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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Going to Jewish Camp… a few years later than normal.

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I’d had dinner with Jerry Kaye, the director of OSRUI, and that some exciting announcements would be coming up?

Ta da! It is in the form of the Jewish Discovery Shabbat at OSRUI. OSRUI is one of our Regional URJ Camps and this is a great chance for people who are Jewish Seekers to have a shabbat full of learning and joy.

Things I love about this shabbat opportunity.

1. It’s for people who have converted, might convert, non-Jews want to know more about being Jewish, Jews who want to know more about being Jewish, interfaith couples and intrafaith couples… All who fall into the 24-40 age range.

2. It’s just one night. For people who are used to heading up to OSRUI this seems much too short, but for people who have never gone on a Jewish retreat (or never went to camp growing up) one night is just the right length.

3. Cool chick rabbi! Jerry’s daughter Leora Kaye is a rabbi and is joining us from New York. I’m excited to meet someone who is in an intrafaith couple (they are both Jewish, but differently Jewish) and always pleased to meet a woman rabbi.

4. Cool dude rabbi! John Linder is joining us from Glenview and has done a ton of work with refugees from Ethiopia in Israel and from Kosovo. Cool to learn about Social Action.

5. Cool outreach lady! Julie Webb heads up outreach for the URJ in our region and I’ve met her a number of times. I love her conversion story and that she went to mikvah in a spring. Very cool!

6. Jerry said we might get to try laying tefellin, which I really want to try.

7. It is only $75 a person, which is cheaper than a night out in Chicago. Sort of. Definitely worth the price of admission.

Here’s the official information:

Jewish?? Jew – ish?? Not Jewish but want to learn??

We invite you to experience Shabbat and community with us at OSRUI. This program is open to adults age 25-40 – singles or interfaith couples – who want to explore Judaism in a supportive environment. We’ll begin with Shabbat dinner and end with Saturday evening as we welcome the new week with Havdalah. Your Shabbat experience will include meaningful Torah study as well as discussion and dialogue on topics including:

  1. The Gist of Judaism – What’s It All About??

  2. Making it Work as an Interfaith Couple

  3. How Rituals Create Meaning in Our Lives

  4. An Open Conversation About God

  5. Judaism and the Environment

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to sample all that OSRUI has to offer, including our fabulous sports center, outdoor tennis and basketball courts, and the scenic grounds.

Jewish Discovery Shabbat will be led by Rabbi Leora Kaye, Rabbi John Linder, and Julie Webb.

Rabbi Kaye currently serves as Program Director for Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City, where one of her responsibilities is coordinating the synagogue’s conversion program. As a rabbi, she has focused on seeking new ways to expand people’s understanding of Judaism – encouraging them to approach Judaism on their own terms.

Rabbi Linder is Associate Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Glenview, Ill. He has a personal commitment to social action and Jewish education. Rabbi Linder’s varied social action activities include working with the homeless, educating high school students to better understand Jewish-Black relations, volunteering at an Ethiopian Resettlement Camp in Jerusalem and raising funds for Kosovo refugees.

Julie Webb is Director of Outreach and Membership for the Union for Reform Judaism Great Lakes and Northeast Lakes Councils. Her expertise is in the areas of Reform Jewish outreach, membership and synagogue community-building.

OSRUI is located in southeastern Wisconsin, 35 miles west of Milwaukee, on the shores of beautiful Lac La Belle. Accommodations will be provided in the Daniel M. Soref Education and Alumni Center, which features double rooms with private baths. Tuition is $75 per person, double occupancy, which includes lodging, all meals, Shabbat dinner through Saturday dinner, and all programming.

For additional information, contact Barbara Gordon: or 847-239-6984.

This program is underwritten in part through a generous grant from the Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Foundation.

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