the many lessons learned from Cy.  This fund provides support to camp’s greatest needs – something that would make Cy Ettinger proud!


Ezrilov Family Endowment

Bob Ezrilov shared what motivated the family to create an endowment for Herzl Camp:  “Vivian and I have become more and more involved with Herzl Camp in recent years. Herzl is something all the generations of our family have in common – I went, my kids were campers and staff and now my grandkids are campers and some are staff. We know how important camp is in building a strong Jewish family.

Scholarship has always been foremost in our minds though we were proud to support the rebuilding of camp. However, when I joined the Herzl Camp Foundation Board of Directors, it became clear that our most critical need is to keep Herzl affordable and sustainable for all families.

We talked with our kids and grandkids and with a lot of thought, Vivian and I decided to provide general operating support for camp…It’s not sexy but we are doing the most good for the most kids this way.

Making a permanent commitment to Herzl Camp has given our family great pleasure. We really feel like we’re doing our part to ensure a better, stronger Jewish community now and forever.”

Julie & David Ezrilov Fund


BRAND NEW FUND!  Their story is coming soon…



Jennifer & Richard Ezrilov Family Fund


BRAND NEW FUND!  Stay tuned for their story…


Beverly & Richard Fink Scholarship Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like the Finks, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

Fiterman Family Scholarship Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like the Fitermans, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

Fiterman Leadership Development Fund

This fund supports the growth and development of our staff and staff-in-training.  With the Fiterman’s support, we offer year-round training and learning opportunities for staff and Ozrim as well as expert support during the summer.

Garber Family Scholarship Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like Jake Garber, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

 Garon Ansel Rappaport Endowmenanselst Fund

This fund has recently been created by Phil and Phyllis Garon to provide unrestricted funds for Herzl Camp. It was established in honor of Harvey and Shirley Ansel, Phyllis’ parents, and to reflect how much Herzl has meant to the Garon and Ansel Families.

Harvey, Shirley, Phil and Phyllis’ association with Herzl Camp goes back more than half a century. Phil and Phyllis were both campers and counselors at Herzl and served on its Board of Directors. Phil is presently on the Board of Herzl Camp Foundation. Both of their children went to Herzl and they are hopeful that their grandchildren will one day be campers, too.

Harvey Ansel was a past president of Herzl Camp. He and Shirley put in countless hours to afford future generations of children an outstanding camping experience enriched in Judaism, particularly for those children who are less likely to find Jewish affiliations elsewhere in their communities during their formative years.

Knowing that an endowment lasts forever, they left the fund’s purpose unrestricted to enable future generations to best address the priorities and needs of the day.

Amy & Todd Geller Family Fund

The Geller Family recently established a family endowment to support continued programming enhancements, facilities upkeep and other general needs of Herzl Camp. Over the past decade Amy and Todd have contributed in many ways to Herzl. They were the Chairs for Herzl’s Music at the Mercaz event in 2016 and Todd was instrumental in the re-building of camp as the Chair of our Building Committee from 2008-2015. Knowing how critical community support is to camp’s success, they felt it was time to make a permanent commitment to the sustainability of camp for future generations.

“There is a certain magic about Herzl that only those who have been there would understand. Whether its playing ultimate in Ozo Park, Friday night Shabbat song sessions, or just Tzrif time with their friends, our kids cherish every minute they are at camp. It truly is their home away from home.”

“Our son Zach attended camp every year starting with Taste and went on to be an Ozo and staff member. Ari waited until Kadimah to start his Herzl experience and is planning to be an Ozo next year. The level of independence and maturity they have both gained through camp, all while reinforcing their Jewish ideals and beliefs, has been invaluable. There is no doubt in our mind that Herzl has helped shape them into the young men they are today and will be in the future.”

Philip & Sheril Gilberstadt Scholarship Fund

Philip, Sheril, Hannah and Josh Gilberstadt recently established an endowment fund to provide an opportunity for other campers to experience the unique Jewish camping adventure that has meant so much

to their family. Connections to Jewish friends, Shabbat caravans, a strong Jewish identity and endless ruach are some of the lasting effects the Herzl camp experience has had on the Gilberstadt’s.

Perhaps Hannah’s early experience as a second-year camper best illustrates the impact of Herzl Camp. After her first two-week summer at Herzl, Hannah returned to camp the following summer for another two-week session. This time, Hannah was unusually quiet during the 90-minute drive back home in Wisconsin. When asked, Hannah explained that she was really excited for their upcoming family vacation, but missed her Jewish friends at camp and had never felt more Jewish.

Moved by Hannah’s passionate description of Herzl and with mixed emotions, the Gilberstadts contacted Herzl Camp while driving back home and enrolled Hannah in another two week session. With no regret, scrambling to alter vacation plans, and two days of laundry behind them, two days later Hannah returned to Herzl.

Living in a small Jewish community in Wisconsin, the Gilberstadt’s recognized the profound impact that a summer experience at Herzl had on their daughter.

Josh shares in his sister’s strong bond with Herzl Camp and begins the countdown to camp immediately after returning home from camp each summer!

 The Heidi & Howard Gilbert Inclusion Fund

Heidi and Howard feel fortunate to be able to establish the Heidi and Howard Gilbert Inclusion Fund to benefit Herzl Camp. In doing so, they recall the positive experiences their children had at Herzl Camp and aim to make such experiences available to children of all abilities and needs. Their son Alan was a Herzl camper, ozo, and counselor, their son Jon was a camper, and their daughter Dana was a counselor. They all enjoyed their time at Herzl Camp where they made long lasting Jewish friendships that remain important to this day.

Howard and Heidi have a six-year-old grandson named Gabe. He is an enthusiastic, funny and energetic boy with special needs. Howard tells us that with the benefit of inclusion resources, over the last two years he has enjoyed a full Jewish day camp experience at the JCC’s Camp Olami. They would like to help Herzl Camp have the ability to offer its wonderful camp experience to children like Gabe, who need some additional resources to be included in activities alongside their typical peers. Upon establishing the fund Howard told us “We believe the establishment of this fund and additions to it can help Herzl to support inclusion of these children in the camping experience. We are pleased to be able to help.”

Harold Goldfine & Family Kitchen Fund

The heart of camp (and home) is the kitchen!  The Goldfine’s fund provides funds for staffing, training, equipment and upkeep of our kosher commercial kitchen. Keeping it in top shape is essential – we serve nearly 80,000 meals in a summer!

Steve, Jill & Sydney Gottlieb Endowment

For the Gottliebs, creating an endowment was the obvious next step in a lifetime of involvement. Steve started attending Herzl in 1974. Herzl provided him with the majority of his Jewish knowledge and exposure to prayers and culture. In addition, he met many new friends with whom he is close to this day. Steve worked at Herzl as an Ozo, counselor and finally as head counselor back in 1983-84. When Steve added up all his time spent at Herzl, it came out to over a year!

When Steve and Jill’s daughter, Sydney, was old enough to go to Herzl, they became active volunteers. Sydney was a Herzlite from day one and that feeling has only grown over the years! The absolute highlight of Syd’s year is her time at Herzl.

“When Herzl embarked on its Capital Campaign and subsequently kicked off the Endowment Campaign, no on had to talk us into both contributing and soliciting others to do so as well.” said Steve. “Being able to give back for all we have gotten is such a tremendous and rewarding feeling.”

Grais Family Fund

“Like so many others, we have Herzl Camp to thank for our marriage. We met in 1992 when Jacy was in N’divim and Jason was in Kadimah. Our mutual friend, Rory Zamansky, introduced us. Eleven years later, after three summers together as Herzl staff members, we were married, and we celebrated with many of our Herzl friends. We believe that Herzl is a critical institution for Jewish continuity in the upper Midwest, and our family is a testament to that. We also know firsthand that Herzl Camp creates leadership opportunities – for both of us, working on staff at camp gave us the chance to step outside our comfort zones and be leaders at young ages, which gave us skills and confidence to take active community roles as adults. In the twin cities, there are few Jewish organizations that do not have meaningful representation from Herzl alumni amongst their boards or directors and leadership.

We are proud to have an endowment fund at Herzl. Whether it be supporting scholarships, affordability, inclusion, program enhancements, or building connections with Israel, our fund will annually supplement the budget to address the greatest needs at camp. These needs will certainly change over time, but knowing that our contributions will enable Herzl to thrive for future generations is extremely rewarding.

We have had the opportunity to take our daughters to family camp. Not surprisingly, it is the highlight of their summer, and they cannot wait to be able to go to camp without mom and dad. To the future!”

Kermit & Elinore Greene Inclusivity Fund

This fund was established by the Greene’s children in memory of their parents. Its purpose is to support camp experiences for children with physical and mental challenges, especially in the areas of speech and hearing impairments. Creating access for all was Elinore’s passion and the Greene family is carrying on her work.

Beverly N. Grossman Fund

BRAND NEW FUND!  Their story is coming soon…



Heller-Bulgatz Inclusion Fund

When Naomi and Shawn were married on a colorful autumn day, they created a blended family of five boys, age 10-14, and a fluffy dog named Sheldon.

“When we talked about creating a fund with an organization in lieu of wedding gifts, Herzl Camp was at the top of the list. Herzl Camp has been an important part of my family now for three generations. Shawn’s nieces and nephew have been Herzl lifers, and now his twins are heading back for their third summer in 2015.” Naomi said.

“We chose to direct the dollars toward Camp Care, which supports inclusion services for several reasons. First, we both value summer camp as an establishment overall, given all it offers kids and staff. In many ways, camp has an intuitive sense about it, giving kids what they need, even if it’s different than their bunkmate or different than their needs the year before.

Secondly, it seemed like a match for us because we both work with kids and teens professionally. We love that our fund will be helpful for a place and in a way we both value. While there is no place at camp that is more important than any other, (maybe other than the haks,) for us, the Camp Care Fund can be woven into camp in so many ways, places and programs, from Taste to Teva, through things such as staff training, training for camper advocates, and recognition of staff accomplishments with camper support issues.

As our fund grows over the years, we know Herzl will find ways to continue to meet the needs of its ever changing, wonderful, ruach filled campers.”

Bonnie & Steve Heller Scholarship and Camp Preservation Fund

This fund has two purposes – to provide scholarships and to maintain our beautiful facility.  The Hellers are ensuring that all campers can attend and that camp is ready to inspire and educate them when they arrive.  It’s the best of both worlds!

Lisa Heilicher Family Waterfront Fund

Kayaks, boats, and canoes!  Oh my!  This fund provides for maintenance, equipment, training and staffing of our beautiful waterfront.

The Anonymous Hoffman Fund

This fund provides annual support for camp’s greatest needs.   These dollars help us improve and maintain camp for today’s campers without raising tuition, keeping camp more affordable to more kids!

Barbara & Earl Hoffman Family Fund


BRAND NEW FUND!  Their story is coming soon…




Lauren & Ed Hoffman Family Fund

Lauren, Ed, Max, and Tessa Hoffman recently established an endowment fund to provide an opportunity to invest further into Herzl programming. From Chugim, to Tzrif time, to evening program – from equipment, to staff development, and beyond…the Hoffman’s believe in the power of Herzl Camp in the development of a child’s confidence, independence, and Jewish identity. This fund will help continue and bolster a long tradition of strong programming for all campers – by giving back to camp long after our children’s children have had a chance to ‘get ready for spaghetti’. Seeing children excel in the sports, games, and activities they love, along with programming that leaves strong memories long after the summer is over is why this endowment was established.

Horovitz Hirschthal Scholarship Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like the Horovitzs, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

Horovitz Family Endowment

This fund provides annual support for camp’s greatest needs.   These dollars help us improve and maintain camp for today’s campers without raising tuition, keeping camp more affordable to more kids!

Susan & Michael Horovitz Endowment Fund

This fund supports camp’s scholarship and inclusion needs, giving many children access to camp and the tools to succeed when they arrive!

 Morton & Merle Kane for the Maintenance and/or Remodeling of Herzl Camp’s Buildings

Merle and Mort Kane have made a gift now and in their estate to ensure that camp’s facilities are well-maintained over time. The Kane’s shared their hopes for camp and the community as they made this commitment: “Our interest in Herzl Camp is not only to help provide the campers with an enjoyable summer experience with the opportunity to build friendships that often last a lifetime, but also to have a meaningful, impactful Jewish experience. By having such an experience, they are more likely to be engaged members of their Jewish communities and of the Jewish people more widely. As is well known, Jewish overnight camps, especially Herzl Camp, have a very positive influence on our kids remaining Jewish and attached to the Jewish community.

We certainly care about the campers individually, but, as with many, we have concern for the future of our Jewish community and the Jewish people. With those interests in mind, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to support our campers, first with the capital campaign, supporting the construction of the Beit Ruach and now with support for the Facilities Maintenance and Improvement Fund, to help ensure our state-of-the-art facilities.

Whether it’s support for the construction of structures, the Facilities Maintenance and Improvements Fund, scholarships, special projects such as underwriting a specific program or staff position, we know that with the collective support of Herzl’s family, in whatever form or amount, will keep our camp strong and vibrant for our children and grandchildren and help ensure that our wonderful Jewish community, with their engagement, will be there for them and their grandchildren.”

Mitzi & Terry Kane Family Fund

“Neither of us attended Herzl so our connection to camp does not go back to our own personal experiences as campers. However, both our daughters were campers…our older daughter, Jennifer, for 2 summers and our younger daughter, Aimee, for 8 summers. Aimee also worked at Herzl as an ozo and counselor and her experiences at camp were an integral part of her childhood and teenage years. Aimee also began dating her now husband, Noah, while working at Herzl so we will always be grateful for that particular connection.

We are so thrilled that the next generation of our family has the opportunity to experience the Herzl magic by connecting with Judaism in a way that is different than their day-to-day lives. Our granddaughter Allie has already spent 3 summers at Herzl. Upon coming home each year she refers to activities using Hebrew words, talks excitedly about various chugs like Herzl Navy Seals and Herzl radio and most importantly to us, tells us about the new friends from near and far that she has made. Our youngest granddaughter, Chloe, is excited to become a Herzl camper next summer and we can’t wait to hear about all those same experiences from her.

After witnessing the attachment that Herzl created in the lives of our children and grandchildren, we couldn’t help but take an interest in the camp. We enthusiastically support the way Herzl develops Jewish identities by weaving Jewish culture and learning into daily life in a way that doesn’t feel forced. We love that our granddaughters will have a sense that the Jewish community is larger than what they might see on a daily and weekly basis at home. We love that Allie and Chloe will have a place to look forward to going each summer to deepen their connection with their Jewish heritage. It is our pleasure to establish an endowment with our granddaughters’ futures in mind. We can only hope that Herzl will be a cherished summer destination for many generations of our family to come.”

Eloise & Elliot Kaplan Family Endowment Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like the Finks, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

George Kaplan Ulam Fund

George Kaplan was actively involved in the early years of Herzl Camp, serving as the second President of the Herzl Camp Board of Directors.

Mr. Kaplan was a central figure in the St. Paul Jewish community in the 1940’s and 1950’s. As a young man in Montreal, Kaplan taught Hebrew school. This early work inspired a lifelong commitment to all forms of Jewish education. His generosity is remembered through the community: the St. Paul Talmud Torah Afternoon School, St. Paul JCC auditorium, the Herzl Camp Ulam and the Herzl Camp Mercaz all bear his name. Among his many achievements was the founding of what is now known as the Sholom Home in St. Paul.

Born in 1883 in Russia, the Kaplan family later settled in Montreal, moving to St. Paul in the 1900s. In 1905, Mr. Kaplan started Kaplan Paper Box Company in his garage, making boxes and delivering the products by horse and wagon. He also founded the Minnesota Envelope Company in the early 1900s. Both companies continue today under other names. His commitment to the betterment of the community was such that any Jewish person in need of a job would be given a position in one of his companies.

Lauren & Danny Kaplan Family Fund

This fund helps keep camp programming fresh and engaging by supporting the purchase of supplies and equipment for new and expanded programming.

Naomi & Bella Kaplan Family Fund

BRAND NEW FUND!  Their story is coming soon…



Tom & Joanne Kieffer/Dan & Stacy Mosow/Marty & Wendy Shragg Family Scholarship Fund

The extended family of the Kieffers, Mosows, and Shraggs, have come together to create a scholarship endowment at camp. The fund provides scholarships for first-time campers who would otherwise not be able to attend camp.

“Herzl Camp has meant so much to our families. We want to do our part to ensure that all kids can experience the same opportunities our children were able to have,” said Tom Kieffer. “Their camp experiences helped shape them into who they are today and we are so appreciative for all that Herzl has brought to our lives.”

kirshbaums indoorKirshbaum Family Fund

Jane, David, Abby and Zoe Kirshbaum shared their motivation to establish an endowment fund:  “While neither David nor I attended Herzl Camp, our daughters, Abby and Zoe consider it their home away from home (or maybe vice versa) and have been at camp a collective 19 years as campers and staff.  We have had a chance to experience Herzl through their eyes and become involved as parents, board members and supporters.

Herzl has been one of the foundations of our connection to the Jewish community in the Twin Cities and beyond.  It helps unite the community and provides a meaningful and instant sense of belonging.  We have had an opportunity to be involved in the growth of Herzl Camp as it continues to adapt and develop for the here and now as well as for the future.   We are honored to be able to establish an endowment that will help address Herzl’s greatest needs as it moves into the future.”

Steve & Mimi Klane Family Fund


Mimi and Steve Klane recently established an endowment fund at Herzl Camp.  The Klanes have a long and deep connection to camp.  Steve was a camper, ’74 Ozo and staff member; all three of their children were also campers, Ozrim and staff; and even Mimi’s mom got into the act as a Kisher in 1992.


“When all three of our kids were in camp at the same time, I vividly remember getting the bill and realizing we’d need to pay it over time.  It was a sacrifice but we felt so strongly that Herzl Camp was critical to their development.  Now, we are in a position to give back and help others access camp,” said Steve.


“Herzl is extremely important to all of us.  Herzl represents the most fun part of Judaism – where Judaism comes alive.  It’s connecting; it’s community.  Camp is where we learned how to be really close friends, how to value each other and how to be good people.”


“Herzl is thriving with so many improvements and we want to be part of that.  We want to help others have the opportunity to be a light to the Jewish people.”


Mimi and Steve’s family is growing with two young grandchildren in California.  “They are already planning for their summers at Herzl!”


Marc & Julie Kozberg Endowment Fund

“I didn’t really like it!” said Marc Kozberg of his one summer at Herzl. Marc and Julie’s two kids, Josh and Rachel, attended just one summer each but did attend many summers at Ramah Wisconsin.  So, the obvious question for the Kozbergs is, “What motivated you to start a scholarship fund at Herzl?”

“Julie and I have begun to be more focused with our charitable giving and we’ve realized how important Jewish camping is to kids long-term involvement and commitment in the Jewish community.”

The dedication and commitment of friends was also an influence. Marc is a long time friend of Herzl’s Executive Director, Gary Kibort, dating back to SMP at Adath Jeshurun.

“When you respect and like the leader, it is much easier to provide financial support.” said Marc.

Marc also noted that his friend and colleague, Jeff Schachtman, a past president of Herzl Camp, has shared many stories about Herzl, and the influence camp had on his life as well as the long time friendships formed when he attend camp on scholarship.

“After you hear so many good stories and realize the impact, you understand that this is a very important institution in our community and it was an easy decision for us.”

Elaine & Howard Kuretsky Endowment Fund

This fund provides annual support for camp’s greatest needs.   These dollars help us improve and maintain camp for today’s campers without raising tuition, keeping camp more affordable to more kids!


Jennifer & Scott Lang Family Fund

“We feel privileged and grateful to establish the Jennifer and Scott Lang Family Fund for the purpose of sustaining the facilities at Herzl Camp and promoting scholarships so that no child misses the opportunity for a Jewish camping experience. Our community has helped to rebuild the camp infrastructure over the last several years and we strongly believe that it is our duty to guarantee that maintenance and repairs are funded for camp to fulfill its most important mission. Without an annual maintenance plan and the dollars to meet its goals, we will struggle to focus on creating a magical Jewish experience for our community. While funding this cause may not seem as attractive as programming, scholarship and the like, it is essential that we don’t overlook our beautiful campus and ensure its sustainability. We hope to set an example for others to follow in this pursuit to allocate appropriate dollars in their giving strategy.

This is personally meaningful to us as Jennifer was a camper and staff for many years and current board member. Also, we met at Herzl during the one summer Scott was on staff and he has been involved on the Building and Facilities Committee. Most significant to us, are the sparkles in the eyes of our boys, Max and Nick as they speak about their summers at Herzl. The impact camp has had on both enhancing their Jewish identity and personal growth has been monumental.

We are truly indebted to Herzl Camp and are absolutely devoted to helping continue this enduring legacy.”

 Steven & Carole Lang Endowment Fund

Carole and Steve toured camp the summer of 2012 and had some time to consider the role that Herzl Camp plays in their family and in the community: Carole was a camper for one summer; two of Steve and Carole’s three children attended as campers and one came as staff and met his wife while on staff; and now two of their seven grandchildren are attending, with more “aging-in” soon.

“When the kids get off the bus crying because they didn’t want to leave camp and they need two days to recover, you know they loved it!” said, Steve.

“We see how much our kids and grandkids love it and that made us think that we’d like to help another child have that chance. Herzl Camp brings kids into a Jewish environment. They love the friends that they make and they gain all kinds of independence. We feel that it is important that every child should be able to have that experience,” said Carole.

So Carole and Steve are doing their part to make that happen by creating a scholarship endowment to ensure that all children can attend Herzl Camp – now and in the future!

Mindy & Brook Leventhal Family Scholarship Fund

Mindy and Brook’s children established this fund in honor of their 50th anniversary. Jim, Debbie, and Steve Leventhal chose to honor their parents by supporting an experience that rooted each of them in Judaism and gave them their fondest childhood memories. The family jokes that if it weren’t for Herzl, they would know the birkat hamazon.


Betty Sue & David Lipschultz Family Endowment Fund

David and Betty Sue recently established an endowment fund to provide permanent support for Herzl. They’ve shared their motivation with us:

“Herzl Camp is important to us for its ability to bring together children with different identities, both religious and geographic, and help to blend them into a cohesive group who will someday become leaders in their respective Jewish communities. Our connection to Herzl Camp goes back to the time when Betty Sue was a camper in the 1950s. Our sons, Joshua, Matthew and Noah and our daughter-in-law Jodi, had wonderful experiences as campers. They were also fortunate to participate as Ozrim and counselors. All of them recently returned for their respective Ozo 20th year reunions and still love the ruach and warmth they feel when up at camp. Three of our grandchildren are campers now. All generations of our family share a love of Herzl!
When we decided to establish our fund, we wanted to dedicate it to Ozo programming and staff development because the program was so meaningful to our family.”

 The Magy Family Staff Education Fund

Herzl Camp has been a part of the Magy Family (David, Sue, Marcus, Michelle, Adam – and now Kat) since 1969. Since those early years, there has rarely been a summer when some members of the family haven’t spent some time at the camp – from being campers or staff members, to visitors’ days and Shabbat weekends. Even Sue, who didn’t attend Herzl as a camper, spent multiple weekends at camp as a visitor – from the 1970’s to recent times.

“Our more recent weekends (now that we have adult children who are past the camping age) have been as guests with a purpose – some form of teaching. From safety training and self-defense to career skills learned as a staff person that will help in a fulltime future career, continuing education is an interest and something that is critical to staff development. The Magy Family Endowment fund is being established to help assure continuing education will always be on the schedule.”

Margie’s Garden Fund

Mitchell Smith established an endowment to permanently underwrite Herzl’s garden program in memory of his sister, Marjorie. He shares his thoughts about Margie and his family’s longtime support for Herzl Camp:

“Just as Herzl Camp has created a very special institution for the Jews of the Twin Cities and the Upper Midwest, I would like to think that my parents created a very special name for themselves at Herzl Camp and in the Twin Cities Jewish community. While stalwarts in supporting the St. Paul Talmud Torah, Hillel at the U of M, Hadassah Medical Center, and the Smith Judaic Gallery at the Minnesota Institute of Art, it is Herzl Camp that has always been greatly beloved by Harold and Mickey Smith.

“As the youngest of three children, Margie took a while to find her own unique voice and personality. Growing up with a father who was the board president of the St. Paul Talmud Torah, Margie was put in a position of having to go to Hebrew School and even having her dad come to visit her class on occasion, to her great displeasure. When she went to Herzl in 1962, she ended up separated from all of her St. Paul friends and in a bunk with Minneapolis girls she didn’t know. She wasn’t very happy. Our parents were on a trip to Israel at the time and she turned to Jim, who was serving as the camp “schlep”, for comfort.

“Years later, however, Margie found her own Jewish voice, taking Hebrew at Boston University, joining Hadassah when she lived in DC, and hosting her group of friends for Yom Kippur break the fast and Pesach seder. So in many respects, Margie was typical of all those kids who take longer than many to find their way in life and to develop a sense of personal confidence. She had just hit her stride when she was struck down with cancer as a newlywed at age of 30.

Margie developed into a very nurturing person, the kind of person who exemplified “Minnesota nice” and enjoyed helping people without expecting anything in return. As a graduate student and young adult, she volunteered in numerous capacities, such as reading to blind students. One year in DC, she befriended a student at Columbia University and took him under her wing. That student, Jeremy Fingerman, is today the Executive Director of the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

“The goals of the garden – to give campers a feeling of accomplishment and also to give back to the community – are both goals that Margie championed. In Europe there was a tradition that when someone died at a young age, their gravestone included a cut tree trunk, symbolic of being cut down early in life. Establishing Margie’s Garden at Herzl is one way to ensure that her memory lives on.”

The Ozo Endowment

The Ozo Endowment provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp. Ozo Reunion groups make commitments to this fund as a way to celebrate their return to camp and pay it forward to the next generation.

Dorothy Papermaster Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like Dorothy, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

Pam & Jon Passman Family Fund

Pam Passman shared her thoughts on establishing a fund for Herzl:  “Jon and I are honored and excited to be able to establish a fund that will help ensure Herzl Camp will continue to work its magic for many generations to come.

Like so many in our community, I have a long history and connection to Herzl. Both of my parents were campers at Herzl. I was a staff brat (while my father was a volunteer doctor), camper, ozo, counselor and program director. I have served on the Association’s Board of Directors since 2010 and am currently President of the Board. My time at Herzl was truly formative for me. As a camper and staff member, Herzl is where I developed my Jewish identity, where I made many of my closest friends, where I developed my independence, my confidence and my leadership skills. Every time I drive up the road into camp, I still get both butterflies in my stomach and a sense of calm because I’m going home.

What is most amazing is to watch our children, Abe, Jordan and Eve, experience their own Herzl journeys as campers and hopefully future staff. We are grateful to have Herzl camp in our lives and also recognize the positive impact it has on the broader community. For these reasons we want to do our part to help future Herzl Camp generations.”

Perl Ratner Family Fund

With deep family connections to camp, Norm Perl recently decided to create a lasting legacy of support for Herzl’s greatest needs, in honor of his family past and present. The Perl’s have long supported camp by means of direct donations, and scholarship funds through their synagogue. Now, Norm is adding an unrestricted endowment to his philanthropic support of camp. Providing for unexpected or unexciting needs ensures that Herzl will always be able to gather campers around our campfires!

Supporting the Jewish community has always been always top priority for Norm and his wife of blessed memory Addie.

“This year, I was inspired to again include Herzl Camp in our giving by my longstanding friendship with Harold Smith, a true advocate for Jewish camping, and by the experiences of my children and grandchildren,” said Norm.

The Perl family was well represented at Jewish summer camps. Many of Norm’s children and grandchildren were involved at Herzl camp including Mark, Lisa, Laura, Joel & Jacob Ratner, Justin, Lynn, Alex & Philip Perl, and Josh Sokol. They all had active roles in camp including holding the positions of camper, ozo, counselor, program director, volunteer nurse, and board member.

“Camp made a real impact on my family, and on the choices they made as teens and adults. I hope my support helps camp serve more children who will then benefit in the same ways.”

Richard & Susan Proman Family Fund

This fund provides annual support for camp’s greatest needs.   These dollars help us improve and maintain camp for today’s campers without raising tuition, keeping camp more affordable to more kids!


 Nancy & Kevin Rhein Family Fund

BRAND NEW FUND!  Their story is coming soon…


Rodich Family Scholarship Fund


This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like the Rodichs, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

 Rosen Family Fund


BRAND NEW FUND!  Their story is coming soon…


Paula, Howard, Josh & Sydney Roston Family Fund


Howard, Paula, Josh and Sydney have established a fund to continue to foster the connection between Herzl Camp campers and Israeli campers into the future.  As past campers and counselors, the Rostons have personally experienced the magic that the beautiful connection the Israeli campers have had on campers and the Herzl Camp community.  They have also visited the area in Israel that the Israeli campers call home.  It was this experience that solidified their decision to establish a fund to continue this important endeavor.  They hope that this fund will help future campers create lifelong connections with Israeli children and the State of Israel.


Wendy & Steve Rubin Family Fund

Wendy and Steve Rubin established an endowment at Herzl Camp to provide a permanent source of funding for camp’s greatest needs.  While Steve has fond memories of Herzl, it was Herzl’s impact on their children and grandchildren’s lives that motivated their generosity.

“We know the value of bringing Jewish youth together in an immersive environment like Herzl,” said Wendy.  “We are grateful that our daughter met her husband at camp and we have three wonderful granddaughters as a result.  They are not old enough for camp yet but our oldest grandchild, Jack, loves Herzl and we’re sure the rest will, too!”

More than the personal connections, the Rubins particularly appreciate how Herzl unites the Twin Cities and the Midwest in a shared Jewish experience.  “Herzl brings children and families together and the values they learn at camp shape our community and our future.  We are proud to support that,” said Wendy.


Gail Bender-Satz & Mark Satz Endowment Fund

Gail Bender Satz and Mark Satz are honored to establish a scholarship fund for Herzl Camp.  Both Mark and Gail have enjoyed a life-long attachment to Herzl Camp.  Mark was a camper in 1957 and was part of the first group of OZO’s in 1959.  Gail was a camper in 1959, an OZO in 1963, and a Bogeret  (Junior counselor) in 1964 and 1965.   Four of their children and 4 of their grandchildren have been campers at Herzl.

Mark and Gail’s commitment to Herzl comes from their pride in their Jewishness and their shared belief that one of the best ways for young people to develop this pride is through a Jewish camping experience.

Their newly created fund is specifically targeted for scholarships to campers who have had limited opportunities for Jewish educational experiences in their hometown.  They hope that this funding will enable campers to come to Herzl to develop lifelong new friendships and connections to their Jewish heritage.

Nancy & Steve Schachtman and Family Capital Reserve Fund

This fund provides for the maintenance and upkeep of our beautiful camp.  Herzl Camp is made up of over 60 buildings on over 120 acres, maintaining our facilities in good condition requires an annual investment of over $100,000.  Thankfully, visionary friends like the Schachtmans support this critical needs (so camp tuition doesn’t have to!)

William & Sylvia Schachtman Scholarship Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like the Schachtmans, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

Heidi Schechter Moldo Ozo Leadership Fund

This fund was established by Heidi’s friends and family to honor her commitment, love and contributions to Herzl Camp.  Heidi was a camper, ozo, staff, Mama Ozo, and board member.  A favorite poem is on a plaque in her memory:  Let yourself go. Smile. Believe in miracles. Hope. Grow. Treasure the golden moments. Celebrate life.

Schmitzer-Shapiro Ozo Programming Fund

This program supports our staff-in-training program, the Ozo Program.  This Herzl tradition goes back 60 years, training our oldest campers to become camp staff through a leadership development curriculum and work experience in all areas of camp.


Shields-Gelperin Family Fund for Teva Trek Scholarships

This fund provides scholarships for Teva Programs to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like Gelperins, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.


Sylvan Siegler Family Scholarship Fund

This fund was established by the Siegler family in memory of Sylvan Siegler. The fund provides scholarships to campers from Kansas City and Memphis as well as small towns and communities with limited scholarship opportunities.

While Sylvan was never a camper, his children and grandchildren, and siblings all attended in the past. For the Siegler family, it seems that all roads lead to Herzl Camp! Giving children the chance to get the kind of meaningful Jewish education that camp provides and gain the leadership skills and civic-mindedness that camp offers seemed like a fitting tribute to Sylvan.

Harold & Mickey Smith Scholarship Fund

Mickey Smith is remembered in so many ways for her generous and life-long commitment to Herzl Camp. Over the years, Mickey took a strong interest in capital projects like the infirmary, the Chadar Ochel and staff housing, knowing that the less glamorous aspects of camp were often the key to a great camp experience.

Mickey continued her dedicated stewardship of camp right to her last days by establishing the Harold and Mickey Smith Scholarship Fund as the place for donations made in her memory.
Mickey’s scholarships complete her legacy of support. She provided a place for high-quality Jewish education and the means to get there!

“My mother’s dedication to Jewish education didn’t stop with her own family. She did all she could to ensure that every child had access to high-quality formal and informal Jewish learning,” says Jim Smith, Mickey’s son.
We miss Mickey’s stalwart support at the Herzl Camp office: her humor, kindness and friendship. However, given that more than 25% of our campers need scholarship to attend camp, there is joy in knowing that some of our campers are coming to camp every summer with the help of Mickey & Harold and their friends.

Smith Capital Reserve

“Mickey and I see the mission of Herzl Camp to be a training ground for bringing up a generation that is Jewishly knowledgeable. As Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  To do this, we need an environment that will foster Jewish learning, Jewish values, and a Jewish way of life. Jewish camps and day schools are the vehicles that we, Mickey, Jim, Joanne, Mitch and I, are the best way to achieve these goals. We sincerely believe that a summer of Jewish learning will put our youngsters on the right path.

To accomplish this, we need a camp that is modern with all the amenities of the best in the camping world. We live in a world of camp competitiveness. So we were instrumental in building the Chadar Orchel in 1999, the Marp in 1982 and again in 2012, the new cabins in K’far Smith and of course, Mickey Smith Parkway – which Mickey claimed was always too bumpy!

But having completed this modernization, we must be able to maintain it with constant vigilance for its physical facilities. So with a lot of thought and planning, we have established the Mickey and Harold Smith Capital Reserve Fund, to make sure maintenance and renovations are never neglected, our facilities are always top grade, and to make sure that Herzl Camp sets the standard for all camps in the area.

With a great facility and a scholarship program to make sure no child is deprived of this great experience, we will be on the right track to achieve our mission. With God’s help, we will surely succeed!”

Smookler Family Fund

Diane and Rick Smookler created an endowment to support camp scholarships.

“We never went to Herzl but our kids and our grandkids have gone. They had a wonderful shared cultural, social and Jewish experience at camp. They came home enthused and wanting to return the next summer. They developed lifelong personal relationships through their camp experiences.”

“We wanted to help every child have access to the wonderful experiences that our children and grandchildren have been able to have, whether their family can afford it or not.”

Every year, about 200 children need financial help to afford camp. Generous friends like the Smooklers ensure that no child is turned away from Herzl Camp.

Michelle Solle Kadimah Scholarship Fund

This fund provides scholarships to Kadimah campers in memory of Michelle and her love for Herzl Camp, where she spent some of her happiest moments. “It was my third consecutive year at Herzl Camp and I loved it! I was able to spend all my time with my Jewish friends and it was a time when it was perfectly ‘cool’ to dance and sing and basically act your own age.”

Sondell Family Fund

Sandy attended Herzl Camp from ’87-’90, following in the footsteps of her parents who were both Herzl campers.  Growing up in Chicago, Jason attended summer camp for many years; however, his first time at Herzl camp was for family camp in 2012.  He enjoyed it so much, we again returned the following summer.  Now, our children attend Herzl Camp and feel at home there.  We believe that attending a Jewish summer camp is very important for developing Jewish identity.  So, when we were asked about establishing a fund in order to allow generations of Jewish children to learn about and cultivate their Jewish identities, it made sense to us to support that goal.  We decided to designate our fund for the greatest need so that the money will always be available for camp to use in whatever capacity it deems necessary to continue to improve programming, keep tuition reasonable, and address current concerns.

After establishing the Sondell Family Fund for greatest need, we traveled to Israel on the first Herzl Israel family/alumni tour in 2016.  There, we visited the Moshav, Netiv Ha’Asara, in Sderot, to have lunch with several Israeli teens who have attended Herzl Camp.  We learned that through private donations, Herzl Camp brings a small group of boys and girls (8th grade and up) to camp each year – the number of participants depends on funding for that year.  What is most interesting is that Nativ H’Asara borders the Gaza Strip – it literally is right up against the border wall.  It was a bit alarming to many of us to be so close to Gaza, especially since they told us that the Moshav was on “Red Alert” just that morning (apparently, a mortar bomb had been launched over the wall).

At lunch, two of the former campers spoke to give thanks to us for providing them with the opportunity to attend camp.  One boy spoke about how fortunate he felt to be able attend camp, as instead of spending much of the summer worrying about his security in bomb shelters, he was able to enjoy being at Herzl Camp, making friends, and tasting cinnamon rolls for the first time.  A girl who spoke said Zumba was her favorite chug.  It was very eye-opening to think about the issues that they face very day.  In processing our time near Gaza on the bus, one camper from MN recalled getting to know an Israeli camper during her Habonim summer and remembering how the Israelis were stunned at the differences in what they considered to be “worries” or “stress”.  Specifically, that the Israelis didn’t fret about what we might consider to be “typical female teenage angst” because their worries were about their daily safety (the Israeli campers did not comment in a way to put the girls down but just to observe the difference).  In reflecting on the experience, we really saw how important it is that Herzl has donors that are able to bring Israeli campers to Herzl: 1) to provide the opportunity for them to experience a stress-free summer in the USA and 2) for our kids to learn from and make friends with Israeli teens.  For these reasons, we decided, in addition to establishing the Sondell Family Fund, that we would donate to the Israeli camper exchange program to allow for an additional Israeli child to attend Herzl Camp.


The Richard & Judith Spiegel Lawrence Spiegel Scholarship Fund

This fund provides scholarships to campers whose families could not afford to send them to Jewish camp.  Each year, 25-30% of our campers needs a helping hand to access camp and thanks to generous friends like the Spiegels, we are able to provide $200,000 in scholarship each year.

Susie & Stu Swartz and Family Fund


The Swartz family is made up of three generations of Herzl Campers. “Herzl has been an important part of all of our lives,” said Stu Swartz.

Family conversations about Herzl Camp resonated with Susie and Stu. “Listening to our kids and grandkids talk about how camp provided the time and the space to grow as individuals and as Jews, knowing how precious their camp time is, and how they count down to their weeks at camp.  When we heard our grandchildren come home saying it was the ‘best summer of their lives,’ we knew it was something that we wanted to get behind!”

The Swartz’s recently created an endowment to support campers with special needs succeed at camp. “We feel fortunate to be able to help.  We hope our support along with others will ensure that all campers have the same opportunity to grow and learn in this transformative environment!”


Bobby and Missy Swiller Family Fund

The Swiller Family recently created an endowment to support Herzl’s greatest needs. They shared their thoughts about why they chose to make a permanent commitment to camp.

“It was an easy decision to establish a Herzl Camp fund. Our girls cherish their time at camp. Attending an Episcopalian school has allowed our daughters to learn and be educated in understanding and respecting other religions. Herzl Camp has reinforced their pride and Jewish ideals. Herzl has provided an environment of learning in a very fun and social environment.

Camp allows kids to be kids. Laughter, great conversation, and learning in a safe environment. In a world of specialty camps, Herzl provides a well-rounded, broad base of activity choices that tie in nature.

Our kids have grown to be more confident and mature at camp. The best part has been the close friendships they have developed with many campers and staff. These friends include people from all over the country as well as Israel.

These experiences and friendships are priceless. It is our responsibility and an easy decision to make sure the legacy of Herzl Camp continues both now and for future generations.”


Tankenoff Families Scholarship Fund

Scott Tankenoff shared his thoughts about establishing a fund to support camp scholarships:  “Hindy and I have been committed to camp scholarships for years! We strongly believe that experiential Jewish learning is the key to keeping our children engaged with their religion.

Over the years, we’ve seen our own kids thrive at Herzl as campers, Ozrim, and now as staff members. We’ve witnessed the profound impact camp has on their lives and subsequently the choices they make.

Herzl is developing the leadership skills of the next generations and we are benefiting personally as parents and more generally as members of this community.

We are committed to providing meaningful financial support to Herzl with the goal that all children have the chance to attend Herzl and that it’s not a financial hardship for their family. We are so fortunate to be involved with Herzl, as it is truly an organization that fosters the long-term development of our children as future leaders and role models in the Jewish community.”

 Adam Tarshish Accessibility Fund 

As a camper, Adam Tarshish asked his friends and family to honor his Bar Mitzvah with a gift to Herzl Camp. Adam’s fund creates an accessible campus for all children. Adam’s desire is for children with physical challenges to have independent access to all the camp experiences that he did.

Stacie and Jeff Usem Family Fund

This fund provides annual support for camp’s greatest needs.   These dollars help us improve and maintain camp for today’s campers without raising tuition, keeping camp more affordable to more kids!

Rachael and John Vegas Family Fund

Rachael and John shared their thoughts about establishing a permanent fund to support camp: “We hope that our support of Herzl Camp and the creation of an endowment enables several children to have the most amazing summer experiences that our daughters’ have benefited from since their first year there.  Herzl isn’t just a fun place to spend the summer (although it is that too), it is an amazing community that builds identity and independence in our children.  It is the place where you see your children evolve from loving fun activities to building relationships that will last a lifetime.”


Vickar Family Scholarship Fund

For Garry and Bonnie Vickar attending Jewish sleepaway camps was among their most impactful childhood experiences. Bonnie attended a Hebrew-speaking camp outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Garry attended Jewish camps in Alberta and California where he later worked as a counselor. Garry, who grew up in a small farming town, described those summers as “formative” and the “highlight of his year.” The Vickar Family Fund perpetuates this life-altering Jewish experience by assisting out-of-state campers who wish to spend a session at Herzl Camp.


The Vickars’ connection to Herzl began in 1983 with the attendance of their first child; their two other children soon followed suit and Herzl became a central part of their youth with some of their Herzl friendships remaining in adulthood.


Bonnie recalled experiencing the magic of Herzl when she visited in 1991, shortly after the death of her father. On Friday afternoon she heard campers laughing and practicing Torah reading, and felt the excitement of Shabbat preparations which culminated in the caravan around camp, with everyone cleaned up and dressed in white for the erev Shabbat flagpole gathering.

“It was this magical feeling, the rest of the world was falling away,” she said.


Garry and Bonnie observed that Herzl is a place that nurtures every child and integrates Judaism with secular activities so that “everything meshes together in this beautiful woven fabric.”

Now Herzl Camp traditions are passed along to their next generation, three of their grandchildren —Ansley, Isabelle, and Nelson — are campers. Bikkurim is the highlight of their summers but they also love gaga, rock climbing, basketball, and nature.


The only complaint the three had is that there weren’t enough hammocks so in addition to their endowment, the Vickars are gifting three hammock gardens which will be placed around camp in time for the 2018 sessions. So after a busy morning of nikayon or eating too many cinnamon buns Shabbat morning, campers can put their feet up and relax, Herzl-style.



Waldman Belzer and Roether Family Fund

Jerry Waldman first set foot in Webster, WI when he was five years old. It was his parents, Cece and Irv, along with the Rosenthals, who searched snow-covered country roads in the winter of 1947 to find a permanent home for Herzl kids.

Jerry was a camper in 50’s, a counselor in the 60’s a board member in the 80’s and again in the early 2000’s. He joined the staff two years ago, as it’s Major Gift Officer.

His children Sue (Roether) and Michael were both Herzl campers. Sue later was a counselor, a past president and has served many years on the Board. Sue and Geoff’s kids, Max and Ella, have been campers for several years and Jerry hopes that Michael and Erin’s kids, Jason and Tommy will be campers soon.

“With four generations of Herzl Camp involvement it was only natural for us to start a family endowment fund,” said Jerry. “My wife, Judi Belzer, and I learned a lot from our parents about the importance of giving back and particularly about supporting Jewish organizations that are important to you.”

They hope to build their fund over the years, have already included Herzl in their estate plans and hope to have their children and grandchildren learn the same lessons about giving back.

“The Waldman clan has been involved with Herzl since 1946 – it’s where we all learned to be comfortable and happy being Jewish, where we were encouraged to be leaders and made lifelong friends.” Sue said. “We want to do our part to ensure Herzl’s future forever. When the 100th anniversary is celebrated in 2046, we want fifth and sixth generations of Waldmans to be at the party!”

Alan (Spud) Whitman Fund

Spud Whitman came to Herzl from Omaha as a camper for three summers in the late 1950s and early 60s and then serving on staff for a few years, including a summer as assistant Rosh Sport.

“Those summers at Herzl were amazing and remain the greatest summers of my life,” said Spud. “I came to Herzl with a large contingent from Omaha. Camp solidified my Jewish identity and commitment.”

Spud had been thinking about starting a scholarship fund for several years, he was inspired to take action by the 1960-64 Staff Reunion in 2012.

“It’s very important to me to help ensure that every child will have the opportunity to attend Herzl and that none would be excluded because they couldn’t afford the fees.” Spud attended the University of Minnesota for one year and then transferred to the University of Nebraska Omaha, where he earned his degree in finance. After graduation, he was drafted and reported to Fort Ord in California. One of the first people he encountered on the base was Ron Zamansky, his fellow Herzl staff member! After the Army, Spud was hired by Morgan Stanley in Pasadena. He is now Managing Director there. He has been named as one of Barron’s Magazine top 100 financial advisors in the U.S. every year since 2004.

While Spud is currently known to most as “Alan”, few people knew his real name while he was at Herzl. But unlike most camp nicknames, this one pre-dated his arrival in Webster. “My dad always called my mom ‘sweet potato.’ So my parents designed my birth announcement card in the shape of a potato and announced to the world that ‘our little Spud was born!’”

Michael Winston Scholarship Fund

Family and friends of Michael “Mike” Winston have established a Herzl Camp Scholarship Fund in his memory. It is the hope of Mike’s family and friends that children will be as enriched by the Herzl experience as he was, and that they will also make lifelong, dear, loving friends as he did at camp.

“While Mike was taken from us way too soon, and we miss him greatly, we can honor and remember him by acknowledging the value Herzl played in his life, and hope this scholarship fund will help others to have the same, incredible experience.”

Herbert & Joyce Wolk Memorial Fund

Jodi, Norma (Shawn) and Mark (Debbie) established the Herb and Joyce Memorial Scholarship Fund to help families in need of support provide their children with a Jewish summer camp experience. They chose to honor their parents’ (in laws) memories through this fund because both Herb and Joyce were deeply committed to Jewish learning and culture. They also instilled the importance of Tikkun Olam, or repair of the world, in all their children, which can be done through financial contributions, volunteer work or both.

While they participated in Jewish life through regular Torah study, sisterhood activities, synagogue events, involvement in the Lubavitch community and socializing with their Jewish friends neither went to Jewish camps themselves.

However, Joyce and Herb believed children who attended and enjoyed a dynamic Jewish camp experience—observing and leading weekly Shabbat services, singing and creating songs, playing sports and games, swimming and sailing and making lasting, lifelong friends—would be more likely to lead Jewish lives as adults and stay involved and connected to the Jewish community through synagogue, social justice organizations and support of Israel.

All five of Joyce and Herb’s grandchildren–Ari (20), Max (20), Justin (17), Hannah (16) and Samantha (14) – have attended Herzl Camp. They each have meaningful memories from the friends they made and experiences they had while singing and sailing and learning and laughing as part of the Herzl Family.

campfireisraelisLynn & Ron Zamansky Family Fund

This fund provides annual support for camp’s greatest needs.   These dollars help us improve and maintain camp for today’s campers without raising tuition, keeping camp more affordable to more kids!

Dawn & Danny Zouber Family Fund

This fund was established by the Zouber family to provide camp scholarships to kids in need. “Herzl has always been very special to our family. We have so many great memories from our days as campers, ozrim and now Family Camp,” said Danny Zouber.  “We know that sending a child to camp can be a real financial challenge and we also know how important camp is to the child and the community. By setting up this endowment, along with all the other scholarship donations camp receives, we want to eliminate finances as a reason a child is unable to attend camp.”