A Postcard from Camp: News from OSRUI, Fall 2019

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From the Associate Director

Dear OSRUI Community,

Shanah Tovah!

It is hard to believe that we are about to celebrate the last of the chagim (holidays), Simchat Torah.

During this celebration we conclude studying the last part of the Torah and immediately start over from the beginning, this time to discover new and perhaps loftier interpretations.

And so it is with OSRUI.  The moment one summer ends, we focus on the next summer,  planning and thinking of how to make it even better and more exciting than the one before.

Parents and campers know this, as we already have close to 500 campers registered for Summer 2020!

I will be retiring as OSRUI’s Associate Director at the end of November and I know wholeheartedly that the camp staff will ensure that OSRUI 2020 will be another summer of fun-filled experiences wrapped in Jewish learning.

For 21 years it has been my privilege to work with and learn from wonderful staff, campers, directors, board members, rabbis, cantors and educators.  It was hard work at times, but whatever I gave to this position, I was keenly aware that I also received back many times over.  I am so appreciative.

Thank you for having given me so many wonderful gifts…the gift of serving in the role  which I’ve treasured for so many years… the gift of your support, encouragement and faith…the gift of working with our children –  gifts that will live in my heart forever.

Moadim L’simcha,


Susan Alexander, Associate Director

URJ Biennial – December 11-15 in Chicago!

Join thousands of Jews from across North America and around the world at the 2019 URJ Biennial in Chicago.  You’ll have the opportunity to learn, pray, share ideas, dance and sing, hear from inspiring speakers and the leaders of our Movement; reunite with old friends, create new connections, and make decisions about the policies of the Reform Movement.

Registration Options.There are several registration options, including a weekday option, weekend option, and a Saturday Only option on December 14th, which includes Torah study, Shabbat services, afternoon programming, the OSRUI Meet & Greet (see below), havdallah and evening entertainment.  The cost of this full day of programming is just $100.

OSRUI Meet & Greet at the Biennial
For Biennial Participants
Saturday, December 14th
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Details to follow

We hope to see you there!

Register Now for Summer 2020!

Hundreds of campers are already registered for next summer but there’s still plenty of room!  See our website for information about sessions and dates.  New this summer:  Two intro sessions for our youngest and first-time campers!

Questions?  Reach out to any of us on staff:  osrui@urj.org  847-509-0990.

Camp Days at OSRUI

Our first Camp Day was a huge success!  We had a great group of families who enjoyed a fun day of climbing our challenge course and other activities.  Each Camp Day includes lunch, a chance to tour camp and, of course, s’mores!  All are welcome for these fun afternoons; there is no cost to attend, but please register.

The next Camp Day is for Music Lovers … sing along with some of the biggest names in Jewish music, during OSRUI’s Shabbat Shira Music Experience!

Sat., 11/2 Sing Your Heart Out!
Sat., 1/11 Fun with the 2020 Unit Heads!
Mon., 2/17 Get Sporty!
Sun., 4/5 Show Us Your Art Skills!
Sat., 5/16 Open House: Celebrate Shabbat at Camp

Want to join us for the weekend?  Scroll down for info about our weekend programs for families and adults.

Where are They Now?
Alumni Spotlight on Ira Rubenstein
Recently, we sat down with OSRUI Alum Ira Rubenstein
Years spent at OSRUI and how they influenced or impacted you:  I believe I started in Tzofim Aleph in 1973 and then Tzofim Bet from 1974-77.   If you are trying to remember me, I was the kid who always wore the Engineer Train Hat.  Then onto Moshavah Aleph from 1977 to 1980. Then I came back to be a Machon the summer of 1982 and a counselor in Kallah in 1983.

My summers at OSRUI were the best times of my life.  I believe I learned more at camp than anywhere else in my childhood.  I learned about working with others, planning events, helping people, thinking on your feet, and I learned what it felt like to be Jewish in a community with other Jews.Current Professional Role:   I am currently the Chief Digital and Marketing officer of PBS.  I am focused on continuing PBS’ digital evolution through the development, implementation and scaling of world-class digital services and marketing content strategies.

Fun Camp Fact or Story:  I think the best camp story (and one Rabbi Steve Leder still tells to this day) happened the year he was the unit head and I was a counselor in Kallah.  Steve liked to make events big at camp.  Somehow Steve convinced the Milwaukee Zoo to loan us an elephant for the day to kick off the Maccabiah games.

​Read more about the elephant, and Ira, on our blog.

(The photos pictured are from Mosh Aleph 1979.)

Mark Your Calendar and Join Us in the 53066
We have great weekend programs scheduled in 2019-2020 for adults and families!

OSRUI Peeps Are In the News

Consider Giving the Gift of Camp! 

Donations to OSRUI ensure that generations of campers and staff have the opportunity to come to camp, become the best version of themselves and create an exceptional Jewish community together.

Your gift is an investment in the Jewish future.

Donations to OSRUI are 100% tax deductible.  Contact Alexandra Argentar with any questions: aargentar@urj.org 

Please donate today! 

NFTY Events for 6th – 12th Graders

Keep the camp feeling all year long!  Connect with your camp friends throughout the year at these NFTY events.

  • NFTY-CAR – NFTY Chicago Area Region (includes Champaign-Urbana, IL)  All events are in the Chicago area except where noted.
  • NFTY-NO – NFTY Northern Region (WI, MN, ND, SD and Rockford, IL)
  • NFTY-MV – NFTY Missouri Valley (MO, IA, NE, KS, WY, CO, and Central IL)
NFTY-MV Fall Kallah in St. Louis (Gr. 6-12)
11/22-11/24 NFTY Nashir Teen Songleading Seminar
     in Glencoe, IL (Gr. 9-12)
11/23 NFTY-CAR Teen Leadership Day (Gr. 9-12)
12/8 NFTY-CAR 678 Chanukah Party (Gr. 6-8)
1/17-1/19 NFTY-CAR Winter Kallah (Gr. 9-12)
1/17-1/20 NFTY-MV Winter Kallah in Denver (Gr. 9-12)
1/24-1/26 NFTY-NO Winter Kallah in Minneapolis (Gr. 9-12)
2/28-3/1 NFTY CAR/NO 678 at OSRUI (Gr. 6-8)
2/28-3/1 NFTY-MV in Kansas City (Gr. 7-8)
4/2-4/5 NFTY-MV in Kansas City (Gr. 9-12)
4/3-4/5 NFTY CAR Kolbo at OSRUI (Gr. 8-12)
4/26 NFTY CAR 678 Spring Bash (Gr. 6-8)

Live outside the Midwest?  Find your NFTY region at nfty.org.