Remembering and Honoring Gretchen Gross

Last December, we learned of the devastating news about the death of one of our beloved lay leaders, Gretchen Gross of Camp Centerland and the JCC of Greater Buffalo.  She embodied love, positivity, and commitment in everything she did, and her kind and humble generosity was unparalleled. Gretch (the name she preferred) was one of the biggest supporters of Jewish camp and lived a life of impact.

JCamp 180’s Natasha Dresner, and the LEAP Cohort 3 participants were her lucky LEAP-mates for 10 months, so they wanted to do something together to honor and remember Gretch. Thanks to everyone’s generosity and Jonathan Schwartz’s (Camp Solomon Schechter) coordination and willingness to leverage his employer matching program, they donated $2,000 toward a firepit that is to be built at Camp Centerland in her memory.  

Let’s remember and honor together this incredible person, friend, leader, philanthropist, woman, teacher, sister, mother, and grandmother, and so much more! Gretchen truly embraced a culture of philanthropy and we miss her. See more about her life here. 

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). JCamp 180 invests in the long-term organizational effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps to ensure our community’s future and connection to Judaism. We partner with professional staff, lay leadership, movements, and allied organizations to inspire a culture that promotes philanthropic support by focusing on strategic planning, governance, and fundraising, and providing matching grants, consulting services, professional development, and research. Find more at