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October 13, 2015 | 30th Tishrei 5776

Reform and Orthodox Jewish Camps Come Together to Celebrate July 4th

In New York:
Annette Powers

In Utica, MS:
Ellen Alexander

June 27, 2012, Utica, Mississippi--Two Jewish summer camps serving the Deep South--one Reform, the other Orthodox--will come together for a day of activities to celebrate America's independence.  This unprecedented collaboration is made possible by a grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

Orthodox Jewish campers from Camp Darom in Grenada, Mississippi, will spend the Fourth of July at the Union for Reform Judaism's (URJ) Henry S. Jacobs Camp. This is the first time these two camps have come together for an inter-camp program day.

The event, dubbed "Americafest," will include a Fourth of July Parade featuring campers from both camps and an afternoon carnival. In the evening, all will gather for an outdoor concert by renowned Jewish musician Dan Nichols, followed by fireworks and treats. Campers and counselors from Camp Darom will also enjoy some of Jacobs Camp's other recreational offerings including new lakefront activities such as a Blob and a Wet Willie Waterslide.

The URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp is the Reform Movement's summer camp serving the Deep South, at its permanent site in Central Mississippi since 1970. Camp Darom, the first and only overnight camp under Orthodox auspices in the South, was founded by Baron Hirsch Congregation in Memphis, Tennessee, and has been serving families in various locations since 1976.

"While the two camps practice their Judaism differently, their missions are very much the same: to strengthen the Jewish identity of young people from small and isolated Southern Jewish communities by providing them with outstanding programs and powerful Jewish memories," said URJ Jacobs Camp Director Jonathan "J.C." Cohen. "Jacobs Camp's motto, 'A Jewish Place at a Southern Pace,' will surely ring true during this one-of-a-kind celebration."

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