Finding My Voice and Connecting with God

Originally posted on RJ.org By Josh Nelson I could see her sitting against the wall. She was different from the other kids, withdrawn and separated from the group. My grandmother would have called her “a bit of an odd duck.” She was just… other. The kids leapt into the air, singing at the top of their lungs. “Ivdu et haShem b’simcha…” (Worship God with gladness) Arms intertwined, they called out with joy, lost in the extraordinary moment that is a Friday evening song session. They didn’t seem to notice her. This wasn’t born of malicious intent, but simply the result […]

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A Day at URJ Kutz Camp

A Day at URJ Kutz Camp

Originally Posted on Women of Reform Judaism Blog by Roseanne M. Selfon “Bo…Bo…boker tov…Bo…Bo…boker tov to Sarah! Bo…Bo…boker tov…Bo..Bo…boker tov to Dave!” And the cheer circulated around the room from one kid to another for five minutes. What did it accomplish? The fun-filled cheer gathered community into one whole. It gained momentum and volume as it progressed. It built connections and smiles. It caught attention. It worked! My Thursday morning initiation into Kutz Camp life began with this cheer and moved smoothly into morning services. The kids were ready for worship. Today’s Kutz theme was leadership: Who is your Jewish role […]

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The More Things Change…

If you were part of the Kutz magic over the first 49 years, you understand all too well how one summer (or more) could have a truly transformational effect on a teenager. And how all of those teenagers could have such a profound impact on our movement. I expect the attendees to Kutz @ 50—July 4, 2015—will bring many stories back with them.

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Participant Perspective on Kutz

I have met friends from all around the world and I can’t wait to share these last few days with them. Talking to my friends and getting to know so many new people has made this summer a memorable one.

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Thought for Shabbat

Our third Shabbat of the summer will certainly be our most memorable. As our participants prepare this afternoon to enjoy their final Shabbat together, there are so many incredible moments to reflect upon from this past week.

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Mother and Daughter Reflect on Going to Kutz

As the URJ Kutz Camp enters its 50th year, campers emerge as members of a vast network of Kutz alumni. For a select few of those campers, the alumni network includes their parents, also products of NFTY’s campus for Reform Jewish teens.

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Thought for Shabbat…

As we prepare for our second Shabbat of the summer, I am struck by the spectrum of experiences we shared this week as a community. It’s been a week of extremes, and I am inspired by the teens and staff who continue to grow in this place. As we prepare for this Shabbat, may each of us feel blessed for our families, both near and far. We are each so blessed that our paths have crossed. From our summer home at 46 Bowen Road to yours, we’re wishing you Shabbat shalom!

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#Kutz4Ethan: Coming Together to Help One of Our Own

A year ago Sunday, we were attending the URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) in Zionsville, IN, when three members of our camp community were unexpectedly struck by lightning on a clear blue day. One of our fellow campers, Ethan Kadish, was, like many of us, simply enjoying the day on the sports field when the lighting strike occurred. One year later, he is still on the road to recovery back home in Ohio. The community came together that day as we prayed as one for Ethan’s recovery. That same sense of wholeness that united us in spirit and love […]

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