sam dresser

Announcing your Summer Leadership Team Lineup!

The Kutz Year Round Staff Team Melissa Anton Frey is Director of the URJ Kutz Camp. Previously, Melissa served as NFTY Associate Director, NFTY Convention Director, NFTY Director of Operations, NFTY Assistant Director, regional advisor to NFTY’s Northeast Lakes and Texas-Oklahoma Regions, and curriculum author for the Regional Board Leadership Track at Kutz. A product of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Camps (Greene and Kutz) and NFTY, Melissa has been involved in youth work in various capacities with the URJ for over twenty years. Melissa is an honors graduate of Purdue University, where she double-majored in Graphic Design and American […]

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I Am Changing the Face of Engagement

I Am Changing the Face of Engagement

by Jason Taper I usually think too much. Luckily, last summer I found a place that wasn’t just conducive to that; it fostered, encouraged, and welcomed it. That place was the air-conditioned living room of Melissa Frey, Kutz Camp director and creator of the Kutz Fellowship – I was a member of its fifth cohort last summer. The Kutz Fellowship was established as an opportunity for a small group of teens to learn the skills of community organizing and peer-to-peer engagement. These teens would then go back to their home communities (congregations, NFTY regions, or URJ regional camps), and during […]

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A Tradition of Taking Risks

A Tradition of Taking Risks

Originally Posted on JWA.org by Hannah Elbaum This month our Rising Voices Fellows are examining how their Jewish and feminist identities intersect. Be sure to check the JWA blog each Tuesday for a new post from our fellows—and check out the great educational resources provided by our partner organization, Prozdor. In traditional society, men are seen as the risk takers, while women are supposed to be docile homemakers. When women step up to the plate, it stands out. To me, the women who bravely put aside their fears and take matters into their own hands are the ones who make the difference and are role […]

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23 Years of Mitzvah Corps

23 Years of Mitzvah Corps

Originally posted on The Canteen By Melissa Frey and Samantha Dresser The gates of camp will open in just over 100 days, and our participants from around the country are already counting down to sunny days at their summer home. At Kutz Camp, one aspect of camp we are particularly proud of is our Mitzvah Corps program. With the recent focus on disabilities and inclusion, it makes going into our 23rd summer of special needs camping that much more special. The Mitzvah Corps program at Kutz has grown and evolved into a truly integrated, mainstreamed summer camp program for Jewish teens with Autism Spectrum […]

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URJ Kutz Camp | NFTY’s Physical Address

URJ Kutz Camp | NFTY’s Physical Address

Originally posted on RJ.org By Melissa Frey When Hattie and Milton Kutz gifted $100,000 of their estate toward the creation of a Reform Movement leadership training summer program for teens, the impact of their vision likely could not have been imagined. Tens of thousands of people, both young and young at heart, including many of the most influential professional and volunteer leaders in our movement, are products of the URJ Kutz Camp. Forty-nine summers after opening the gates at 46 Bowen Road in Warwick, New York, Kutz has secured its place as the flagship center of inspired engagement. Each of these milestones and […]

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Speaking Up: It Only Takes One Voice to Initiate Change

By treating all people with dignity and respect, everyone has the power to make others comfortable to do the same.

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Until next time, Israel!

by Jackie Kalter Going to Israel was a given for me because, well, I’m Jewish. I knew growing up that I needed, and wanted, to travel at some point in my young adult life to the place where so much of my family and history were created. Having Birthright as an option made it that much easier. After being home for some time now I really understand the hype and reasons we learn for so many years about the amazing country of Israel. I attended religious school from the age of four until my Bat Mitzvah. We always had a […]

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The Fellows Are Back!

The Fellows Are Back!

by Jake Levine With the exception of the first day of our camp session, today is the most exciting day of my year. Today is the day I’ve been waiting for since I returned home from 46 Bowen Road five months ago, a day I look forward to more and more each year. It is with great pleasure that I announce the opening of the application for the summer of 2014 Kutz Fellowship. This year marks our sixth cohort of fellows, adding to the fifty-one inspiring teens who have passed through the fellowship since its founding in 2009. Our fellows […]

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