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Camp Tawonga to Announce
Future Vision at 90th Gala

Camp Tawonga to Announce Future Vision and Introduce Next Executive Director at 90th Gala

Celebrating 90 Years of Camping Excellence

November 6, 2015

The evening will celebrate the Camp’s past, current, and future leaders, introducing incoming Executive Director for 2017, Jamie Simon-Harris. Attendees will also hear about a visionary plan for Tawonga’s future that addresses the needs of a community yearning for year-round and lifelong Tawonga engagement opportunities.

“Celebrating our Community’s Heroes” is the theme for the night, and the families of Past Presidents Robert Heller and Ken Colvin will be honored for their foundational contributions to Tawonga. Heller and Colvin, campers in the 1930s, cared deeply that every child could experience Tawonga; they were responsible for purchasing the 160 acres of land on Yosemite’s Tuolumne River where Tawonga is located.

“Only seven Executive Directors have led Tawonga since the Camp moved its site from Tahoe to Yosemite in the 1960s – and six of them will be present at the celebration,” said Jamie Simon-Harris, Tawonga’s Associate Executive Director. “Tawonga’s beloved Marvin Bienstock, who died earlier this year, would have made seven.”

Current Executive Director, Ken Kramarz, shared, “This is a truly historic moment in our agency’s history, bringing together so many generations of Tawongans to celebrate and reflect on our deep past and one shared experience – Tawonga strengthening our kids, our families, and our broader Jewish community.”

The program will also feature exciting growth on Tawonga’s horizon: Beyond the Bimah, a new Bar and Bat Mitzvah training program that will launch in 2016; Kibbutz Tawonga, an at-Camp residency program for 21-35 year-olds; and a visionary campus expansion plan to protect and enhance Tawonga’s facilities.

To support this expansion, a Fund-a-Need will take place at the Gala to raise money to build the Camp’s Central Bathhouse, an urgent project for the agency. Proceeds from the event will also go toward the Campership Fund, to help children experience Tawonga regardless of financial circumstances.
The evening begins at 7pm, with a formal program running from 8:30pm to 9pm, followed by a classic Tawonga song session and dance party. The Tawonga community is gearing up for the event with social media posts including the hashtag #TawongaTurns90.

For more information about the Gala, visit the event page here.
Contact: Jamie Simon-Harris, Associate Executive Director – (925) 285-3519;
Casey Cohen, Communications Director – (925) 528-9374
San Francisco, CA, November 6, 2015: Camp Tawonga will celebrate their 90th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, November 7 at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. It has been 30 years since Tawonga’s last event of this kind, which explains why the Gala sold out weeks ago and why dozens of community members are on the waitlist.

Since 1925, Camp Tawonga has served as a leader in Jewish camping, fostering in children and families an appreciation for cooperative community-building and positive self-image while forging a partnership with nature within an inclusive and welcoming Jewish community. Tawonga serves the greater Bay Area and beyond, and is located on the Tuolumne River, right next to Yosemite National Park.

Download this press release here.