Engaging Youth & Families with Young Children

The URJ’s youth programs engage, educate, and inspire more than 20,000 youth, teens, and young adults each year.

For more than 75 years, the Union for Reform Judaism has provided young people with immersive Jewish experiences in North America and around the world, instilling a sense of joy, compassion, and pride in being Jewish while nurturing our youth’s innate desire to make a difference in the world. The URJ’s youth programs – summer camps, Israel programs, Mitzvah Corps social justice travel programs, and NFTY: The Reform Youth Movement – engage more than 20,000 youth, teens, and young adults each year. 

Central to our strategy is collaboration with Reform congregations, other Jewish organizations, and individuals who are committed to youth engagement. Together with our congregations, we offer a continuum of influence that starts during childhood, continues through the college years, and sees expression in Jewish engagement and identification during adulthood. Our goal is not a transactional, “one-off” experience but the creation of committed, transformational, ongoing relationships that ultimately leads to an increase in the number of young Jews choosing to be Jewish, living Jewish lives, and impacting the world in positive ways. 

See the URJ’s commitment to health and safety – URJ Youth Policies and Procedures

Search our comprehensive Youth Program Directory, or learn more below.

Youth Programs

Jewish Summer Camp

With 15 summer camps across North America, URJ programs enrich and transform lives by strengthening identity and knowledge, instilling Reform Jewish values, and cultivating lifelong friendships.

Engaging Families with Young Children

In partnership with synagogues and other organizations, we’re expanding and enhancing programs that expand Jewish engagement for families with young children across the continent.
Two Mitzvah Corps participants working in a field and smiling

Tikkun Olam-Focused Youth Travel Programs

Teens can choose from hands-on social justice experiences and social action trainings in domestic and international locations. 

NFTY Teens hugging

Youth Group Programs

For 75 years, NFTY has offered thousands of young people the opportunity to explore and live Reform Judaism. 

Heller High students celebrate havdallah in Israel

Israel Programs

Our programs have transformed the lives of more than 30,000 young people, instilling a strong connection and love for the Jewish homeland.  

What's New

Building a Meaningful Jewish World: A Lesson in Expanding Temple Youth Group Programs

November 3, 2022
During the COVID pandemic in southern California, we saw our Jewish communities weaken. From our camp spaces disappearing to our teen youth groups (TYG) struggling, many of us stopped programming and decreased in membership, while a few of us thrived the best way we knew how - by joining forces. For us, as youth directors, advisors, and educators, we knew this was the way to keep teens inspired and engaged with one another.

Summer 2022: Opportunities and Growth

August 4, 2022
Summer 2022 was full of opportunities and growth. We celebrated the joy and beauty of camp and Israel experiences, infused intention and meaning in our planning and programming, and enabled campers, summer immersive participants, and staff to create communities of respect and belonging.

A Note About Camp

July 12, 2022
We are now solidly in the middle of camp season and our 3,000 dedicated staff are working to ensure that our campers are enjoying the friendship, smiles, ruach (spirit), growth, and love that are all part of the camp experience, while also keeping everyone safe and healthy.