Community Spotlight

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Every once in a while, we like to give a shout out to the people who make up our camp community. Without all of you, OSRUI would not be the magical place we all know it to be!

We are excited to share how Micah Brandhandler (OSRUI camper and staff member) got connected to OSRUI and why camp is important .

Micah at Shabbat Shirah (Summer 2023) 

QUESTION: Who are you and what do you do professionally?

MICAH: I’m Micah Brandhandler and during the year I am a General Music Teacher in Lemont and I also direct our middle school productions.  When not at school or prepping for class, I song lead for various synagogues in the Chicagoland area for their Shabbat services and B’nai Mitzvahs.

QUESTION: When were you at camp? What did you do when you were there? 

MICAH: I was a camper at camp for 5 years staring in 2001 and was in Kallah, Maccabiah, Bonim, Moshavah, and Chalutzim.  I have then been lucky enough to be on staff for the past 15 years.  The majority of those have been in Chalutzim and Avodah, both of which I was Rosh Eidah. This past summer I was the Rosh Yetzirah and oversaw the creative speciality areas.

QUESTION: What is your favorite place at at camp? 

MICAH: My favorite place at camp is the Chalutizm Moadon. It’s one of the main meeting areas for Chalutzim and an OSRUI tradition is that campers and staff sign their names on the walls and benches in the building at the end of the summer. I love being in there and looking around at all of the countless names of campers and staff members that have been a part of Chalutzim.  In particular, I love being able to see my former camper’s names.

QUESTION: What is your favorite activity to do at camp?

MICAH: My favorite activity to do at camp is a staff tradition called “Staffsketball”.  Every Shabbat afternoon when the staff has some time off we get together on the outside basketball courts and play basketball for several hours.  All kinds of members of our staff community join, including our counselors, specialists, Mazkirut (leadership team), and even Segel (faculty). It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, 100 degrees, or perfect weather.  We always get a great game in.

QUESTION: How has camp impacted your life? 

MICAH: Camp has impacted my life in many different ways, but one of the most important things is that being on staff gave me many tools to work with children in my daily life.  I see many new teachers struggle with some basic knowledge of classroom management, lesson planning, and interacting with kids but they are very easy to me because of my experiences at OSRUI.  On staff, we learn and do these things at camp on a daily basis and our staff are well trained to be role models and counselors to our campers of all ages.

Thank you, Micah, for sharing your love of OSRUI! If you have an OSRUI story to tell and would like to be featured in our Blog, email OSRUI’s Assistant Director, Ben Schillmoeller, at or click the button below.