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Jewish Summer Camp

Female songleader Dawn Bernstein leads a group of campers in song in a photo from URJ GUCI camp in the 1970s

When I was growing up, Jewish music was the sole purview of men. I had never seen a woman sing on the bimah (pulpit) - but then I made history.

Dawn Bernstein
Kutz campers in a group each holding signs about why they vote

My name is Tali, and I just spent three and a half weeks learning how to be an effective and just leader

Tali Meisel
Three female campers smiling at the camera in a photo taken at camp in the 1980s

I ultimately landed in my career as a therapist - also known as a counselor - & I often notice that some of the most basic skills in my field I learned at camp, where the seeds of my career were planted

Shayna Warner
Campers learning to play mah jongg

For years, my mom has been on a mission to teach mah jongg at the Reform Jewish summer camp my brother and I attended. This year it finally happened.

Brian Hertz
Two female students sitting on the ground and smiling up at at the camera while drawing Stars of David on posterboard

I thought our Mock Knesset was very successful. We learned so much and had fun learning all about Israel’s government

Sydney S.
Dozens of campers on a soccer field making a heart shape using their hands

When tragedy struck Camp Coleman, we asked how we could respond. The answer was to cry together, support one another and establish a lasting legacy at camp for our friend.

Rabbi Adam Miller
Three males with their arms around one another from the back facing a female songleader on the bimah with a guitar

I cite my parents’ decision to raise a Jewish family as my gift of a lifetime because of the astronomical impact it has had on my life thus far.

Sean Carlin
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
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

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