• Renewing Our Passion Through Learning Together

    We are Lee and Lizzie. We have spent the past 3 weeks together, one as a participant in the Action and Advocacy Immersive, powered by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and one as teacher of the immersive. Actually, our relationship goes waaaay back to April when we met at NFTY-MAR’s Spring Kallah. For both of us, this meeting gave future insight into what our summer experience would be like.


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  • Praying Sincerely and Singing Loudly

    For six years, I called a different camp my home. Starting when I was just 8 years old, I left my family for weeks at a time to involve myself in as much Jewish programming as I could. I grew up around my camp. I graduated elementary school and then middle school, and each year I would board the Greyhound bus that would take me to my favorite place on earth.


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  • An Interview With Peri Smilow

    This session we had the chance to sit down and talk with Peri Smilow, the Director of Program and Engagement for the Association of Reform Zionist of America. During her week as Kutz faculty, she had the chance to engage with teens and immerse herself in our Kutz community.


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  • “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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