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A Community Remembrance Project
Our beloved Rachel Glaser led Mosh as director/business manager for nearly three decades. In that time, she ensured that “because of the individual, the community is stronger. And because of the community, the individual is stronger.”
Rachel passed away on February 12, 2022/11 Adar 5782, but her impact lives on--l'dor v'dor (from generation to generation) -- in the lifelong learning instilled in all of us Moshniks who were lucky enough to be made to feel like members of her family.
We created the Rachel Glaser Community Remembrance Project to collect and share the memories we Moshniks treasure as we continue to hold Rachel close to us.
Remebrances by Moshniks
Collecting memories of Rachel Glaser taught us so much about the generosity and gratitude of the Mosh community, about the lifelong impact our time at Mosh has on chanichimot (campers) and tzevet (staff), and—most profoundly—about the lessons we took from our time with Rachel. She was our teacher, our cheerleader, our role model, our friend. We are moved by the demonstration of some of the many ways her life and legacy continue to be a blessing for our community.
We hope as you watch this video, you will be filled with the warmth that Rachel wrapped us all in.
2004 Rosh Mosh
Rachel was my first mentor.
She taught me to draw the line when needed, but never to hold a grudge. She taught me that allowing a madrich to undress during an oneg was crossing the line and allowing kids to jump out of a treehouse was a bad idea. She gave me the freedom to make choices and treated me, and so many young people, with respect. Even though she has four amazing children, so many of us could still think of her as a second mother and friend. In my professional life, I think of Rachel often and the lessons she taught us me. She was a friend and mentor and inspiration to so many of us over the years. Because of her, so many of us went into Jewish leadership and education and work to carry on her values I am grateful for her in so many ways.
My favorite memory with Rachel was during Family Camp, when she taught the tzevet how to make spanakopita from scratch. She sat with us for hours, showing us how to layer the phylo dough and make the filling. It was so delicious, and it was so much fun to spend the evening with her cooking and reminiscing about our years at Mosh.
Rachel was such a wonderful and lovely person. May her memory be a blessing.
Mosh Parent/Previous Board Member
When we think of Rachel, we think of this image of her surrounded by our Mosh family at Zack and Dahna’s Wedding. We are eternally grateful that Rachel and Rick where there on that special day. We miss her so much and hold her in our hearts always.
Love, the Hurley and Shimony Family
Madatz 2008 and Mosh Board Member
Rachel embodied Mosh for me.
When I was a kid, she was always there, always smiling. I can picture her at the toren every morning and evening, maybe her arms are crossed. And, she’s probably smirking at a silly kulam po.
She comforted me when I was homesick. She let me call my parents from her office when I found out I was lactose intolerant. She was always there, always ready to help.
Rachel visited my synagogue one day when I was in Hebrew school. The educational director came into my class and said, “Emily, you have a special visitor.” As a 9 year old, I was shocked and touched that she:
When I was a madricha, I had the good fortune of working with her for Family Camp one year, and the even better fortune of getting to make spanikopita with her.
Rachel was so incredibly special and important to so many people, and I’m so grateful that our paths crossed.
A. knew who I was, and
B. wanted to see me.
I remember when I broke my hand defending my feet in a game of gaga, at the end of my Bogrim year. I was taken to an urgent care center nearby, got my hand set up in a makeshift cast, and came back to camp.
Rachel was there when I got back, checking on me right away. Despite how it might sound, I knew that she was there for no reason other than making sure I was okay. That was incredibly powerful to me and stands in my memory to this day. The work she did with Moshava really opened up my personal relationship with Judaism, and I'm forever grateful for how she treated campers as equals.
My husband and I were very grateful to Rachel when our two children attended Mosh each summer. Over the years, we knew Mosh was a safe and nurturing environment under Rachel’s guidance and through her love.
One story that stands out was the first year our daughter attended and she was very homesick for the two weeks she stayed. We called Rachel each time we received my daughter’s postcards saying how homesick she was and thought she should leave. Rachel was so patient with us and assured us they were addressing the matter. The last time we called Rachel she started laughing because she was looking out her window, watching our daughter laughing with a bunch of kids. Needless to say, my daughter (and son) stayed at Mosh throughout middle school and high school, worked there, and made some of their closest friends at Mosh.
Roslyn Garfeld Lang
I was madricha of a group of Bonot at Moshava, and Rachel was one of my chanichot. While I tried not to let the girls know, Rachel was definitely one of my favorites. She was always upbeat, ready to go along with whatever activity was happening, and seemed really happy to be there.
Rachel was always engaged and participating. It seemed to me then that she would be a leader, and so I was not surprised to hear she had become a leader at Moshava. I also heard from my sister and brother-in-law, who lived in Baltimore, that she was teaching adult education courses that they were taking from their synagogue.
I didn't know Rachel as an adult, but I remember her as a lovely, active, and intelligent girl.
1998 Rosh Techni
My good friend, Perri Gottlieb, had grown up in Mosh and invited me to join her as she worked as Rosh Mosh that summer. I didn't know anyone besides Perri, but Rachel welcomed me with open arms and helped acquaint me with all the works of Mosh. She was always kind and supportive. I remember her fondly and am sorry to hear of her passing. May her memory be a blessing.
1969 was my first summer as a chanich at Mosh, and Ricky was one of my madrichim. He had a captain's hat, but I remember Rachel wearing it more than Ricky - that is the picture I have in my mind when I think of Rachel.
I was in Rachel's ivrit kitah and that she was very serious even then about Hebrew education.
Fast forward 30 some years, and I remember Rachel being very welcoming to my daughter when she was anxious about her first summer at Mosh.
I remember Rachel in so many of the ways I've heard others reflect on her. She was the firm, but loving, adult presence at Mosh, that let us all be free to experiment, to learn and to make mistakes. I learned a lot about leadership development from these qualities in her.
I remember her ruach, and her humor, but the memory that sticks out to me most is one time I got in a lot of trouble. I had done something stupid, and dangerous, and I deserved to be disciplined. She let me know, in no uncertain terms, exactly how stupid and dangerous my actions were, but she never made me feel like a stupid or bad person.
She had faith in us. She was able to separate the action from the person. She wanted us to learn and to grow from our mistakes, not be defined by them. I will forever be grateful for this lesson, and to Rachel, in general, for helping to create an environment which defined so much of who I am today.
Rachel showed me what quiet, grounded, mature leadership looks like. By serving as a steady hand, a wise advisor, and reminding us all how to keep each other safe in community, she was a true role model. We were lucky to have her.
1989 Rosh Mosh
I don't think I truly appreciated how important Rachel Glaser was to the Mosh experience until I worked closely with her in 1989, the year I was Rosh Mosh. She was a steadying presence, always available, never intrusive. She added an "adult" perspective when necessary, but left myself and the tzevet to our own planning and leading whenever possible.
As a leader in my field now, I understand, more than ever, the power of mentorship, supporting others as they learn and grow, and letting them fly when they are ready. It is a true gift to know when to support, when to challenge, and when to allow someone the room to take risks on their own. As with so many of the things I learned at Mosh, this lesson continues to resonate in my life to this day. I am eternally grateful to Rachel and all that I learned from her.
Moshnik and Board Member
What a role model for living an authentically Jewish life! Rachel exemplified values in action as long as I knew her. She is sorely missed.
Moshnik and Mosh Parent
Rachel touched so many lives and brightened the world for so many in the Mosh community. For our family, that moment was in the summer of 2009. Sandy and I had been very detached from the Mosh scene for about 25 years. Our kids would soon be old enough for camp, but having been away from Mosh for such a long time, we had no idea what it was like anymore. Was it still the place that played such a tremendous role in our young lives? We decided the best way to answer that question was to pack the kids into the minivan, go up for a Visitors' Day and see what it was like. After we arrived and looked for a place to put down our chairs and our food, I looked around, but did not immediately see familiar faces. Then, suddenly, someone sneaked up from behind and I was on the receiving end of a big bear hug. It was Rachel, with a huge, warm smile on her face. She said how excited she was to see me visiting Mosh, and as we talked all the warm, special feelings about Mosh poured back into my my heart. And that moment sealed the deal. Our kids soon became devoted Moshniks, and I decided to lend a hand to the Mosh board. In short, Rachel's warmth, her dedication, and her love of Mosh and the Mosh community helped set the stage for continuing our family's amazing generational journey with Mosh.
That moment with Rachel is one I will fondly remember. Always. It meant so much to me at the time, and I am grateful that Rachel made that happen.
Moshnik and Mosh Parent
I had the honor of being around Rachel for many years as a chanich and then as a madrich. What stands out to me was her ability to give teenagers and young 20-somethings the incredible latitude to lead, support the successes, and calmly help clean up the mistakes.
I can't recall a "no" from her, despite some crazy ideas. One summer, myself and several others were in charge of the epp-epps. We had an idea that in no way, shape, or form would fly today, but somehow 25 years ago seemed like a good idea. Rachel was asked to introduce two "new" (fake) staff members to the tzevet during the epp-epp, who unbeknownst to the tzevet were there to, let's just say, entertain the crowd. I am sure she thought it wasn't a great idea, and, in fact, it did end up being a minor disaster, but she was more interested in being supportive and cooperating with us then telling us no. We needed to go through it and she put a lot of value in teaching life lessons quietly from the sidelines.
She was an incredible women and I think of her often.
1985 Rosh Mosh and Mosh Board Member
Rachel was such a calm, grounding presence when I was Rosh in 1985. I remember going up to camp in May or June that summer with Ricky to name the tzrifim and to decide which tree would be the Eitz Hashira! Everything was brand new to all of us, and Rachel took it all in stride, radiating calm and confidence. She made her role look easy!
It's been such a pleasure to get to know some of Rachel's wonderful family again over the last few years. Her memory and her legacy are truly a blessing.
Moshnik and Mosh Board Member
As I reflect on Rachel's remarkable life and her devotion to Mosh, I think of how she raised several generations of us not once, but twice - first as campers, then, again, when we became counselors. She was a constant source of warmth, comfort, and support when we were kids, and then as we found our way into leadership positions and as community members. May her memory be a blessing.
Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt
It is hard to believe that Rachel is no longer with us. She is someone who was always there, in the most positive sense. She was there for us, for the mahaneh, as a Jewish educator, as a role model, and so much more.
I first met Rachel in my first summer as a chanich in 1966 when she was a madricha. She had a wonderful smile and warmth that made one feel at ease in her presence. Later I came to know Rachel as a colleague, as a Jewish educator. It was clear that her life was devoted to imparting a love of Judaism and Israel to her students and chanichim, and to whomever and wherever she could.
Rachel brought tremendous depth and the richness of her appreciation of her heritage, of Israel, of Zionism to whatever she did.
Her passing is a true loss for all lovers of Zion.
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