February 22, 2019

Summer Camps Have New Temporary Homes

CSU Channel Islands, the temporary home of Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp for the summer of 2019. Courtesy of Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Camps Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp as well as the Shalom Institute’s Camp JCA Shalom, have announced temporary locations for their camp communities while they rebuild their permanent homes.

Camps Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp will operate their full programs at Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo, while the Shalom Institute’s Camp JCA Shalom will hold its summer camp programs at the Gold Creek Center in the Angeles National Forest.

All three camps were devastated by last November’s Woolsey fire, losing the majority of their structures, including campers’ cabins, staff housing and recreational facilities. 

The Channel Islands campsite is located just 15 minutes from Camp Hess Kramer’s and Gindling Hilltop Camp’s former Malibu location. According to a statement released by Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the new site is “scenic, warm and inviting” and campers will be able to enjoy the campus’ indoor basketball gymnasium, communal kitchen and outdoor field. 

Registration is now open and Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps Director Seth Toybes said in the statement, “A combination of private access living and activity spaces and large-scale natural settings gives the camps an exciting opportunity to bring the magic of camp to a new, yet similarly coastal home.” 

From left: Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps’ Ari Kaplan, Seth Toybes, Erica Feinman, Andrea Cohen and Rabbi David Eshel at CSU Channel Islands, the temporary site for Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp for the summer of 2019. Courtesy of Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

Camp JCA Shalom’s new home, the Gold Creek Center, is situated on more than 270 acres and located approximately 20 to 30 minutes from the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley and Santa Clarita, and less than 45 minutes from the Conejo Valley and West Los Angeles.

“All three camps were devastated by last November’s Woolsey fire, losing the majority of their structures, including campers’ cabins, staff housing and recreational facilities.”

The center belongs to the nonprofit Hallelujah Prayer Center USA, an arm of the Korean Presbyterian Church. The site is the former home of legendary Hollywood filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille.

In a statement released by the Shalom Institute, Camp JCA Shalom Director Joel Charnick said the new site will enable the camp to continue its philosophy of a cabin-centered approach, allowing campers to form close friendships with their cabin-mates.

“Due to its camp-like feel, beautiful and convenient location, and our ability to have exclusive use of the site, we are thrilled to have it as our summer location,” Charnick said. “We are so thankful to you, our camp community, for your patience and support as we worked to find the best possible site to run camp this summer. We can’t wait to make amazing memories.”

Registration for Camp JCA Shalom is open and families can visit the site during open houses on Feb. 24, March 17, April 7 and May 5.