It is an integral part of Camp’s mission to instill in our campers the love and beauty of Judaism, Jewish identity and spirituality into the camp community.
… I am here to strengthen my own Jewish identity and spirituality and that of everyone in the camp community.
… I am here to strengthen my connection to the Crane Lake and Jewish community and to help everyone around me to do the same.
The values of Reform Judaism are woven into the fabric of life at camp to connect our campers to their rich Jewish heritage while understanding our collective responsibility to Tikkun Olam -making the world a better place. Our unique programming and celebrations create an unparalleled connection by living Jewishly 24/7. We encourage each camper to explore our traditions and today’s world to discover their own Jewish identity.
shabbat at camp
Shabbat at camp is nothing less than magical. Many of our campers (and alumni) proudly claim it is their favorite part of the week. By bringing the camp together as a whole, we create an opportunity for the Crane Lake community to reconnect as a community and deepen connections after a fun-filled week.
The excitement of Shabbat begins as the entire camp joins together for Kabbalat Shabbat. After a homemade meal of challah and schnitzel, the entire community gathers for our camper-led erev Shabbat Services. As services come to a close, we break out the guitars for a spirited song session and an Israeli-led dance party. Celebrating Shabbat by dancing and singing together is one of the most anticipated times of the week.
On Shabbat morning, campers sleep late and wake up to a breakfast buffet featuring eggs, tater tots, bagels and lox and donuts! Services in the outdoor sanctuary, and afternoon of free play and a break from the regular schedule invite campers to reflect on the week and prepare for the fun ahead.
camp is just a piece
Crane Lake Camp is only a piece of our campers identity. Many go home and are part of their synagogue’s youth group, or participate and take on leadership roles in NFTY on both the regional and national levels.
Our staff and former campers attend some of the most elite colleges and universities such as University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, NYU, Boston University, University of Vermont, University of Delaware, University of Massachusetts, Brandeis University, Ohio State University, University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin. They are active on campus, in social justice causes and Hillel. Our alumni continue their work in Tikkun Olam throughout college and when they become adults. Working in Boston, New York, all over the U.S. Israel and the UK, Crane Lake alum grow into successful leaders, holding jobs at major banks, law firms, and technology companies. Former campers and staff members are now doctors, teachers, authors, graduate students as well as work at Teach for America, Disney World, Staples, ESPN, Huffington Post, Peace Corps, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and WeWork. They are also rabbis and camp directors at Reform congregations & URJ Camps and JCC’s.
URJ Crane Lake Camp empowers children, teens and adults to better themselves, their communities and the world. Our diverse and welcoming community is a reflection of today’s families throughout the Reform Movement. Individuals of all different shapes and sizes, race, learning styles and abilities, ethnicities and beliefs call Crane Lake Camp their summer home. In our incredibly accepting community, all kids—regardless of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity, family structure, or Jewish background—are treasured.
Our staff is well trained to help our campers to develop cohesive and supportive dynamics among all campers work together, respect and learn from one another, making the camping experience better for everyone. We work together to understanding camper needs and plan how best to meet them. Together, we all become more compassionate, understanding, confident in diverse situations and contributors to our Jewish community.