• “We Know How To Manage This Conflict”

    The first time I’ve met with this conflict was the day of my bar mitzvah. I had the opportunity to celebrate my bar mitzvah in the capital of Israel – Jerusalem. More than that, at the Western Wall. (By the way, that was the last time I felt the stones of the Western Wall, and I will not feel them until there is a respectful and equal mixed section!) But this is not the issue. The issue is what happened the way back to the bus which took me, my family and some friends to a great restaurant in the west side of Jerusalem.


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  • Finding The Space To Heal And Reflect At Kutz

    As I sit on the porch of my cabin, feeling the breeze pass by as the wind chime clinks, I reflect on my time at camp so far. I am often asked, “Why do you go to the URJ Kutz Camp during the summer?” by friends and congregants. It is a far away from Florida (located in Warwick, NY) and only for teens aspiring to lead or create in some way. Serving as a returning faculty member, especially this year in particular, is more than just a chance for me to teach teens directly and mentor college-aged staff.


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  • Kutz, You Make My Soul Sing

    I had the privilege of being Faculty at Kutz on opening day and being in a position to speak to most of the participants and families. I lost count of how many parents I met who are Kutz alumni and wanted to share their memories.  These parents, adults, and many others, myself included, for whom Kutz has had a lifelong impact have found it almost necessary over the years to share Kutz by talking about it to everyone who will listen and ultimately hoping a teen is listening and will attend.


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  • Sitting Down With Julie Lerner

    This past week we had the chance to sit down with Julie Lerner for a short interview. Julie Lerner is the newly appointed Executive Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism, assigned with bringing continuity to all the efforts our movement produces to move as a more autonomous body. Wednesday was the first time Julie had ever been to the URJ Kutz Camp and we wanted to capture her first impressions.


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  • You Have To Be Present To Win

    There is a story in author Rachel Naomi Remen’s book Kitchen Table Wisdom. It is about a group of doctors who decided they wanted to learn something non-scientific and medical. So they decided to organize a workshop and asked Joseph Campbell, a prominent mythologist and writer, to teach them about the spiritual world their patients inhabited. Campbell began by showing the doctors pictures of sacred images: paintings, statues, pottery, tapestries, and stained glass from cultures throughout the world.


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  • Sitting Down With Alan Goodis

    Over the past week, Alan has joined out Kutz community as a Faculty teacher for our new Songleading Immersive and Master Classes. Before his concert, I had the chance to sit down and ask him a few questions.


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  • How Kutz Prepared Me for a Summer on Staff at Jacobs Camp

    Since the summer of 2013, I have attended two different URJ summer camps that have helped me grow into the person I am today. Those camps are URJ Jacobs Camp in Utica MS, and the URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick NY. In 2016, I had my last year as a camper at Jacobs, so I […]


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  • A Summer Of Strength, Happiness, and Saying Yes

    Two of this summer’s participants, Haley Stav and Ava Edelman, sat down together to recount their first day of camp after meeting and becoming fast friends at the airport. Haley is a returning camper, and this is Ava’s first summer at Kutz.


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  • Becoming Who I Aspire To Be

    Three years ago I took my first steps into high school. I was just one of thousands of teens coming into an experience with no prior knowledge. I was confused, overwhelmed, and did not know what I was in for. A short time later I departed for Israel, just one in a group of over 60 kids where again I did not know many people or have many expectations.


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  • Finding New Beginnings The Eleventh Time Around

    I held on to being a camper for as long as I possibly could. This will be my eleventh consecutive summer at camp, the first eight at URJ Camp Kalsman and the next three at the URJ Kutz Camp. This year will be my first on staff — a bittersweet reminder that my childhood and years as a camper are quickly coming to a close.


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