How Kutz Camp Will Make Your Teens Stronger Leaders

Inside Leadership

How Kutz Camp Will Make Your Teens Stronger Leaders

a group of kutz campers smile

For 53 summers, URJ Kutz Camp has trained the teenage leaders of the Reform Movement. Much of our congregational leadership, both professional and lay, attribute Kutz as having played a pivotal role in where they are now. Now, perhaps more than ever, sending the teens in your congregation to Kutz for the deep learning, purposeful skill-building, and leadership development that takes place in Warwick, New York, will set your teens and your congregations up to flourish, now and in the future.

This summer, one of the highlights of the Kutz program will be the launch of our new partnerships with the other parts of our extended URJ family:

  • The Religious Action Center (RAC) is powering the Action and Advocacy immersive learning block, where teens will learn the community organizing and advocacy skills that will enable them to carry forward the incredible work that‘s been manifesting around the country.
  • ARZA is powering the Israel and Zionism immersive, where teens will grapple with the complicated and nuanced issues happening in Israel, prepare for the Israel conversation on their college campuses, and gain confidence as they shape their own views.
  • Faculty and students from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) will dive deep into Jewish learning in Torah Corps.
  • Aspiring Jewish musicians in the songleading immersive will learn with Jewish music legends Dan Nichols, Alan Goodis, Ellen Dreskin, Elana Arian, Cantor Rosalie Boxt, and Rabbi Jeremy Gimbel.
  • The Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) is powering the ARJE/URJ Teen Leader Certificate program for synagogue madrichim, classroom aides, and teen program leaders, giving teens the skills and the drive to serve in educational leadership roles in your congregations.
  • NFTY is powering the NFTY incubator immersive, where teens will define NFTY’s programmatic priorities and initiatives to be used throughout the country and impact our entire movement.

Kutz has always been a hub of Reform Jewish leadership, and this year, we’re gathering the movers and shakers from across the Reform Movement in an intentional way to work in partnership and empower the next generation. Teens from your congregation will leave camp having not only experienced an incredible summer, but with new skills, close friends from across the world, mentors to guide their paths, and a deepened passion for Jewish life. They will be the songleaders at your services, the madrichim in your religious schools, the presidents of your temple youth groups, the advocates on your social action committees. They will be the present and future leadership that you’re looking for in your congregation.

We’ve all felt the powerful swell of teen voices and leadership that has recently swept the country. As congregational leaders, you can capture this energy and engage your teens in improving their communities and building their own Jewish stories. With Kutz’s track record of impact and these exciting new partnerships for Summer 2018, we eagerly anticipate seeing what your teens will create and who your teens will become.

To nominate a teen from your congregation to represent your community and be part of Kutz this summer, visit or get in touch with the leadership team at Kutz. Your teens—and your extended congregation—have the chance to be part of something truly powerful.

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the social network for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Melissa Frey is the director of URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, N.Y.

Melissa Frey

Published: 4/03/2018

Categories: Youth, Camp

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