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September 18, 2014 | 23rd Elul 5774

Fellowship Gives 100+ Jewish College Students Invaluable Leadership Skills

Retreat in Philadelphia Inspires URJ Camp Staff

April 4, 2013, Philadelphia, PA -- Today more than 100 college freshman and sophomores who work at five Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) overnight camps are gathering in the City of Brotherly Love for a special retreat to learn from and with expert professional Jewish leaders and enhance their own leadership abilities as part of the URJ Olim Fellowship program.

URJ camps employ approximately 2,000 Jewish staff members each summer across 14 camps. The Olim Fellowship gives select first- and second-year counselors at five regional URJ camps the opportunity for significant leadership development. Previous fellows have proven to be exceptional role models, educators and change agents. The program also gives the participants lessons to take back to their campuses and communities and leverage their learning for the Jewish people. The five participating URJ Camps include: Camp Coleman (GA), Camp Harlam (PA), Crane Lake Camp (NY), Eisner Camp (NY), and Greene Family Camp (TX).

Participants selected for the program make a two-year commitment to their camps and receive additional salary stipends along with paid attendance at three weekend retreats in various cities. The Philadelphia retreat utilizes the National Museum of American Jewish History and various Jewish and American historical sites to contextualize the participants leadership roles within the larger American Jewish narrative. A special tour will be led by Congregation Keneseth Israel's Rabbi Lance Sussman, a noted historian, and the URJ President, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, will share his own leadership lessons. Following two days in Philadelphia, participants will continue the program at URJ Camp Harlam (Kunkletown, PA) with sessions led by additional scholars, a Shabbat celebration and the exploration of inspiring camp traditions.

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