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"I Belong at Jewish Camp": Celebrating a Diverse Community

"I Belong at Jewish Camp": Celebrating a Diverse Community

Being Jewish at Reform Jewish summer camp isn’t just about religion – it’s about the experience of a vibrant, diverse community.

URJ Crane Lake Camp, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Stockbridge, MA, recently released this beautiful video about what it means to be a Reform Jew, both at summer camp and beyond. In sharing the video, Crane Lake posted, “We are all different and unique and yet so similar. Being Jewish isn’t about what you look like or where you come from. It’s about how it makes you feel.”

The video features campers and staff from the U.S., Israel, Great Britain, and Uganda, all discussing their unique Jewish backgrounds and their path to Jewish summer camp.

Says Shahar Peled, from Israel, “When I came to camp for the first time, I discovered a new kind of Judaism – Reform Judaism. A Judaism that pulls you instead of pushes you out. A Judaism that doesn’t care if you’re a man or a woman or transgender. If you’re Jewish or non-Jewish. If you’re tall or short. Judaism that is inclusive and not exclusive.”

And toward the end of the video Ziporah Namudosi, an Abudayah Jew from Uganda, sums up what Jewish camp has done for her: “I think I’m falling in love with Reform Judaism,” she says with a smile.

Want to fall in love with Reform Jewish summer camp? Visit www.urjyouth.org to find a camp near you.

Kate Bigam Kaput is the assistant director of messaging and branding for the Union for Reform Judaism and, in this role, serves as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. A prolific essayist and lifestyle blogger, Kate's writing has been featured in The Washington PostEsquire, Woman's Day, Cleveland Magazine, HeyAlma.com, Jewish Women Archive, and more. Kate, who grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, holds a degree in magazine journalism and lives in Cleveland, OH, with her husband.

Kate Bigam Kaput
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