Our Community

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OSRUI is proud of our open, supportive, and inclusive environment. The makeup of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and our programs is as diverse as our population. Our camp program is inclusive and designed for everyone in our Jewish community including LGBTQ campers, campers with single, same-sex, or interfaith parents, and campers of color. We hope that our campers and staff strengthen their self-esteem, Jewish identity, and connection to the Jewish community through the supportive nature of our people, staff, and programs.

We are committed to building a vibrant community rooted in Jewish values and bringing the transformative power of Jewish summer camp to every child and family who come through our gates. From our policies to our programs and camp norms, we strive to reflect the URJ’s and our camp’s core values:

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We work hard to ensure that each camper’s needs are met with the proper accommodations.

Kehillah Kedoshah – A Holy Community
We engage in the sacred work of creating a place where all are welcome.
Together, we care for each other and grapple with challenges, as we encounter them.

V’ahavta L’reyecha Kamocha – Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Camp is a microcosm of the world we aspire to build. At OSRUI we practice bold kindness,
and behave towards one another with love, compassion, and respect.

Kevod Habriyot – Honoring of Every Human Being
We take pride in celebrating our rich community and know that the diverse identities, beliefs, practices,
and means of the OSRUI family strengthen us.  We are a community of unique and valued individuals.

Yichut Atsmo – Personal Growth
The OSRUI community is perpetually learning and growing in a safe and supportive environment.
We nurture this growth through developmentally appropriate education, mentorship, and shared experiences.

interfaith families

We strive to create an inclusive Jewish community where every camper and family is comfortable and affirmed. We are a Reform Jewish camp and our community encompasses a wide range of religious and cultural practice and participation. Interfaith families are welcome at OSRUI. We recognize that every person who comes to camp brings a different knowledge of Jewish tradition and practice. Campers from different backgrounds have the opportunity to learn from each other and from their counselors.

Everyone at camp will get to explore what it is like to live in an immersive, communal Jewish environment and build their own connections to Jewish living. Learning about the variety in Jewish living can be a meaningful experience in itself. We often hear that campers from interfaith families feel more confident in their Judaism after a summer at OSRUI and share their experiences at home. We want all parents and caregivers, regardless of their religious background, to also feel connected to OSRUI. As a caregiver, you will likely hear about Shabbat and Hebrew at camp! On Shabbat, the entire camp comes together on Friday evenings for dinner, prayer services, song, and dance. Our whole community will experience the power of a Shabbat celebration both spiritually and culturally. Campers learn Hebrew at camp in an experiential way, learning basic Hebrew terms, blessings, and phrases, all while having fun. These practices deepen all of our campers’ relationships with Judaism and often carry into the academic year at home, much to the delight of our families.

Transgender Campers and Staff

At OSRUI, we constantly strive to make camp a place where every single camper and staff member is empowered to be their full authentic selves. We welcome campers and staff members who identify as transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer and are in the process of exploring their gender identities. We support each community member to choose housing that most aligns with their gender identity. We are committed to continue building the practice of sharing pronouns into our camp culture and strive to not make any assumptions about anyone’s gender identity. There are single stall all-gender restrooms and private shower spaces available throughout camp. We’re committed to making personalized accommodations to ensure that every person who identifies within the full non-binary spectrum of gender has the privacy and support in place to thrive at camp. If you have specific or personal questions about this, please reach out to Lina Wallace, our Assistant Director, Wellness at lwallace@urj.org.  

You can find additional helpful resources to learn more about LBGTQ+ terminology and building inclusive environments from Keshet here.