• Shabbat Chukat

    As we prepare for our second Shabbat of the summer, I am struck by the array of experiences we shared this week as a community. Sunday evening, we enjoyed our Beit Midrash “House of Study” program, learning from a variety of inspiring Jewish educators, about all aspects of Israel.


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  • NFTY-SO at Mechina

    Last year I attended the URJ Kutz Camp, and it was the experience I wanted and then some. But attending my first Mechina this year, I didn't know what to expect. Mechina is the event at which regional boards from all NFTY regions gather to share and learn from each other. I felt a little intimidated to be around other regional board members from across NFTY.


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  • The North-South Gradient of My Jewish Identity

    Growing up in the Deep South-Baton Rouge, Lousiana, my identifier of Jewish felt like an othering statement. More often than not, I was the first Jewish person my peers had met. I had other Jewish friends and a small but strong Jewish congregation. But it wasn’t until my URJ Summer camping experience that I learned what it truly felt like to not be an other and to be genuinely welcomed and accepted into a community that understood me for my Jewish identity.


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  • A King, A Bird and a Summer of Reaching That Never Has To End

    This story and teaching was shared at Shabbat Evening Services by Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, one of the deans of the visiting faculty at NFTY’s Leadership program at the URJ Kutz Camp, on Friday, June 23, 2017. The story is adapted from a version published by Rabbi Karyn Kedar. The teaching that follows was specially created for the first Shabbat of the Kutz Camp community during the summer of 2017.


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  • One Night in the Roaring 20s

    This past Saturday night was our annual “Creative Imaginative Leadership” program. It is meant to be transformative and “outside of the box,” teaching the importance of imagination and innovation when writing and leading programs. This year, as program Avodah, I took charge of it.


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  • Hagshama – Movement-focused Curriculum

    The daily schedule at camp is filled with many opportunities for participants to be exposed to alternative ways of learning. One of the parts of the day includes Hagshama, which is a block of programming that occurs 4 hours a week at Kutz.


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  • The Story of Korach – a Lesson in Leadership

    This past week we read from the book of Numbers in the Torah, the story of Korach. At the beginning of this portion, Korach stands up against Moses. He is tired of Moses running things and has brought 250 supporters from the tribe of Levi to back him.


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  • The Psychosocial Moratorium of Camp

    The URJ Kutz Camp’s motto is “welcome home”. The phrase can be found written all over the place and staff greet participants on opening day by joyfully repeating it. The sentiment is very sweet: even if you’ve never set foot on this site, you belong, you matter, you are here for a reason. This summer, it was my turn to use the phrase.


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  • Shabbat Korach

    As our first Shabbat draws near, I am inspired by the community that our teens, staff, and faculty have worked to build this week. One of the real beauties of this place is that each summer the community works to define itself, to foster an environment that welcomes every individual into it, and celebrates the unique talents and gifts of every person here.


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  • Battle of the Bunks

    Last night at the Kutz Camp, we celebrated the first full day that participants spent immersed in Kutz culture with a ‘Battle of the Bunks’ showdown! The dedicated Kutz program team and I spend all day gathering our supplies; we could tell by the reactions of other staff members when we asked for vaseline, hula hoops, cotton balls, and Oreos that tonight our campers would be in for a treat.


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