For The First Time Since Tubbs Fire, Campers To Return To URJ Camp Newman’s Santa Rosa Campus For Day-Long Outdoor Adventure Program

Porter Creek Will Be Clean, Safe and Ready for Outdoor Programming Less Than Two Years After Wildfire Damage

Santa Rosa, CA and New York, NY; April 4, 2019 - For the first time since 2017’s wildfires, URJ Camp Newman campers will be able to enjoy time outdoors at their home campus in Santa Rosa this summer.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) announced today that URJ Camp Newman will offer the Porter Creek Adventure for all 2019 summer campers.

During the day-long outdoor excursion, campers will return to Camp Newman’s beloved campus on Porter Creek Road in Santa Rosa to enjoy some of camp’s all-time favorite adventures and activities, including hiking to the Star, the ultimate Camp Newman rite of passage. The Porter Creek Adventure allows all campers to immerse themselves in the great outdoors among the redwoods on the camp’s 500-acre Santa Rosa site.

In October 2017, the camp’s physical location sustained significant damage during the Tubbs Fire which caused widespread deaths and destruction in Northern California. As in 2018, camp will return for Summer 2019 to Cal Maritime in Vallejo, the beautiful bayside, state-of-the-art facility where Camp Newman’s overnight summer camp program continues to flourish.

Porter Creek Adventure outdoor activities will include:

  • hiking to the Star – the ultimate Camp Newman rite of passage – and to other favorite camp spots
  • teambuilding activities and skill challenges
  • walking or frolf (frisbee golf!) tour of camp (with alternative options available)
  • playing field games, Ultimate Frisbee, and other fun group activities
  • campfires and s’mores
  • planting and gardening
  • hanging out at OKY – the camp Kibbutz
  • creating art to beautify camp (like art murals, mosaics, painting, etc.) and to take home
  • singing siyum, a favorite nighttime ritual thanking God for the shelter of peace

“The Porter Creek Adventure is a thrill for the entire camp community, with countless wonderful new experiences to be had for all returning and new campers and staff,” said Ruben Arquilevich, Executive Director of URJ Camp Newman. “As Newman by the Bay continues to thrive, there is nothing like the feeling of being back home, in nature, at Porter Creek – surrounded by trees and under the stars – in such a positive, immersive way. ”

Camp Director Rabbi Allie Fischman added, “We also believe that having the opportunity to tour camp will be a powerful experience and one that begins a new stage of healing and growth – and an incredibly important way to move forward together in our journey of rebuilding camp. Time and again, we have witnessed that camp is about the community, the people, the values lived and learned that inspires a love of Judaism and empowers children and teens to better themselves, their communities and the world. Porter Creek Adventure is an exceptional next step forward as we continue planning the rebuilding of URJ Camp Newman.”

Michelle Tandowsky, Advisory Board Chair, URJ Camp Newman, and Rabbi Doug Kahn, Executive Director Emeritus of the Jewish Community Relations Council, San Francisco, are leading a Master Planning Task Force made up of experts, lay leaders and community stakeholders who are creating the vision and master plan principles for the rebuilding of the year-round community center and summer camp at Camp Newman.

Tandowsky said, “Plans and designs are in progress aiming to have the community center up and running by the end of 2020. We are grateful to the state of California for the grant enabling the construction of the community center. With tremendous thanks to all those who have helped support and strengthen us, we will continue to provide updates as the process continues. Our driving force is to take the best of our past 71 years and make it even better for the next seventy+!”


About URJ Camp Newman
URJ Camp Newman inspires a love of Judaism, 365 days a year. We connect children, youth and adults to an expansive menu of fun, immersive Jewish experiences all year long. Every summer, over 1,500 young Jews begin a journey of lifelong Jewish living and learning at Camp Newman. They join a loving community guided by over 200 Jewish mentors, educators and leaders where friendships thrive and self-esteem flourishes. Camp Newman is supported by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the largest and most diverse movement in North America, and is part of the URJ’s North American camping system.

About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.

Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.

Visit us at to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.