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Female summer campers dressed all in white as is customary for Shabbat services at Jewish camp

I promise that for the rest of my life, I will fight for your safety. I will fight for your freedom from fear. I will fight in memory of Alyssa Alhadeff, and in honor of all of you.

Madeline Budman
Young woman looking back over her shoulder and smiling

At the Kotel, I was confused as to why I was being completely rejected from the most central place of meaning in my religion. I didn’t know how to react.

Angelica Vohland
Full moon illuminating dark sky and clouds

It may be foolish for a young boy to interpret an ordinary experience as an encounter with God, but I cling to my belief that it was – and it changed my life.

Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs
Songleaders dressed in white playing guitar and singing on an outdoor stage at URJ Camp Newman looking out over Shabbat services attended by campers

Recent California wildfires devastated Camp Newman’s physical space. I feel that it is my duty – and my honor – to give back to the camp that has given me the world. 

Rachel Wolman
Flat black stones placed on the sand to form an open heart

In 2016, I arrived at a Reform Jewish summer camp, knowing nothing about Reform Judaism. I returned to Israel transformed by my experience, eager to continue my journey.

Ella Steiner
Handpainted wall with the word MISHPOCHA in Hebrew which means family

Fires cannot destroy our fond, sacred memories of camp – and Camp Newman’s traditions and practices will continue. 

Larry Glickman
Image taken from the back of an outdoor sanctuary space with a rabbi on the bimah at the front and showing the backs of the heads of campers with their arms around one another

When you think back on your life, how has it been informed or influenced by Reform Jewish practice, experiences, and community?

Elena Paull
Two smiling young women wearing white lace dresses at an outdoor Shabbat service

Each time I go to camp, I learn lessons that you don’t have to be a “camp kid” to understand.

Rabbi Dusty Klass
The backs of two teen boys facing away from the camera with their arms around one another as in friendship

The madrichim are authority figures, to be sure, but their task pales in comparison to the army. It’s a huge cultural shift

Rabbi David Cohen
Dark night full of stars above a campfire near a lake

I’m continually amazed by the way Jewish ritual has a way of lifting up everyday moments and making them holy here at Jewish summer camp.

Lisa David

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