Update as of May 7th, 2020 - 3 PM EST

Dear Camp Seneca Lake Families,
We hope you are staying safe, healthy, and creating quality time together with your family. 
The health and safety of everyone in our Camp Seneca Lake (CSL) community is always our highest priority. After thoughtful discussions with JCC Board leadership, CSL Advisory Co-Chairs, and local health authorities as well as advice issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Camp Association (ACA), and our JCC volunteer Infectious Disease Committee, we have made the painful and difficult decision to cancel this summer’s camp season.
Based on the information, guidance, and advice of our myriad of experts and leaders, we have determined that we cannot currently meet the health and safety parameters necessary to operate camp in a safe and responsible manner this summer. Many of the hallmarks of CSL that you and your kids know and love—fun, friendship, Jewish identity-building, and memories that will last a lifetime—are predicated on shared experiences created together on the field and in the pool, the dining hall, and at the fire circle.
This unprecedented moment in time has resulted in an extended JCC closure and now cancellation of our beloved Camp Seneca Lake, both which have resulted in financial challenges to our not-for-profit organization.  We know that this time has also been difficult on each of you personally, and therefore we would like to offer you four options to consider: 
  • If you are able, please consider donating all or part of your 2020 Camp payment to the JCC Emergency Fund.
  • If you are able, please consider donating all or part of your 2020 Camp payment.  Your gift is automatically doubled by the Harold  Grinspoon Foundation’s All Together Now: A Matching Grant for Jewish Camps.
  • Apply all or part of your 2020 Camp payment toward Camp 2021 tuition or a JCC credit.
  • Receive a refund. 
Please email Staci Hiller at shiller@jccrochester.org to confirm how you wish to proceed with your financial commitment to CSL. 
We are thinking of each of you and how this disappointing news will impact your family. We are deeply devoted to the CSL community—not just during the summer but throughout the year, especially at this challenging time. We are already looking forward to creating a tremendous program for 2021, filled with inventive programming that instills each child with a powerful sense of self-worth, positivity and Jewish identity. 
In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to our camp families to share ways we can remain connected with online engagement opportunities that will connect you to our special Camp Seneca Lake community. While there are no substitutes for cheering, laughing and singing together at the fire circle or in the dining hall, these virtual platforms will help bring us a little closer to each otherPlease join us tomorrow night, May 8th at 7:30 p.m., for a community Shabbat led by Alex Kinel, Isabel Kennedy and our 2020 Unit Heads.  Register here for this special event.
We understand how hard it is to break this kind of news to your children and want to support you through that process.  The JCC and Jewish Family Service are working together to provide support to you and your family. We have curated some resources for sharing the news with your child (links listed below).
We know you likely have questions or concerns.  We invite you to attend one of three scheduled camp community town hall meetings (links listed below).  We look forward to the day when we will all be together smiling as the buses roll down Camp Road and cheering our hearts out to a favorite camp song. Until then, stay healthy, safe, and uniquely CSL strong. 
Josh Weinstein                                      Lori Field                                                          Bob Marcus and Erinn Ryen
JCC CEO                                                CSL Interim Director                                       Co-Chairs, CSL Advisory Council
                                                                lfield@jccrochester.org; 585-953-5707
Community Town Hall Meetings (please click the date to sign up)
Thursday, May 7th at 8pm
Saturday, May 9th at 8pm
Monday, May 11th at 8pm

We understand how hard it is to break this kind of news to your children and want to support you through that process. Here are some resources for sharing the news with your child.