Did you go to a Jewish summer camp? #usa


The New England Consortium, a collaboration of researchers and genealogists (including founding member JGSGB) is holding its second annual conference on June 12.  The topic will be Lakes, Lanyards, and Learning: The Story of New England Jewish Summer Camps.  It will be a lively, informative and nostalgic program. 


  While those who went to camp in New England will be primarily interested, we expect that others around the country will recognize their own experiences.  Registration is free. Please join us!

The New England Jewish History Collaborative <jhcreference@...>

Carol Isenberg Clingan
Dedham MA

Susan J. Gordon

Thanks for this, Carol. My brother and I went to brother-sister camps Barrington for boys and Rhoda for girls, in the Berkshires, in the 1950's and early 1960's. My mother and two aunts went to Camp Somerset for girls in Maine, in the 1920's and early 1930's. About 10+ years ago, I donated a stack of Somerset yearbooks to the Center for Jewish History on W 16th Street in Manhattan.

Susan Gordon
New York
LEMPERT - Lvov, Skalat


My family could not afford summer camp for my siblings and me in the 1950s and 1960s, but I did attend a one week late summer "camp" sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Jewish Youth in Hendersonville, NC, across the lake from Camp Blue Star, the all summer Jewish camp.  For teens only, it was well done and a great chance to meet other Jewish kids, especially for those who, like me, were the only Jews in their schools.  I do not know how the adults became involved, but I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave us. 
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


My brother and I attended Camp Kahagon, near Quakertown, PA in the late 50s.  What a wonderful experience.
Michael Diamant


I attended Camp Yungvelt in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, in the summers of 1958 and '59. It was a Workman's Circle camp attended by campers and staff from both sides of the border.
Ruth Chernia
Toronto, Canada


Yes, New Jersey Y Camps located in Milford, Pennsylvania.
Elissa Haden
Cathedral City, C.A.

sharon yampell

I went to long lake—nj y camp half of the summer of 1975

Ramah in the Berkshires – July 1976

Cejwin half of summer of 1979 and 1980



Sharon F. Yampell

Marlton, New Jersey


From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of elissa7@... <elissa7@...>
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2022 2:30:47 PM
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Did you go to a Jewish summer camp? #usa
Yes, New Jersey Y Camps located in Milford, Pennsylvania.
Elissa Haden
Cathedral City, C.A.

Barbara Zimmer

I worked at Cejwin Camps (Port Jervis NY )  for one summer as a waitress.   I remember that there were two separate kitchens, two separate sets of dishes, etc. 

Barbara Zimmer


Bob Smiley

I went to Camp Merrimac in Contoocook, NH for five years. The last year I was a Councilor in Training.
Bob Smiley
Kirkland, Washington USA

Yale Reisner


Best of luck with the Conference!

My parents met at the Boston Hebrew (Teachers) College camp, Camp Yavneh, in the late 1940s. 

I spent many summers during the ‘60s and ‘70s at Camp Ramah in the Poconos in Lake Como, PA. 

Best wishes,

Yale J. Reisner
Warsaw, Poland
JGFF #913980

Shimona Kushner

I went to Habonim Camp Kvutza in California in the 50's and 60's, was also a madricha (counsellor),so if you are interested I would be happy to participate.

Shimona Yaroslavsky Kushner
Haifa, Israel (formerly from Los Angeles)


I went to Camp Machanayim for the whole summer of 1940. I have no idea of where it was. What I do remember is that I didn't like (understatement) the food and that I, who liked to read, couldn't find books to enjoy. I refused to go to camp again.

Seek the peace of Jerusalem
Abe Lebowitz



Attended Summer Camp in two different places!
Camp Stoney Clove in Hunter, New York in the late to early 60's and afterwards at Camp Windom in Conn in the early mid-60's

Ilan(Alan Joel Leibowitz) Leibowitz
Kibbutz Afikim

Norman Sohn



            FYI, Camp Machanayim, I believe was in Monticello, New York — My cousins, Pinky, Mordy, and David Sohn went there around 1943, I know they went to Camp Raleigh-Maccabi in 1944. In August 1944, I spent a Shabbat at Camp Raleigh-Maccabi with my mother, when we visited my sister, Rhoda. She was a 9-year-old camper.

            I first went to camp in 1949 — Camp Deal in Deal, New Jersey. In 1951, I was a camper in Camp Lebanon in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. In 1953, I was a camper-waiter in Camp Lebanon. In 1954 I was a camper-waiter in Camp Eton, Rhinebeck, New York. From 1955 -1958 I was a bunk counselor as well as a boating counselor in Camp Maple Lake, Livingston Manor, New York.

Norman Sohn, MD

Barbara Ellman

I was a long term camper:

HILI at White Lake, NY in 1959
Delwood in Honesdale, PA for several summers in the 1960s
USY camp at Ramah in Glen Spey, NY in 1967

Delwood was where most of my school friends from HILI (Queens NY) went.  As an only child my parents wanted to make sure I had access to friends over the summer.
Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

david perkins

I went To Camp Willoway in the northeast corner of Pa. in 1965 and 1966. 
Regards to all 
David L. Perkins
Perkin and Segan (Belarus, Grodno and Slonim)
Paris/Poris and Seigel (Ukraine/Poland, Bilozirka, Kupil)
Schneider Shnayder Greenberg Litwack (Bessarabia/Moldova, Teleneshty) 
Peterfreund Loeffelholtz  Pippersberg Federbush Englander (Galicia Nowy Sacz Krakow) 
Podolski Lauffer Wahl (Galicia Krakow Tarnobrzeg)

Alan Reische

I was at camp Winaukee in Moultonboro NH for one year in the late 1940s; the next year, most camps shut down because of the polio epidemic. I then went to Camp Samoset in Gilford New Hampshire for 11 years: as a camper, a waiter, a dishwasher, a CIT and finally a counselor. After a one year interim when I worked on a dude ranch in Colorado, I returned to work a final summer - at Camp Winaukee!

Winaukee was owned by the Sobel and Spahn families. Jesse Sobel was a former Olympic water polo player, very tough minded. His chief operating officer was Joe Marino. Camp Samoset was owned by Manny Winston, a former professional fighter. Many of the Jewish camp directors who grew up in the generation of the 20s and 30s were bulvans and the camp programs reflected that mentality. Samoset in particular was an athletic camp. Boxing was a regular activity, and even tackle football for a season or two.

The athletic Director at Samoset was Chief Torgan. Torgan was the head football coach at James Madison high school in Brooklyn, and every year he would bring up any number of his present and former football players to act as staff. They could be a rough crowd, although I must say I loved my camping experience.

Samoset is now closed, at least in  it’s original iteration, although the name was perpetuated with a camp located in Maine. Camp Winaukee continues to operate in it’s original location, a gorgeous piece of property on Lake Winnipesaukee, with a mainland campus for younger campers and an island campus just offshore for the older boys.

Benny Friedman, the great Univ Michigan football player, operated a summer camp along the same stretch of road going in from Center Harbor. I don’t know what ultimately happened to that camp, but perhaps other members who have a  memory of it can fill in the information.

Alan Reische
Manchester NH

A. E. Jordan

PS to my earlier message about the girls camp in Maine for Jewish girls.

My uncle. my mother's brother went to a boy's camp. He was five years older so likely talking he went to camp in the mid or early 1930s. I don't know the name but we even have some family movies from parents' weekend at the camp. I would have to find those movies to see if it showed any specifics such as the name of the camp.

While my uncle came from Brooklyn the boy's camp must have drawn from around the Northeast. I would guess it was somewhere in the northeast for its location and in an odd quirk of fate another boy at the same who came from Northeast Pennsylvania also was at the camp and he remembers my grandparents coming on parents weekend. The boy would marry my father's sister ... so when my uncle from my father's side of the tree would come for visits he would tell us stories about my mother's parents from the camp visit in the 1930s to see my uncle from my mother's side of the tree although my parents were not married till 1950 .... it's a small world after all .....

Allan Jordan
New York

A. E. Jordan

I am not sure what the originally question was ....

My mother went to a camp in Denmark, Maine --- Camp Walden. It dates back to 1916 -- but my mother was there during World War II. I am not sure if it was strictly a Jewish camp but they founders were a Hirsch and Altschul and later run till the 1990s by a niece who was a Cohen.

My mother had very found memories of the camp ... even though there were sent to pick beans one summer in the fields until the word got back to the parents in Brooklyn ..... and all the girls were I would guess from Brooklyn although I vaguely remember my mother saying the train they traveled to and from camp split with another section maybe from Boston? From the stories told the Brooklyn girls were all young Jewish women but she never talked about any Jewish rituals at camp.

The camp still operates and I know my mother followed its progress and held it among her fondest memories until she passed at age 90.

Allan Jordan
New York

Alan Reische

I should have added that each of the boy camps had a sister camp located in the immediate vicinity: Samoset>>>>Kearsarge, and Winaukee>>>>>>>Robindel. Robindel still operates in Moultonboro; Kear-Sarge closed some years ago, but there are a number of blog postings about the favorable experience there. The sad truth is that many of these camps were located on prime real estate and it requires both enormous dedication to say 'no' to high seven figure offers from developers, and significant capital reserves to keep running over the years.

Alan Reische
Manchester NH