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September 15, 2014 | 20th Elul 5774

URJ Service Corps Program Uses Camp Activities in Congregations to Engage Youth Year-Round

Second Cohort to Bring "Magic of Camp" to 38 Reform Jewish Institutions

Contact: Annette Powers
212-650-4154
apowers@urj.org

New York, July 31, 2014 -Who says the magic of camp has to end in August?

After an impressive first year, The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) announced a second cohort of URJ Service Corps Fellows to bring experiential camp education to 38 Reform institutions throughout North America.

Service Corps is a joint program of the URJ (Reform) and Ramah (Conservative) Camping Movements. The program combines young camp staff and alumni to provide camp-style programming throughout the year outside the camp setting. Though each Movement runs their own cohort, they share professional development programs and materials, and learn from one another. URJ Service Corps Fellows are supported by camp professionals and a rabbi or educator in their assigned congregation and are charged with two main goals:

  • Cultivate an awareness of the power of camp in the congregation and encourage more students to attend Jewish summer camps
  • Utilize best practices from Jewish summer camps, including experiential education models, relationship building, and role modeling, to engage students in Judaism and bring some of the "magic of camp" to congregational programs

"Our program participation in URJ summer programs has increased so significantly, it is simply remarkable. We are so grateful for the grant money that enabled us to encourage many, many more people to attend a URJ summer program for the first time this year," said Rebeca Robins of Temple Sinai in Washington, DC.

"We have seen an increase in camp enrollment this year, and even more exciting, we have also seen significant excitement about camp from our youngest students who will be eligible to enroll in the next year or two," said Meredith Kahan at Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati, OH.

The URJ will train and support 34 young adult educators, who will serve in part-time youth leadership roles for 4-5 hours per week at 37 Reform congregations and one Reform day school (see list below). Brimming with enthusiasm, these educators will work actively on camp recruitment to help reenergize the communities they serve through innovative, inspiring, and immersive programming.

"Service Corps Fellows have been able to have an impressive impact on camp recruitment numbers - an impact that previous efforts were unable to accomplish," said Senior Program Manager for Camping for the Union for Reform Judaism Michelle Shapiro Abraham, "We are now able to identify what success looks like and have a glimpse into a new and exciting approach to connecting children to camp and engaging them in Jewish life year-round."

The 2014-15 URJ Service Corps Cohort will include:

Camp

Fellow

Last Name

Congregation/School

Location

Coleman

Rachel

Glazer

Temple Sinai

Atlanta, Georgia

Coleman

Healy

Slakman

Temple Beth-El

St. Petersburg, FL

Coleman

Juliane

Wolfberg

Temple Beth El

Boca Raton FL

Eisner/CLC

Stefanie

Abbott

Temple Judea of Manhasset

Manhasset, NY

Eisner/CLC

Ryan

Daniels

Westchester Reform Temple

Scarsdale, NY

Eisner/CLC

Sarina

Lapin

Congregation B'nai Shalom

Westborough, MA

Eisner/CLC

Sarah

Stein

Temple Shalom

Newton, MA

Eisner/CLC

Emily

Gergen

Temple Chaverim

Plainview, NY

Eisner/CLC

Sara

Wittenberg

Temple Beth Shalom

Needham, MA

Eisner/CLC

Seth

Marion

Larchmont Temple

Larchmont, NY

George

Rochelle

Derlick

The Leo Baeck Day School

Thornhill, ON

George

Daniel

Marin

City Shul

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Greene

Sarah Beth

Gordon

Temple Israel

Tulsa, OK

Greene

Jared

Pickett

Temple Sinai

Houston, Texas

Greene

Dani

Glazer

Temple Beth Shalom

Austin, TX

Greene

Dani

Glazer

Congregation Beth Israel

Austin, TX

Greene

Presley

Lisner

Adat Chaverim

Plano, Texas

GUCI

Michael

Levy

Rockdale Temple

Cincinnati, OH

GUCI

Casey

Wright

Temple Shir Shalom

West Bloomfield, Michigan

GUCI

Leslie

Gubitz

United Hebrew Congregation

St. Louis, MO

GUCI

Leslie

Gubitz

Congregation Shaare Emeth

St. Louis, MO

Harlam

Jillian

Cogan

Adath Emanu-El

Mt Laurel, NJ

Harlam

Beryl

Trauth-Jurman

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation

Reston VA

Harlam

Caitlin

Brazner

Temple Micah

Washington, DC

Harlam

Amanda

Wilson

Temple Sinai DC

Washington, DC

Jacobs

Julia

Solomon

Temple Emanu-El

Birmingham, AL

Jacobs

Alex

Shindler

Congregation B'nai Israel

Little Rock, Arkansas

Jacobs

Ivy

Cohen

JewCCY/Joint Congregational Initiative

New Orleans, LA

Kalsman

Leah

Beck

Congregation Beth Israel

Bellingham, WA

Kalsman

Sydney

Kane

Temple Beth Am

Seattle, WA

Newman

Brandon

Binder

Congregation Shomrei Torah

Santa Rosa

Newman

Brandon

Brown

Rodef Sholom

San Rafael, CA

Newman

Asher

Litschwartz

Emanu-El

San Francisco, CA

OSRUI

Benjamin

Goldberg

Temple Beth Israel

Skokie, Illinois

OSRUI

Micah

Brandhandler

Lakeside Congregation

Highland Park, IL

OSRUI

Michael

Greenstone

Temple Jeremiah

Northfield, IL

For more information, visit: http://www.urjcamps.org/servicecorps/

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is a dynamic network of congregations, institutions, lay leaders, clergy and professionals across North America that impacts the lives of millions of individuals every day. Our progressive, inclusive approach unites thousands of years of Jewish tradition and values with modern Jewish experience to strengthen Judaism today and for future generations. Through programs, information and networking opportunities provided by the URJ, our nearly 900 member congregations enhance their capacity to build and expand community, deepen Jewish learning, energize worship, pursue social justice and develop inspired leadership. http://urj.org.

The URJ's Campaign for Youth Engagement marshals the resources of the URJ, as well as congregations and institutions of the Reform Movement and beyond, to engage a majority of Reform Jewish youth in Jewish life in meaningful ways.URJ Youth Programs – NFTY, Camps, Israel Programs and Mitzvah Corps – bring inspiring experiences to thousands of young people each year.

 

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