What is CLASP?
CLASP stands for Camp Leader and Synagogue Professionals. URJ CLASP Fellowships are a bold and exciting initiative designed to bring the magic of URJ camping into congregations and to bring the children from those congregations into URJ camps. Creating an innovative partnership between our seventeen Jewish regional and specialty summer camps and our congregations, URJ CLASP Fellowships create a model of programming that transcends boundaries and unites youth engagement professionals in a collaborative, connected effort that will help build the future of the Reform Movement.
With the generous funding of an anonymous donor,the URJ has created over 25 CLASP partnerships with congregations to create full time youth professional positions that spend their academic year with the congregation and their summer with camp. Building on the foundation of the URJ Service Corps program that brought camp counselors in to congregations for 5 hours a week, this initiative creates full time positions which will have a deeper and more meaningful impact on camp and congregation alike.
What do CLASP Fellows Do?
- Participate in in-person and virtual networking
- Strengthen jewish youth engagement in Reform Congregations
- Engage youth in URJ Camps across the country
- Gain valuable experience and skills
The Reform Jewish world – Bring congregations and camps closer together, leveraging key relationships and shared impact, to engage an ever-increasing number of young people (including our Fellows) to embrace a Judaism that will help them find meaning, purpose and joy to better themselves, their communities and the world.
- Increase the number of campers coming from the congregation
- Retain quality senior summer staff
- Retain a high quality, well-supported youth professional
- Bring “campiness” to the congregation
- Increase the number of youth engaged in congregational life
CLASP Fellowship Congregations send an average of three times more new campers to camp than congregations without a CLASP Fellow.
Meet Our Team
For questions about the fellowship please contact Erica B. Quamily
Michelle Shapiro Abraham, RJE is the Union for Reform Judaism’s director of learning and innovation for youth and a consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Camp. A longtime Jewish educator, author, and speaker, she holds a master’s degree in Jewish education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Michelle is a recipient of the 2015 Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and an active member of Temple Sholom in Scotch Plains, NJ, where her husband, Joel Abraham, serves as the rabbi.
What is CLASP?
CLASP Fellows (Camp Leader And Synagogue Professional) are full time year-round positions that spend the summer at a URJ camp and the academic year in a synagogue. They work with children, teens, and families to engage them in vibrant and dynamic Jewish living 12 months a year.
Who should apply?
Graduating college seniors, recent grads and early career professionals who have experience in camp, youth group, Hillel, experiential education
When will the application open?
Jobs will be listed on a rolling basis as they become available. There will not be a formal application period.
What will CLASP Fellows do?
Fellows will spend the 12 month cycle at a congregation and a URJ camp. Roles at the congregations will be unique, but will focus on using a camp-inspired approach to engaging children and teens. Fellows will have a leadership role at camp that matches their skill set with the needs of camp.
I love working with kids and Jewish Summer Camp, I’m not sure if I’m an educator?
The rich experiences you’ve had in your own experiential Jewish programs will provide a rich foundation for your learning. You will be mentored and supervised by experienced educators and camp professionals, giving you the support you need to grow as an educator.
What are the compensation and benefits?
The minimum salary is $40,000 with benefits. Some positions will be offering a higher salary based on the needs of the congregation and/or the area of the country.
When does CLASP start?
Most CLASP Fellowships begin mid-August. Some positions will have the option to begin the position earlier in the summer.
What is the commitment?
It is our expectation that CLASP fellows remain in their position for 2-3 years.
If I am thinking of applying, and have been working at a URJ Camp, should I talk to my camp director?
Feel free to talk to your Camp Director and let them know you are interested in applying.
When I apply to be a CLASP Fellow, am I applying to the full position? Or just the position in the congregation?
The CLASP Fellowships are full-time, 12 month a year positions. They include both the time at camp and the time in the congregation. You do not need to apply separately – it is all one job.
Who will interview me for the position?
You will be interviewed by a joint committee of congregation and camp leaders.
I have some more questions, who can I talk to?
Please contact our team with questions.