OSRUI 2018 blog: A New Era for OSRUI

This summer, URJ Camp OSRUI welcomes its 3rd-largest enrollment in its 66-year history. In addition, OSRUI has welcomed all three of our rabbis and myself to serve on the segel (faculty) throughout the summer, supporting madrichim (counselors) as an extra set of eyes and ears, leading tfilah (prayer) and ivrit (Hebrew) experiences, and facilitating informal limmud (learning) components led by the tzevet (staff).

Overseeing the aforementioned welcoming is the new Director of OSRUI, Solly Kane. A former OSRUI camper and staff member, Solly has provided an energizing presence already this summer, helping to improve camper care with a new team of specialists, smoothly navigating a few rainy days at the outset, and buying box fans for every cabin during a heat wave. He has shown up at the ever-popular Shabbat Shirah song sessions (and the lake!) with guitar in hand, carried on beloved traditions, and gently made small changes as needed. We look forward to welcoming Solly to our community later this year so that you will have a chance to get it know him.

As for my time at OSRUI these past two weeks, it was exhausting and invigorating all at once. I got to hang out with thirteen campers from Temple Sholom (nearly half of our 27 attending OSRUI this summer), and I spent my days with the 6th-8th grade Tiferet (arts) unit for the third summer in a row. Highlights for me included creating and leading a drawing-based tfilah experience, infusing the Tiferet music, drama and visual arts studios with our theme of Sephardic Judaism, leading music for our all-camp Maccabiah kickoff, mentoring new songleaders, and hosting a piano-bar request evening for the segel.

I look forward to returning to OSRUI this fall with our 5th-8th graders the weekend of November 9-11, and with our young families and teens the weekend of December 14-16. Rabbi Goldberg heads to OSRUI next week to join the Chalutzim Hebrew immersion program (with three of our teens), and Rabbi Gellman will follow him in August at Gesher Gimmel with a group of our 6th-9th graders. Many of us will return to OSRUI on Saturday, August 4 for the groundbreaking of the new Jerry and Paula Kaye Arts Center dedicated to the recently retired director of the past 48 summers.

We will continue to celebrate the magic of Jewish Camping in Religious School this fall with Yom Ruach (camp spirit day), and will welcome OSRUI staff to our 1st and 2nd grade Shabbat Mishpacha (formerly Family-Friendly Shabbat) on Friday, March 1. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

Jay Rapoport, MARE
Director of Lifelong Learning