Summer camps are in full swing in Belarus, Russia, Poland and Ukraine, with more than 600 campers already enjoying outdoor activities and exploring Reform Judaism. By the end of the summer, more than 1,000 participants are expected to have enjoyed our transformative Reform Jewish summer camp frameworks.

This summer, many are celebrating 70 years of the State of Israel as central themes for cultural, artistic and historical activities in their camps. Below we invite you to view the campers, counselors, rabbis and camp staff leading engaging Shabbat services and celebrations, havdala ceremonies, reflections by campers on their Jewish identities, Israeli dance, arts and crafts, sports, and much, much more.

 

Scene from Netzer Summer Camp 2018 Scene from Netzer Summer Camp 2018

Posters from arts activities asking campers to think about and write down anonymously, “What Shabbat in camp means to me?” and “What’s the strongest feeling I can remember about my first Shabbat at camp?”

Answers included:

“Shabbat in camp for me is a day I want to celebrate in a positive, fun atmosphere with the people who I feel closest to, and with whom I can share my positive energy.”

“For me, Shabbat at camp is a day that gives me the feeling of lightness. It is quality time with myself, for myself, that I can free myself from the harder and less important pressures of the week, and believe again in my one true self.” 

“I remember that my first Shabbat at camp was amazing. I loved the special atmosphere that was filled with warmth, friendship and joy.”

 

All camps are supported by the involvement of local rabbis and student rabbis from the Institute for Modern Jewish Studies in Moscow; and led by a team of Netzer counselors (madrichim) and volunteers from local Reform congregations. Many of the camps also welcome counselors and participants also attend from non Russian-speaking countries and have added additional insight into Reform Judaism and camping around the world.

 

All photos courtesy © Netzer FSU