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Remembering a Friend

Stuart and Shari Debowsky with daughter Elizabeth Faye

The following text was received as an email from URJ Board Member Jodi Hessel to URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs. Want to send us your own story? Contact us at

Something happened yesterday that shows the immense impact Jewish camping and Youth Programming has on our young people in ways that can not be believed.

The story begins years and years ago.

In June of 1990 the unthinkable happened when Elizabeth Shoshana Harr, the beautiful 17 year old daughter of Rabbi Sheldon and Fern Harr was killed by a drunk driver on her way home from leading Shabbat Services with her TYG, KAFTY, of which she was President.  Her funeral was held on the day she was to leave with her best friends for her home away from home, Camp Coleman.  Those friends have never let her memory fade….Yesterday, Liz’s best friend, Rabbi Joui Hessel officiated at the naming of Elizabeth Faye Debowsky, daughter of Stuart and Shari Debowsky.  Little Lizzie’s Hebrew name is Elisheva Shoshana after Stuart’s dear Camp and SEFTY friend, Elizabeth Shoshana Harr.

Pictured below is Little Lizzie being held by Joui who is surrounded by Jodi and Frank Hessel, and Rabbi Sheldon and Fern Harr.