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Choosing a Jewish Summer Camp

 How Do I Choose?Anna in tentShabbat at Eden VillageArcheryRopes Course

There are so many Jewish summer programs (for ages 6-18)! This means there is something for everyone, including including specialty camps for children interested in:

Sports
Drama and arts
Jewish observance
Music and dance
Nature and outdoors
Water sports and activities
Environmental sustainability
Cooking
Learning Hebrew or Yiddish
Russian or Hebrew Speaking

….and more!

Sessions range from 1 to 8 weeks and every day is full of activity, fun, and friendship!

For teens, options include traditional camp environments, outdoor adventures, social justice work, intensive Hebrew experience, travel around the United States, and travel to Israel.

Search the database of all non-profit Jewish overnight programs listed by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (by interest, geographic location, age, etc.).  

Get advice by contacting Naomi Wilensky or Rabbi Suzanne Brody and/or connect through them to local families whose children have gone to Jewish summer camps.

Inquire about financial assistance from the camp and apply for a Camp Award from IAUJC if necessary.

Each camp is a little bit different, but below is a list of camps in the area and what some local teens and youth said about their Jewish camp experiences.

ADINA, age 10, attended Camp Young Judaea--Sprout Lake for 3.5 weeks

"My favorite thing about camp is Shabbat Rikud: On Saturday night, when we say goodbye to Shabbat, we do havdalah and then dance for hours. Everyone dances together. If you don’t know the dances, you just follow along and mess up and then you learn them as you go."

"I love Yom Kef (Fun Day). We went to Splashdown, a water park!"

"The food at camp was absolutely delicious, on some days. My favorites were the lasagna, pizza, and gooberry mush (sour cream and yogurt and blueberries)."

"Some of my bunkmates were from Israel, and some were from cities with a lot of Jews, and some were from places that don’t have a lot of Jewish people."

ZOE, age 13, attended Camp Sabra for 4 weeks

"The best thing about camp is being with friends, going to the swim dock, tubing, and doing Jewish activities with the whole cabin."

"CAMP IS AWESOME!"

SABINE, age 11, attended Camp Sabra for 4 weeks

"My favorite thing about camp is having fun adventures on the lake. I love the water slide."

"Every day we say the prayers before and after the meals. On Shabbat we dress up and have services."

OBIE, age 10, attended Camp Seneca Lake for 2 weeks

"One of my favorite things is movie night on Saturday night. At camp we get to do hobbies – I like tennis."

"At camp we wake up early and are so tired by the end of the day! But we can sleep in for Shabbat."

"We say the Hebrew prayers at every meal. It’s easy to learn them when you do them every day."

"CAMP IS CRAZY AND FUN!"

NOAH, age 13, attended Camp Seneca Lake for 4 weeks

"I really liked wakeboarding at camp. There is never a dull moment – there are so many activities!"

"Each week we take a Shabbat walk, and then have Torah discussions on Shabbat afternoon."

"CAMP IS EXCITING!"

RAIA, age 11, attended Camp Eden Village for 1 week

"I like how at camp there are so many different activities for everyone. My favorites are boating and the lake."

"We have Shabbat services outside, with lots of singing."

"At camp I saw that there are so many ways for people to be Jewish."

ELIJAH, age 14, attended URJ Camp Eisner Institute for 4 weeks

"I’ve been going to the same camp for 7 years. The best thing about is it my friends. We all went to each other’s bar mitzvahs."

"I like all the sports and activities."

"We do Jewish learning every day.  It’s just part of every activity."

"I plan on being a junior counselor and then a counselor."

STELLA, age 14, attended Camp Ramah for 4 weeks 

"My time at Jewish summer camp has greatly affected who I am as a person today. I am more confident, outgoing and I can connect with people much easier than I could before."

"Camp is a truly amazing place, where everyone, no matter who they are, can come together and create lasting bonds that you will have for the rest of your life."

Teen Summer Experiences and Camps in this Area (a partial list) (* indicates that some local youth have gone/are going to this camp.)

*Eden Village Camp

*Camp Naaleh -- Habonim-Dror

*Camp Ramah in the Berkshires

*Camp Ramah in Canada

*Camp Ramah in the Poconos

*Camp Seneca Lake

*Camp Shomria –Hashomar Hatzair

*Camp Young Judea--Sprout Lake

*URJ Camp Eisner Institute

*USY on Wheels

*Young Judaea’s Teen Camp: Tel Yehudah

*Camp Zeke

BIMA at Brandeis University

B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp

Camp Nah-Jee-Wah – NJ Y

Cedar Lake Camps – NJ Y

Habonim-Dror Israel Programs

Ramah Outdoor Adventure

Round Lake Camp – NJ Y

Surprise Lake Camp

URJ Camp Harlem

URJ Crane Lake Camp

URJ Kutz Camp Leadership Academy

*URJ Six Points Sci-Tech Academy

URJ Six Points Sports Academy

*USY Israel Pilgrimage

Young Judaea Israel Teen Summer Programs