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Important Camp Barney Medintz News

Dear Camp Barney Medintz Friends and Family,

Camp Barney Medintz logoAs CEO of the MJCCA, I look forward every year to the magic Camp Barney Medintz delivers. Being together in “Our Summer Place” was exactly what our campers and staff needed this summer. Perhaps more than any other program we offer, Camp Barney Medintz has delivered our mission and vision for decades and will continue to do so for generations to come.

I am beyond grateful to the entire Camp Barney Medintz team and our many public health and medical advisors for their months of planning that allowed for a safe and healthy summer 2021.

For almost 60 years, Camp Barney Medintz has been the gold standard of overnight Jewish camping experiences and has shaped the lives of tens of thousands of campers and staff and the communities they return to. For almost half of those years, Jim Mittenthal has been at the helm. His reputation, dedication, and ability to connect with each camper is synonymous with the accolades our program regularly receives. Whether with the Jewish Community Center Association, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, or Israeli Schlichim, Jim has been a pioneer for overnight camping innovation.

There are few of us lucky enough to reflect on a successful career and decide it’s time to move on while at our peak and on top. While we knew the day would inevitably arrive, it is with great admiration and certainly some sadness I announce Jim’s retirement following his success in delivering another amazing summer. Jim and I have regularly discussed his succession plan and after COVID forced the cancellation of camp last year, he was determined to return and hand over to a successor a program at its true height.

Jim surrounded himself with a stellar team of professionals. Many of these staff have been with Jim for years and his influence and passion come through clearly from this cohesive unit. If you don’t know them, we hope you will read all about them here. These leaders, who the children love and the counselors adore, will continue the legacies, traditions, and operations of Camp Barney Medintz without missing a beat while we begin a nationwide search for our next director. Most importantly, to ensure that the Camp Barney magic goes uninterrupted, Jim has agreed to serve as a consultant to MJCCA leadership and CBM staff throughout the next year during the transition.

We will share ongoing updates with you as we form a search committee and begin a national search.

While the national search is underway, Michael Drucker, CBM Operations Director, will serve as Interim Director. Michael has been the backbone of CBM for the last 7 years, managing all the logistics that “make camp run.” Michael is admired and respected by staff and campers alike and is the perfect person to steward Camp Barney Medintz through this transition. He has had three children attend Camp Barney Medintz as campers and now has the privilege to watch them serve as staff.

I know for many of you, as it is for me, Jim is a large part of your Camp Barney Medintz memories. He will forever be an integral and cherished part of the Camp Barney Medintz family. Please join me in congratulating Jim on his tremendous accomplishments and a well-deserved retirement. In the coming months, we will share opportunities to celebrate Jim and wish him well on his retirement.


Jared Powers
MJCCA Chief Executive Officer