It’s never too early to begin thinking about Jewish summer camp! 

Jewish summer camps fuse the activities, friendships, and communal life of traditional camps with Jewish values, role models and culture. This uniquely immersive experience provides a confidence-building opportunity in which campers experience joy and discovery in a communal Jewish setting. 

Camp Harlam 2021

Kids are able to ultimately and immediately contribute to their Jewish community at camp. At camp, they experience it first (at meals, during Shabbat, on the ropes course, in the cabin – everywhere); and then later get the chance to reflect and deepen their appreciation for the community. This is a uniquely powerful experience they find nowhere else – they aren’t learning about Judaism, they are experiencing it firsthand.

Read more here: “Why Camp Works: Explanations Later!”

After the dirty laundry has been washed and the camp trunk put away, the friendships endure. Camp is one easy entry point into a lifelong Jewish community. Many alumni of Jewish camp have found that the friends they make during the summer stick with them through college, young adulthood, and beyond.

Camp provides balance by creating space for spiritual, emotional and physical growth for campers. Children learn confidence, skill-building and socialization by living in a community. They learn how to manage in a diverse group of peers, and they face new situations and overcome challenges on a daily basis. At camp, adult role models and mentors create safe spaces for campers to grapple with complex ideas based in Jewish values, texts, and traditions – topics that secular schools and camps might not be able to address. 

Campers are exposed to adult Jewish role models, Jewish peers, and Jewish friends from different places. These Jewish connections in every direction are extremely powerful. Campers experience joy in a Jewish community, develop self-confidence as Jews, and forge long-lasting connections. Nowhere else do campers have the opportunity to experience Judaism infused into daily life and reinforced by a community of Reform Jewish peers.

Children who attend Jewish summer camp are more likely to identify as Jewish adults and actively engage with their Jewish community. The experience of living in an immersive Jewish community has a deep and profound impact, making them more likely to practice Jewish behaviors as adults. Curious to know more about the long-term impact of Jewish camp?

Click here to read “CAMP WORKS: A Study of the Long-term Impact of Jewish Overnight Camp.” 

Camp is all about fun and real-world learning. Campers who return to camp as staff members can create opportunities to advance themselves professionally. Many staff from Reform Jewish summer camps have found that their experiences as camp counselors have helped them jumpstart their careers, establish their college campus networks, and meet new people.

Hear from a Jewish summer camp alum about how camp helped her succeed.

(adapted from


TSTI is fortunate to have direct relationships with several URJ summer camps, offering a continuation of our Reform Jewish values in a summer camp setting. Our clergy and staff visit these camps as much as possible over the summer to check in with our TSTI campers and soak up the camp magic, providing a connection between camp and home. Unsure which URJ camp might be the right fit? Read on for information about the URJ camps most-attended by TSTI kids, or click here to find the right Reform Jewish camp for your child

Camp Harlam Logo

URJ Camp Harlam is our regional URJ sleepaway camp. It offers a broad camp program in 4 or 8-week session. A summer at Harlam includes everything from outdoor adventures, to waterfront programs, to arts, sports, and much more, all on a 300 acre facility in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, home to approximately 550 campers each summer.

6 Points Sci-Tech Logo

6 Points Sci-Tech Academy is a national URJ speciality camp, where campers spend 2, 4, or 6-weeks exploring robotics, video game design, science, digital media, and a host of other fun activities with campers who share similar interests. A smaller camp experience, Sci Tech takes place on the beautiful campus of the Governor’s Academy Boarding School in Byfield, Massachusetts. 

6 Points Creative Arts Logo

6 Points Creative Arts Academy is another national URJ speciality camp, where campers spend 2, 4, or 6-weeks diving deeply into skill-building and artistic expression, focused on the “art major” of their choice, including acting, vocal performance, fine art, digital photography, musical theater, dance, and more. The smallest of the URJ specialty camps, Creative Arts takes place at the Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania. 

6 Points Sports Academy Logo

6 Points Sports Academy is the third national URJ specialty camp, where campers spend 2, 4, or 6-weeks along with fellow Jewish athletes from across 33 states and 7 countries, participating in a unique camping experience that combines professional sports coaching and the beloved traditions of Reform Jewish camping. Sports Academy takes place on the campus of the Asheville School is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. 


Have questions about any of these URJ camps, or other URJ programs? Reach out to Rabbi Klein, who is a URJ camp veteran and a passionate supporter of all things Jewish camp.

Looking for something different, like a daycamp or a non-URJ program? There are tons of other high-quality Jewish summer camps, vetted through the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s One Happy Camper program, which provides concierge-advisory services and grants for first-time campers! Contact Tracy Levine, Director of One Happy Camper for Federation Metrowest, for further assistance. 


Looking for a teen travel program, service trip, pre-college program, or Israel experience? We recommend programs through Yallah! (NFTY) Israel, Etgar 36: An American Journey, BBYO Passport, Brandeis Genesis, and many more!


We know that providing these experiences for your child is expensive! TSTI and our many partner organizations all do our part to make sure that cost is never a barrier to our kids getting to experience the camp magic. Here are some, but not all, options for scholarships and financial assistance:

TSTI Women’s Connection Scholarships: TSTI offers incentive grants of $500 for any first-time URJ camper. In addition, through the Women’s Connection fund as well as clergy discretionary funds, we are able to provide needs-based grants for subsequent summers at URJ camps as well as other Foundation for Jewish Camp accredited- programs. Please be in touch with Rabbi Klein for more information.

One Happy Camper Grants: You can receive up to $1,000 as an incentive grant for camp if your child has never been to Jewish overnight camp. This gift can be used toward tuition at 150+ overnight camps and teen programs across North America. Contact Gerri Russo, Metrowest’s Grants and Scholarships Manager, for more information.

Federation MetroWest Scholarships: Federation supports a number of additional needs-based grant and scholarship programs. Review their resources and eligibility requirements here

Camp-specific scholarships/discounts: Many camps maintain robust scholarship funds for campers whose families have demonstrated financial need, as well as discounts for families sending multiple children to camp. Once you’ve narrowed down your options for which camps appeal most, we recommend reaching out to the camp office staff to find out about what financial assistance may be available to you.