Community Leaders Experience Shabbat at OSRUI

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Rabbi Jacobs (2nd from right) with David Damlich, Jeff Cohodes and Shari Damlich of Temple Chai.

Yesterday, we welcomed more than 40 Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) North American Board members, Reform Synagogue Presidents and their guests to share in the magic of Jewish summer camp for a beautiful Shabbat at OSRUI. We were so honored to also be joined by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ, whose presence added so much to this special day.

This was an opportunity for us at OSRUI to say thank you to those community leaders who send campers, clergy, and synagogue educators to OSRUI each summer, who understand and value the Jewish camp experience, and also those who want to learn more about what happens here each summer.

Solly shared the plans for the new Heichal HaTarbut Kaye (Kaye Cultural Center).

Our visitors joined various eidot (units) for Shabbat services led by our campers, enjoyed lunch and Israeli dancing with the full camp community, and took photos with the campers and staff from their congregations. The group went on a walking tour around camp and concluded with a talk from Rabbi Jacobs addressing leadership and the opportunities we have to build for the future of the Reform movement and the Jewish community.

Following the event, one visitor remarked:  “We had a wonderful and very meaningful visit with you, the campers and Rabbi Jacobs.  This is a Shabbat we will never forget!”

More than 1,000 children from across the Midwest spend part of each summer at OSRUI.  During their time here, campers learn life lessons, develop their Jewish identity and make lifelong friendships.



Oak Park Temple in Oak Park, IL. With Shari Schindler, congregation president, and Liz Simon, executive vice president.


Congregation Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL. With URJ staff member Kerry Leaf (left) and URJ North American Board member Ann Wenger.


Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL. With URJ North American Board Member Rich Goldberg.


Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha, WI. With Ben Goldstein, congregation president.


Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard, IL. With Rob Honig, congregation president.


Lakeside Congregation in Highland Park, IL. With congregation president Rob Lindner.


Temple Beth El in Madison, WI.  With URJ Board Member Jane Taves.


Sinai Temple in Champaign, IL.  With Rob Ore, congregation president.


Congregation Solel in Highland Park, IL.  With Holly Krakow, congregation president.  URJ North American Board Member Ross Erlebacher also joined us for the day.


Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL.  With URJ North American Board members Rich Heinrich and Rachel Roth, and congregation co-presidents Shari Damlich and Jeff Cohodes.


Congregation Hakafa in Glencoe, IL, with URJ staff member Kerry Leaf.

Congregation Beth Tikvah in Hoffman Estates, IL. With Terrie O’Day, congregation president.