Blog  News from OSRUI: Kol No’ar Fall 2016

News from OSRUI: Kol No’ar Fall 2016

From the Director

jerryWhat an amazing summer it has been! Old friendships renewed and new ones made; fears and challenges conquered. We welcomed nearly 1,000 campers as part of our OSRUI family for a summer of innovation, imagination and exploration.

The 8 weeks, 55 days, 1320 hours, 79,200 minutes, 4,752,000 seconds flew by, and we are ever grateful to all of you who help make camp possible. We thank you for creating the smiles, the shira, the laughter and the ruach.

As we approach the High Holy Days, take some time to reflect on, not only the fun of camp and the long, joyous summers, but the lasting influence that Jewish summer camping has on our children. We see our mission, in part, as providing the opportunity for the pursuit of excellence in Jewish life experiences. Thank you for helping us do just that.

L’shanah Tovah to you and yours!

Jerry Kaye


Reflections from the Chairshanah-tovah

As we prepare for the New Year, I wanted to thank all of you for your support of OSRUI and for helping us have another incredible summer full of joy, fun and appreciation of meaningful Jewish experiences. 

From our youngest campers who heard Jerry’s stories for the first-time, to our long time alumni who returned to celebrate Shabbat this summer; from the Avodahniks who experienced their first taste of freedom and responsibility, to the counselors and unit heads, who stepped into leadership roles at such a young age … this joy, fun – and appreciation – is felt by all.

We are all enriched by our dedication to and love for our camp, and we thank you for believing in our mission.

On behalf of the entire OSRUI Board, I wish you and your families a healthy, happy and meaningful Shana Tovah.

Mike Frazin
Board of Governors


OSRUI Alumni

Alumni Shabbat Reunion Weekends

We were delighted to welcome nearly 100 OSRUI alumni back to Oconomowoc for two alumni Shabbat weekends this summer. Old friends had the chance to breathe deep, reminisce about the good ole days, and feel like a kid again. Thank you to all who joined us – and take a look at the video that really captured the magic of the weekends. Stay tuned for dates for 2017 Alumni Weekends.

OSRUI at the Olympics

OSRUI alumni are everywhere! We proudly cheered on Olympic Gold medalist and OSRUI alum Garrett Weber-Gale at the Rio Olympics. We were even lucky enough to grab an interview with him. Garrett is not OSRUI’s only Olympian. Jason Brown competed in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics too. What a feat! Mazel tov to Garrett, Jason and their families.

OSRUI Alumni: Where are you? 

Visit our alumni page to update your contact information so we can keep you in the loop about alumni events, reunions, life cycle events and the exciting things happening at OSRUI.


Camper Corner 

2016 in Review

Check out highlights of 2016 and get ready for next Summer!

Hold off the winter blues…start thinking about next summer!

Registration for 2017 is now open.  Join the more than 400 campers who are already registered!

The OSRUI team are on the road visiting our partner congregations – keep a look out for us and come to Religious School wearing your OSRUI shirt that day.

Out of Africa

samson-and-isaacOSRUI proudly welcomed two madrichim from Uganda to camp this summer. Isaac Wamani (left) and Samson Nderitu left Africa for the first time to connect with other Jewish people in Wisconsin. Despite the challenges of being a tiny minority in their country, they say they love being Jewish. “Being Jewish is the best thing I have in my life,” said Samson. “It defines my life.”

Read more about Isaac and Samson.


Upcoming Fall Events

Mother and Daughter Kallah – October 7-9
OSRUI’s Associate Director Susan Alexander will be your guide, as you enjoy time alone with your special girls.

Father and Son Kallah – October 14-16
OSRUI’s Senior Assistant Director Albert Marks will serve as your guide while you sample all that the camp has to offer.

Prospective Camper Family Tour – Sunday, October 16
Join us for a tour this fall to see our beautiful grounds and fabulous facilities and to learn why OSRUI is home to more than 1,000 campers each summer.

Shabbat Shira – November 3-6
OSRUI’s new music experience for adults!

Family Fun Day! – Sunday, November 13
Come to OSRUI and enjoy some family fun before winter weather sets in.

Check out all OSRUI special programs!


Giving Back

Torah! Torah! Torah!

A big Todah Rabah to board member Rick Courtheoux and wife, Perri, for their generous donation of a new Torah to OSRUI. Cantor Jen Frost from BJBE, together with Jerry, led a beautiful service and dedication ceremony at camp.


Our beloved Susan Alexander celebrated her 18th year at OSRUI this summer. As Associate Director, susanSusan plays an integral role in the operations of camp, and we were proud to honor her in the true OSRUI way, with lots of shtick!  Thank you to all who contributed to the OSRUI scholarship fund in honor of Susan. Susan is pictured here with (from left) daughter-in-law Robyn Ackerman, granddaughter Jordyn (Mosh Aleph 2017) and son Josh Ackerman.

If you’d like to make a contribution to OSRUI in honor of Susan, please visit today.

Todah Rabah!

This year, nearly 1,000 campers experienced the magic of OSRUI:

3 all-camp theater productions
6 canoe trips
9 Shabbat stories told by Jerry on Friday nights
18 daily song sessions
52 campfires
274 soccer games
Over 3,000 slushies!

You made it possible.

184 campers received financial support this summer.
Your generosity gave them the gift of camp.

Thank you for supporting OSRUI.