URJ Camps

URJ Camps

Rabbi Allan "Smitty" Smith on the bimah at Biennial

With the death of Rabbi Allan Smith – “Smitty” to all who knew and loved him – the Reform Jewish world has lost a true giant.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Ruben Arquilevich opening shed door to find Jewish ritual objects and prayer books unscathed by wildfires

Last week I visited Camp Newman, a victim of California's ongoing wildfires. My reflections encompass deep loss and sadness – as well as the beauty and joy of miracles.

Ruben Arquilevich

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) welcomes Solly Kane as Director of URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI). Kane is OSRUI’s 10th Director, and the first former OSRUI camper to serve in that position.  

More than 20,000 youth, teens, and young adults participated in a URJ Youth program here at home, in Israel, and around the world, setting a record for the 9th year in a row.  These programs instill a sense of joy, compassion, and pride in being Jewish while nurturing a young person’s innate desire to make a difference in the world. The essential skills of empathy, creativity, and collaboration cultivated by our programs are more important than ever before. Here are just a few of the ways that the URJ’s youth programs engaged more youth, teens and young adults.

Elena Paull

Over the summer, I had the good fortune to serve on the faculty of Kfar NoarURJ Camp Harlam’s unit of rising ninth graders. One of my responsibilities was to join the campers on their trip to New York City, where we attended Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway. 

Michael Holzman

Arie Gluck , the longtime director of URJ Camp Harlam in Kunkletown, PA, died this past week at the age 86.

Miriam Chilton

Alone, the numbers are just numbers. When taken in light of these new findings, though, they tell a compelling story of success.

Miriam Chilton

It is not every day I get to study Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik, a major American Orthodox rabbi, Talmudist and modern Jewish philosopher. Rabbi Esther Lederman shared his teaching several months back on a pasuk in the Torah, set during the time the Israelites trekked through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land:

Miriam Chilton

How do we teach the full story while fostering a love for our homeland? The Israel I grew up with – the Israel of the 6-Day war, the Israel of the Munich massacre, of Entebbe and the 1977 European Basketball championship – is not the Israel that resonates with young people today. Today’s youth are not as willing to take on Israel “hook, line and sinker” the way many of my generation did. They have easy access to information, form their own opinions, and want to be heard. They demand discourse, diversity and accountability.

Lori Sagarin