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January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
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Lightning Strikes Jewish Camp in Midwest, 3 Children Injured UPDATED

Three children at a Reform Jewish camp outside of Indianapolis were struck by lightning on Shabbat.
Goldman Union Jewish Camp, near Indianapolis, Indiana was struck by lightening on Saturday, June 29. Three children were injured, one seriously.

Goldman Union Jewish Camp, near Indianapolis, Indiana was struck by lightening on Saturday, June 29. Three children were injured, one seriously.
Photo Credit: Goldman Union Camp Indiana Facebook page

SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE

Lightning struck at a Reform Jewish Camp in Zionsville, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis, on Saturday. Three children were hit by the lightening, all were seriously enough injured to warrant being taken to a hospital, one of the three was in critical condition.

The lightning struck a playing field sometime around 1:30 p.m.

According to some reports, there was no storm and not even any rain at the time the lightning struck, while other reports claimed storm clouds had already begun gathering at the time of the incident.

The three campers who were injured included a  a 9-year-old girl from Missouri, a 9-year-old boy from Kentucky, and a 12-year-old boy from Loveland, Ohio.  The Ohio boy is the one who was in critical condition, but his health had stabilized by Sunday evening.

The camp, Goldman Union Camp Institute, is one of 13 camps run by the Union for Reform Judaism.  It has been in operation for 55 years.

The camp’s Facebook page had a message posted from the head of camp, Rabbi Mark Covitz.

“This Shabbat afternoon, lightning struck URJ Goldman Union Camp. Three campers were injured. Camp personnel and emergency professionals responded quickly. The children were taken to local hospitals and we have spoken with each child’s parents. We are resuming our normal camp schedule, which will include dinner and evening program.  Please know, the safety of your children is our highest priority.”

As of Sunday evening, many dozens of refuah shleimah wishes were left on the camp’s Facebook page.

UPDATE: The Rabbi of the Goldman Union camp sent out an email on Monday, July, 1.  In it he shared the good news that one of the three children who had been struck by lightning on Shabbat has been released from the hospital.

He also shared the video, below, taken at the camp after lunch on Monday.  It shows the campers singing “Kehilla kedosha,” which means holy or sacred community.

Kehilah Kedoshah from URJ GUCI on Vimeo.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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