After a national search, Herzl Camp’s board of directors stayed close to home with its new executive director.
President Jason Grais announced that Tommy Hoffman, a former Herzl staffer, camper parent, and volunteer, would be the new executive director, effective Jan. 1, 2024. He replaces Josh Levine, who stepped down after this past summer.
Hoffman first started working at Herzl Camp in 1988 and said that it changed his life immensely.
“Most of my identity is wrapped up in Herzl Camp,” he said. “I came to Herzl Camp as a Jew, and I left Herzl Camp Jewish. Herzl Camp, for me, has always been that pillar. It has gifted me a Jewish identity that I’m very proud of.”
Hoffman had worked in real estate and business development but has significant experience in volunteer leadership roles, including as the president of Temple Israel at a time when the synagogue was creating and implementing a strategic plan, and as the founder of the Sober Farms Project, which Grais called a “groundbreaking” approach to sobriety for young adults.
Hoffman has also been involved in Jewish camping on a national level, having served on the Union of Reform Judaism’s Youth & Summer Camping Committee.
“Our search committee was impressed with Tommy’s business and community experience, his ability to inspire those around him, his creativity, authenticity, and his valuable perspective as a Herzl alum and parent,” said Grais. “His enthusiasm and love of our mission distinguished him among a highly talented candidate pool.” (Note: the editor’s wife was on the search committee and is the president-elect of the Herzl Camp Association board).
Grais said that bringing Hoffman on to the staff team comes at a pivotal time.
“Jewish camping’s impact on community building and Jewish engagement has never been more important,” he said. “I am confident that Tommy’s vision and passion will expand Herzl Camp’s reach, create a meaningful impact on our community, instill a love for Israel among our campers and staff, and positively influence the next generation of Jewish leaders.”
Tommy Hoffman will be the guest on next week’s Who The Folk?! Podcast, which you can listen to wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe to find out when it’s available.