URJ Kutz Camp is a welcoming and engaging 27-day summer experience for teens from around the world to live in an environment that celebrates each individual, is committed to deep learning and leadership development, lifts up the opportunity for reciprocal learning between teens and adults, and celebrates Judaism with passion and joy.

The Kutz program helps teens broaden their perspectives and spheres of influence through:

  • An intentional focus on leadership development through a lens of Reform Jewish values
  • Deep learning and skill development in one of seven different immersive learning blocks
  • Participation in unique affinity-based Fellowships that begin in the summer and extend through the school year
  • Access to Master Classes with professionals from both the secular and Jewish world
  • A camp-wide leadership curriculum, ensuring that every teen leaves camp equipped to define their leadership trajectory
  • All of the fun and wonder of Jewish summer camp

Kutz is the right place for teens who:

  • Want to create a customized personal summer experience that is rooted in high-level learning and deeply engaging peer-leadership
  • Are engaged or want to be engaged in leadership roles in their communities
  • Thrive for authentic adult/teen partnerships in learning, collaboration, and mentorship
  • Feel deeply connected to helping to ensure a more just and compassionate world
  • Are invigorated when engaged in meaningful Jewish learning and cultural experiences
  • Are proud of being Jewish, and strive to ensure that the future of Reform Judaism will thrive
  • Want to have a meaningful, fun, and enriching summer

For fifty-three years, Kutz has been home to tens of thousands of teen leaders who have gone on to become leaders in the Jewish and secular world.

Check out what a typical day at Kutz looks like!

Immersive Learning Blocks (also known as Majors) are designed to build real-life skills that can be developed, honed, and refined while at camp and later implemented with confidence following camp. Majors are comprised of a 2-hour learning block in the morning and are complemented by an hour-long practical application block in the afternoon. The Majors are guided by millennial alumni, and are taught by teams of experts. Teens gain hands-on skills and practical know-how in the field of their choice.

  • Songleading - Begin or continue your training as a Jewish musician. Learn valuable Songleading skills, repertoire, and theory from the Reform Movement's most accomplished musicians and composers. Vocalists and musicians of all types are welcome, and instruments are not a requirement.
  • Fine Arts - Creatively blend your passions for art and Jewish expression through various art medium including charcoal, acrylics, pottery, gouache, watercolors, and mixed media. Explore your relationship with Judaism and develop your art skills using Jewish texts and innovative textures.
  • Torah Corps - Immerse yourself in sacred and modern texts and bring new life to Jewish history, philosophy, thought and ritual practice. Study with the Reform Movement's premier clergy and educators as you enhance your relationship with Judaism and how it applies to daily life.
  • Israel and Zionism - Learn about the history, politics, religious life, and culture of modern Israel, and better understand multi-dimensional perspectives on our Jewish homeland and build capacity to engage about Israel through Reform Jewish values.
  • Social Justice, Inclusion, and Advocacy - Develop a cadre of lifelong skills that put you at the center of social justice, advocacy, action, and inclusion. Learn with experts in the field, get your hands dirty in camp and in the local community, and become a peer-engagement role model for teens with special needs.
  • Social Entrepreneurship - New in 2018, the place for Jewish teen innovators to work with Kutz alumni who have significant roles in the secular world, leading business and industry to elevate creativity, incubate ideas, and develop business plans to actualize ideas into reality.
  • NFTY Incubator - Partner with the NFTY North American Board and adult leadership to create resource materials around NFTY’s programmatic priorities and initiatives that will be shared and implemented throughout NFTY during the year.

The Leadership Lab is a camp-wide curriculum that will help ensure that each teen leaves camp with a toolkit of leadership skills, and a clear plan that charts goals for their leadership trajectory. The Leadership Lab will help each teen develop a deeper understanding of their own strengths in areas such as:

  • Authenticity
  • Confidence
  • Determination
  • Focus
  • Grit
  • Innovation
  • Inspiration
  • Integrity
  • Justice
  • Patience
  • Peer-engagement
  • Resilience
Master Classes

The Master Classes will happen throughout the summer, some of which are week-long, some are session-long, and each is taught by an expert in their field of study. Master Classes will include topics such as:

  • Culinary Arts
  • Developing College Applications
  • Digital Media
  • First Aid and CPR Certification
  • Graphic Design
  • Hebrew
  • Israeli Dance
  • Jewish Text Study
  • Leveraging Social Media
  • Lifeguard Certification
  • Madrichim (Religious School Teaching Assistant) Training
  • Master Composition and Songwriting
  • Spirituality and Mindfulness
  • Theater and Improv
  • Yoga

Each teen will have the opportunity to opt into a session-long Fellowship, which lifts up collaborative peer-learning and is hosted by young professionals in a specific affinity area.  Each Fellowship will take significant role in developing all-camp programming and t’filah, participate in out-of-camp trips that align with their Fellowship, and develop skills for practical application. The Fellowships will also have the opportunity to continue their work throughout the year. Some of the Fellowships planned for 2018 include:

  • Civics, Government and Politics - gearing up for a mid-term election in 2018, an opportunity to understand the issues and positions at play in American government, and how teens can be an active part of of education and advocacy
  • Creativity and Innovation – best practices for creating a culture that thrives on innovation, determination, and risk, learning from shared successes and challenges, understanding the arc of idea inception to implementation
  • Global Jewish Engagement - bringing together a mix of North American and international teens to collaborate on the intersection of global jewry and the teen space
  • Hot Topics Fellowship – Racial Justice, Sexual Assault, Refugees, TBD
  • Mussar and Mindfulness – gain a deeper understanding of meditation, yoga, wellness, and spirituality rooted in Jewish and secular texts and how these translate into everyday life
  • Musical Theater - Improv, theater, dance, and movement as an expression of creativity, and utilizing these modes of expression to lift up issues most relevant to teens
  • NFTY Convention Fellowship - Information about the application process for this fellowship will be coming in the spring from NFTY.
  • Teva Outdoor Adventure – take advantage of the amazing Appalachian Trail by enjoying hiking, nature, and camping, and better understand environmentalism and sustainability.
Camp Essentials

Kutz is also proud to have scores of general camp activities including:

  • Alpine Tower
  • Art
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boating
  • Clubs
  • Dance
  • Fitness Center
  • GaGa
  • Guitar
  • Hiking
  • Running Groups
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tefilah
  • Tennis
  • Theater
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Yoga