Bill (William) Leigh Gross & Lisa Spertus Gross

I met Bill in 1957 the first day of camp that summer. Sheila Goldberg noticed the new guy as we piled out of the dining room. His smooth friendly face was covered with patches of gentian violet, but Sheila struck up a conversation with him and we discovered that he was the younger brother of the handsome, Jim Gross whose baby face we used to swoon over the summer before. In fact, I was going with another young man that summer but Bill and I used to meet on the lawn and got to know each other over the summer months. Towards the end of the season Bill declared that he loved me and hoped that I felt the same about him. To my surprise, I did. We kept in contact over the next four years and continued our romance each summer.

Camp Ramah was a very special place for me. Back in Highland Park I did not feel connected with my high school peers, but each summer at camp I blossomed. I could excel in art and dance though my academic interests were less rewarding. Also, the friendships we made over the years of attending camp were very special.

The encounter with religion at camp helped form our personalities and was life-enriching. It was a privilege to have experienced the celebration of Shabbat in the special way it was during our summers there.

We were married in 1962, and lived in Highland Park, Ill. after two years more in Boston. Bill attended Harvard and Harvard Business School. I spent three years at Boston University. After Bill worked as head of the sales department in my family business we decided to make aliyah. We have been living happily in Israel since 1969

Bill worked in many different businesses over the years then as a diamond agent. Finally he retired and spends most of his time doing research on his extensive Judaica collection. He is president of our budding Conservative, progressive, pluralistic synagogue and works closely with Rabbi David Lazar.

I am spending most of my time in my studio where I make sculptures from found objects. In between I try to spend as much time as possible with our grandchildren, three precious little girls. Two out of three of our children live in Israel. Our middle son has lived in the USA for many years.

My younger sister Cathy Spertus Orkibi met her husband at camp as well and moved to Israel two years before we did. My older sister Sue moved here with her family several years after we did. I believe our experiences at camp influenced our choices.

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