Every camp has factors that make it unique. The attributes that form the priorities and principles of Camp Morasha dates back to our very first summer and has everything to do with our founding Educational Director, Rabbi Jacob M. Rabinowitz. Rabbi Rabinowitz’s recent passing is a loss felt by all those who appreciates and understands Morasha’s unique focus on a true educational summer experience. I’ve asked Larry Wachsman, former Boys Head Counselor, to write an obituary, which is included below. May we only share in smachot together in the future.
OBITUARY FOR R’ JACOB RABINOWITZ BY LARRY WACHSMAN
Camp Morasha lost one of its pioneers with the recent passing of its longtime Educational Director, Rabbi Yaakov Rabinowitz. He was the first Educational Director of the camp, a position he occupied from 1964 through the early 70’s. He was one of those responsible for developing and setting the guidelines for the fledgling camp which was to be ‘an educational camp,’ a rarity for an orthodox camp in those days.
When I came to Morasha as Head Counselor in 1967, I was surprised to learn that the educational director was one of the leading figures in the camp administration who participated in all of the top staff meetings. I soon learned that he zealously guarded the standards of the camp and took an active part in the planning of educational events. He was young and energetic as well as creative. Each year he helped develop the theme of the summer, prepared all the educational Color War (Morashia) material and was an active contributor in the planning of many of the summer events. What impressed me most at the time was how he clung to the principles of the camp and resisted any attempt at modifying them. An example that sticks in my mind is how he insisted that shiurim were inviolate and would never be cancelled. In assembling the Educational Staff he hired true educators. These were master teachers who brought experience and love of learning which they communicated to the campers. He left his imprint in almost all aspects of Morasha and its development. Although he didn’t have many opportunities to teach, he was a master teacher. (After he passed away, several of his former students at RJJ School – before he came to YU- testified that he was their 5th grade Rebbie and was the best Rebbie they ever had).
He later moved on to major administrative educational roles at Yeshiva but his legacy lived on at the camp he helped found.