Blog  A Postcard from Camp: News from OSRUI Winter 2019

A Postcard from Camp: News from OSRUI Winter 2019

From the Director

Recently, I had the pleasure of welcoming our 2019 Rashei Eidot (unit heads) and Segel (faculty) to camp for our annual Mid-Winter Planning Meeting. We are fortunate to have so many talented, thoughtful, caring, leaders who are deeply committed to OSRUI and willing to put in significant time before the summer to strengthen the camp program.

The OSRUI Segel is made up of over 50 rabbis, cantors, and educators, who spend two (or more!) weeks at camp in the summer. They are leaders in their home congregations and organizations and when they are at camp in the summer, they are constantly busy, from early morning services to late-at-night staff meetings. It is just as common to see a member of the camp Segel leading a limud (study) session as it is to see one of them having lunch with a camper or participating in an activity in the art center or on the sports field.

The Rashei Eidot this year are an outstanding group of leaders, who collectively have spent more than 100 summers at camp! You can read more about who they are later in the newsletter. While we were together, we spent time honing their leadership skills as they prepare to lead their staffs in the summer

Watching these two groups work together to prepare for summer, I was personally moved by the passion for creating powerful Jewish experiences and the dedication to camp that was constantly visible throughout our few days together. Camp is about many things, but at its core it is the community built by the Segel and staff that endures long after summer concludes and the last car has left Oconomowoc.

This summer the Segel and Rashei Eidot are focusing on four middot (values) that will permeate the limud (Jewish learning) themes and other parts of the program throughout the summer: yachad (togetherness), somet lev (presence for each other), derech eretz (integrity in action), and kavod (respect for one another). Together these middot help to guide our camp community and I’m looking forward to seeing many of the ideas from our Mid-Winter Meeting in action.

As 2019 gets underway there are many other projects in the works for this summer, including the exciting addition of the Heichal HaTarbut Kaye (Kaye Cultural Center), new tennis courts, and upgrades to some of the bathrooms at camp. Thank you to everyone in our community who has stepped up financially to make these projects possible.

On behalf of the OSRUI professional staff and lay leadership I want to thank you for being a part of the OSRUI community. I hope to see many of you at camp this summer!


Solly Kane, Director

Heichal HaTarbut Kaye – Construction Update

The OSRUI capital campaign to build the new Heichal Hatarbut Kaye (Kaye Cultural Center) has reached $4.19 million. Thank you for your support!

The project is in full swing! The metal framing is up, and walls are being installed in the next several weeks. Construction is on track to continue through the spring of 2019.

Save the date: We look forward to gathering together as a community to celebrate this summer.

Alumni Day and Kaye Center Dedication
July 21, 2019!​

See our Facebook page for more photos of the building.

OSRUI 2019

To date, we have almost 900 campers signed up for Summer 2019! There are still some open spots, but sessions are filling quickly.


Where are They Now?
Alumni Spotlight on Sandy (Kraut) Rustin Fleischer

Meet Sandy (Kraut) Rustin Fleischer, who was a camper in the ’80s and staff member in the ’90s. An actress and playwright, Sandy recently wrote the book and lyrics for “American Girl Live,” a musical about a sleep-away camp that debuted in Chicago last month and is currently touring the country.

While the show’s characters are focused on the American Girl characters, Sandy says the world she created is reminiscent of her time at OSRUI.

Fun camp fact: I still have my friends’ buddy tags from the buddy board, taken on the last day of Chalutzim.

How camp has impacted my life: OSRUI was (and remains) one of my favorite places on earth. I always felt the most “me” when I was there. It was a designated part of my childhood designed to slow-the-roll of the frenzied pace of the school year. … I developed friendships untethered to social status or cliques. (And it has been those friendships that have been some of the most lasting through adulthood).

Read more about Sandy on our blog >

Your 2019 Rashei Eidot

We have a phenomenal group of Rashei Eidot (unit heads) this summer!

Meet Ashley, Shira, Jami, Leah, Max, Lee, Jesse, Or, Liora, Noah and Raya!  

Join us in the 53066

March 8-10 – NFTY-CAR and NFTY NO
Junior Youth Group Kallah
(for grades 6-8)
March 8-10 – NoFTY Conclave
(for NoFTY alumni from the 60’s and 70’s
March 15-17 – Family Camp
May 29-June 2 – Hava Nashira
(registration opens in March)


Chalutzim Reunions

We look forward to welcoming back to camp our Chalutzim “decade” reunions! If you attended Chalutzim in 2009, 1999, 1989, 1979, or 1969 (or even if you didn’t attend, but that’s your group of camp friends), we hope to see you July 26-27 at OSRUI!

Please fill out this form so we can collect names and contact information and send you the details as soon as they are available. We’ll be sending out a registration link in the Spring.

Questions? Contact Dylan Singer at


Todah Rabah! End-of-Year Campaign

Thank you to everyone who helped us #ShareTheMagicOfOSRUI and donated to our end-of-year scholarship appeal. More than 250 donors contributed $259,000!

OSRUI is in the News

  • Mazel Tov to OSRUI’s very own director, Solly Kane, for being selected as a Wexner Foundation Field Fellow. Solly was chosen as one of fifteen professionals to be a part of this prestigious national Jewish community leadership program.
  • We all know that camp friends are the best friends. The Washington Jewish Week recently featured a group of OSRUI alums who brought their camp community to DC after college.

OSRUI on Ice

More than 125 OSRUI campers, families and alumni attended our “Reunion for All Ages” on Saturday, January 19th. Everyone had a great time, on and off the ice! In addition to skating, we made blankets to donate to Share Our Spare.

Check out our volunteers in the photo below. They’re rockin’ those awesome OSRUI winter hats! Want your own OSRUI winter hat? They’re $15 each, which includes shipping. Just fill out this form, pay online, and we’ll send it out to you.