This story started on June 4, 1972, when Liz Spiegel and Bobby Goldstein were married. It was a beautiful day at Camp Barney Medintz, in Cleveland, Ga.
Both the Goldstein and Spiegel families were connected by generations of Camp Barney campers. This was the first wedding ceremony held at Camp Barney. “I married my best friend,” declared Bobby Goldstein.
Frank and Helen Spiegel walked their daughter, Liz, down the aisle in 1972. The bride’s brothers, Mark and Walter Spiegel were groomsmen. Officiators included: Cantor Isaac Goodfriend, Rabbi Harry Epstein, and Rabbi Freedman.
A Family Legacy
Liz and Bobby met while on staff at Camp Barney Medintz, and they renewed their vows on Aug. 27, 2022, in the same chapel and under the same chuppah.
The couple started dating while working at Camp Barney in 1968. Goldstein graduated high school and went off to college at University of Georgia. Spiegel graduated high school and went to Boston University, then later decided to transfer to University of Georgia.
Once the couple decided to get married, it was camp director Bubba Schachter who exclaimed, “Guess we can do this,” and chose a mustard color for the serving staff uniforms for the wedding. Liz’s mother, Helen Spiegel had kosher food from New York served by the wait staff, which then included: Jimmy Scheer, Fred Steine and Tracy Holzer. It is a day that everyone who participated will remember for a very long time.
Fifty years later, their wedding anniversary ceremony was set up by Liz and Bobby Goldstein’s children, Sherri Goldstein Nighbert and her husband, Jimmy Nighbert, and Adam and Kim Goldstein. The family agreed that they would celebrate this occasion with the couple renewing their wedding vows. Additional couples from Atlanta attending the renewal of vows included: David and Debbi Weiler Bock, Fred and Vicki Steine, some who had met at camp.
“Fifty years may seem like a long time, … but being back at the camp with family and dear friends walking the paths taken, recalling vividly all the memories made summer after summer, gives the feeling that you are back home and hadn’t been gone long at all,” said Mark Spiegel. “This wedding vow renewal has all the components of a traditional Jewish wedding, Camp Barney style, with a few personal components. We want to get folks involved and have fun,” he added.
Bobby and Liz circled around each other three times at the beginning of the ceremony, officiated by Larry Melnick, expressing, “we have an equal opportunity marriage.” Then Bobby broke the wrapped glass flash cube.
Melnick worked at Camp Barney Medintz for 26 years, beginning in 1975, and directed CBM for 16 years. Melnick was also a Zaban director and CEO of Camp Twin Lakes in 2005.
“It was a double honor for me, officiating today, as I was a groomsman in the wedding party in 1972. The ceremony was attended by family, former CBM staff and campers,” said Melnick.
Larry Melnick and his wife, Ronnie, retired to Amelia Island. They too, had met at camp 50 years ago.
‘Our Summer Place” is the official song of Camp Barney Medintz. Sung after Shabbat dinner and campfire Havdalah service, the tune is reminiscent of folk songs performed in the 1960s.
This new version of this song, written and was sung by sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews.
As the light of each summer’s day reaches its end
I’ll sit by the fire with all my good friends
A million tomorrows could never erase
The fun and the joy, the beauty of our summer place
Our summer place
Our summer place
Our summer place
My memories of camp will stay with me always
The green of the pine trees, the blue of the sky
And when I do leave here, it will be quite briefly
And when I am gone, I will sigh (Oh!)
The lakes and the Sabbath will always remain
Symbols of good times for you and for me
And for Camp Barney Medintz
It’s you that we cherish
And you where we all long to be (Oh!)
The Lyons Den, a sensory cabin funded by Gail and Lyons Heyman, was dedicated.
“Our vision is the den will give campers and staff a place to chill out and learn coping skills. It is our hope that the den provides a source of calm and lessens unnecessary stressors in life to contribute to a happy and positive experience at Camp Barney.”
- STYLE Magazine
- Suzanne Katz Karlick
- Liz Spiegel and Bobby Goldstein
- Camp Barney Medintz
- Cantor Isaac Goodfriend
- Rabbi Harry Epstein
- Rabbi Freedman
- Boston University
- University of Georgia
- Helen Spiegel
- Jimmy Scheer
- Fred Steine
- Tracy Holzer
- Camp Twin Lakes
- Amelia Island
- Our Summer Place
- The Lyons Den