By Sara Starr, NFTY-GER member and alumni of the URJ Kutz Camp
The larger the time gap between my Kutz summer and my daily life now grows, the more I realize how much Kutz really means to me. I miss praying, looking out over beautiful Lake Rolyn and feeling more connected and serene than I’ve ever been. I miss attending my wonderful major, Ulpan Ha’aretz, and the time spent practicing Hebrew, cooking (and eating!) delicious Israeli foods, and discussing a variety of issues in Israeli society today. I miss the long hours spent working towards consensus with my month-long minor, as eventually we were able to agree and allocate money to an amazing non-profit, Camp AmeriKids. I miss the amazing discussions I had in my week-long minors, discussions that ranged from social media to Kabbalah. I miss the phenomenally fun experience that is Shabbat Shira, dressing up in ludicrous outfits as the camp sang and danced to Jewish music. I miss returning to my cabin each night to eat half of the world’s Nutella supply, and talk about my day, make up songs, and participate in spontaneous warm and fuzzy sessions with my bunkmates.
Within each and every little thing I miss, there is a large thing, an important thing that makes all these fabulous little things tick. The people at Kutz are special. They’re the type of people you can bond with over anything, from using someone’s fan more than they did on the first day, to realizing you both are GERites (and why didn’t we ever talk before?), to listening to a book being read in the Grove together, to just both being vegetarians. And the people are who keep you connected, so that every day I’m not at Kutz I am still with Kutz. I can honestly say that since I left Kutz I have spoken to at least one of my lovely fellow Kutzniks each day.
These factors, these lovely little parts that made up each day, these wonderful people surrounding me made my Kutz summer the amazing experience it was. I arrived nervous, left wishing the session was longer. I arrived not knowing my exact place in the NFTY community, and left with the realization there was something beautiful about not having a set role and being ready to create a role of my own. I left with a refreshed memory of how to make chocolate balls! Kutz gave me so much, and I can’t wait to see more and more GERites experience and gain and love Kutz as much as I did.
Want to learn more about a summer at URJ Kutz Camp? Visit the Kutz website and learn more about The NFTY Leadership Experience. Join us next summer at NFTY’s summer home!