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By Sharon Chisvin

It has taken a little longer than expected, but Camp Massad has finally cleared all the bureaucratic hurdles and begun construction on its new shower and wash house facility. The environmentally friendly, handicapped-access building will house 24 shower stalls, 18 wash-up sinks and both girls and boys bathrooms. It will be completed before Massad opens its gates for the 2010 season. This new facility, which will replace one that has served the camp since the 1960s, will cost approximately $175,000 to complete. Funding for the project has come from a variety of sources including foundations, community organizations, government and private donations.

 “It feels really good to be able to build something that will be comfortable, environmentally responsible and also accessible,” says Mia Elfenbaum, co-chair of the Camp Massad Board of Directors.

Construction of this long awaited amenity is just one of several major projects currently being undertaken by Massad. The camp is, as well, in the midst of conducting a strategic site plan, and in the coming weeks will be sending out a camper and parent on-line survey to hundreds of community members. The results of this survey will help the Hebrew immersion camp determine what it is doing right and how it might better serve Jewish youth both in Winnipeg and beyond the community.
Additionally, the Massad Board of Directors is busily planning the winter milestone birthday celebration of camp co-founder Leona Billinkoff, as well as a very fun and Massad-like fund raiser. Details of these events will be forthcoming.
Finally, the Board of Directors also is currently searching for its first ever executive director. This newly created position will combine all of the ‘eemah’ or administrator’s historic responsibilities with a concentrated focus on site management, marketing and promoting the camp.
Massad, after all, is unique among Jewish camps in North America. Throughout its 57 year history it has remained rooted to its founding ideals based on a commitment to Zionism, promotion of the Hebrew language, and a determination to provide Jewish children with the tools to express themselves creatively and Judaically.  
The long acknowledged truth about Massad is that campers and staff return to the camp summer after summer because of its extraordinary programming. The physical site has always been of secondary importance.
Nonetheless, it is nice that Massadnicks will now have a new shower and wash house facility to enjoy.
“Camp Massad programming has always been top-notch,” says Elfenbaum. “And now we've broken ground on a structure that matches this high quality.”
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