The leadership of Camp JORI announced on May 27 that after careful consideration, the Jewish overnight camp will not open for the 2020 season.
“We worked really hard to make it work; we tried,” camp co-director Kara Liberman told Jewish Rhode Island. “There just wasn’t a way to open camp safely.”
In a message to the community, Liberman and co-director Alicia McGee wrote, “Our camp runs on our value of TaCEO (taking care of each other), and we feel that by not opening we are simply doing our best to take care of one another. Our community feels this loss deeply and will continue to find ways to be together until we open the gates in 2021.
“As we process this reality we are hopeful and excited to be together in 2021. We will continue to plan for the return of campers on Worden’s Pond in 2021!”
In an interview, Liberman said, “We waited longer than most camps. We tried to find a good solution. Camp is all about hugging and smiling, especially for our younger campers. Not to be able to sit close to someone would have been tough. I think this is the right thing to do.
“Ironically, [the] camp looks better than it has in years. There is construction on a new security building next to the visitor’s center. We will be back better than ever next year.”
Camp JORI is located on Worden’s Pond in Wakefield. The Jewish camp has been in business since 1937.
FRAN OSTENDORF is the editor of Jewish Rhode Island.