Jewish Summer Camps #usa


Susan Sorkenn
 

Although it wasn’t billed as a Jewish camp, I was a CIT and counselor at Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, MA., owned and run by the Ulanoff family. We had Friday night services. Ironically, the Reform movement purchased the camp, and it’s still thriving. I discovered that the chairman of my high school English department had worked there, as well, so it has a long history. Wonderful few years, enjoying the cultural opportunities of Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow and making great friends. My sister was a camper there.

Susan Kurtin Sorkenn


Werner Frank
 

I attach a newsletter issue of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society that deals with Jewish Summer Camps.  As a  camper and subsequent counselor, I cite Camp Avodah sponsored by the Chicago Jewish Community via the College of Jewish Studies. Camp Avodah was a unique project motivated by the Federal Government's WW2 need for Victory Farm Volunteers in order to fullfill the labor needs of farming communities due to the shortage of its manpower. Hence, the Jewish community's response in providing the labor of Jewish youth.  Camp Avodah added a rich Jewish program, resembling Kibbutz life, to the daily labor (at minimal wages) that the campers provided the local farming community near Buchanan, Michigan.
This experience over several years led to future Jewish community leaders including a half dozen Rabbis. It certainly laid the foundation to my own commitment to a rich Jewish life, all due to the Camp's leadersip headed by Samuel Kaminker (z"l).
Werner Frank
Thousand Oaks, CA


dredel@...
 

My parents owned a Jewish summer camp, Camp Shawnee in the Poconos in the late 1950’s & early 1960’s. It was located in Shawnee on the Delaware, Pa.
Not only was Kashrut observed, it was the first accredited summer school at a camp.
I along with my brothers, attended Camp Ramah in the Poconos in the 1960’s @ early 1970’s.
Daniel Redelheim 
Ventnor City, NJ


bikerick
 


Elissa Burnat
 

My parents owned a Jewish summer camp, Camp Todd Lake and Janel, from 1939 to 1941. I have a camp yearbook from 1939 but I didn't know the camp's location. With a lot of luck and the kindness of someone in the Honesdale Office of Deeds, I was able to find it. It was near Equinunk, Pennsylvania. The location is still a summer camp, Camp IHC, and I was able to visit the site a few years ago. Solving the mystery of the camp's location will always be my best genealogy find.
Elissa Burnat


sharon yampell
 

My father’s cousin married the son of the owner the following camps in Greeley, PA:  Pine Forest, Timber Tops  and Lake Owego!  (five generations later, it is still run by the family)

 

Sharon F. Yampell

Researcher #128890

Marlton, NJ

 

From: Elissa Burnat via groups.jewishgen.org
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2022 2:07 AM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Jewish Summer Camps #usa

 

My parents owned a Jewish summer camp, Camp Todd Lake and Janel, from 1939 to 1941. I have a camp yearbook from 1939 but I didn't know the camp's location. With a lot of luck and the kindness of someone in the Honesdale Office of Deeds, I was able to find it. It was near Equinunk, Pennsylvania. The location is still a summer camp, Camp IHC, and I was able to visit the site a few years ago. Solving the mystery of the camp's location will always be my best genealogy find.

Elissa Burnat

 


TERRY MANASSEE
 

I was a counselor at Camp IHC from 1970-1976 in Honesdale, PA. The Ezersky's owned the camp then.   It was called Indian Head Camps , they recently changed the name.  When arriving in the town of Honesdale there was a wooden sign with slats of all the camps.  They were all Jewish camps and had to be around 20 of them.  (B'nai Brith, Starlight, Ramah, to name a few).  On Wednesdays we played sports intercamp with them.  Either our girls camp would go to the other camp and their boys camp would come to ours or visa versa.  On Friday nights we would have a Shabbot service.  Sundays were bagels and lox for breakfast.  I am from Denver, Colorado.  When I was a kid, I attended the Jewish Community Center day camp and then the Jewish Community Center Ranch Camp which was a sleep-a-way camp. 

Terry Manassee
Aurora, Colorado


Jenny Schwartzberg
 

Dear All,

 

I went to Camp Marimeta (for girls) and my brother went to Camp Menominee (for boys) in the 1970s, located outside Eagle River, Wisconsin (in the far north of Wisconsin).  Both were run by the Wasserman family of Chicago.  I had not realized until checking their websites just now that Menominee was founded in 1928 and Marimeta in 1947. They were run by a Jewish family for children of Jewish families but were secular.  I remember that Shabbat candles were lit in the dining hall with brief prayers but otherwise I really do not remember any other sign of Judaism other that we were all Jewish.  I went there for 6 summers and enjoyed it.  Afterwards I went for 3 summers to Camp Harand, a theater camp founded by two Jewish sisters, Pearl and Sulie Harand, but otherwise no sign of Judaism though there were a lot of Jewish campers.  At that point, it was located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin but is now in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

 

All three camps still exist and are run by descendants of the original families.

 

Earlier in my family history, my great-grandfather Joseph J. Cohen founded two summer camps for the children of anarchist families, many of whom were Jewish, Camp Germinal, Jamison, Pennsylvania from 1926 to 1934 and Camp Sharon, at Mohegan Lake, New York, from 1928 to 1931 or so.  My grandparents, Emma Cohen Gilbert and Richard V. Gilbert were also involved with both camps.

 

I don’t know if these camps fall within the rubric for the researcher, but I would be curious to exchange memories and stories with anyone familiar with them.

 

Yours,

Jenny Schwartzberg

Chicago, IL


Bonnie Gould
 

My brother attended North Star Camp in Hayward, Wisconsin.  I attended Camp Nokomis (homesick-went home after 2 weeks) also in Wisconsin and like Jenny Schwartzburg who responded above, I spent 3 summers at Harand Camp.  While I don't think Harand was specified "Jewish" because I remember some in my cabin not being Jewish, they did sing the Lord's Prayer at Friday night assembly.  I don't remember if it was called actual "services."

Bonnie Gould
Rsearching:
Perlin/ Peker/ Pekier from Belarus
Rabinovitz from Ruzhin, Ukraine
Siegel from Riga, Latvia and Taurage, Lithuania
Hemanow/Heiman from Riga Latvia


Richard Kurshan
 

I have photos of my father and uncle at Camp Pokanoket and at Stissing Lake Camp during the 1920's. I think they were in New York, north of the City. Would love to hear from anyone who has information about either camp.

Richard Kurshan
Researching
KURSHAN-Kurseniai, Klykoliai, Lithuania
BLANK-Russia
MEYER-Russia,Poland
ROSENTHAL-Russia
JONAP-Hungary
FRIEDMAN-Hungary


Leah Cook
 

The Joseph Eisner Camp for Living Judaism in Great Barrington , Massachusetts changed my life.  It's where I learned how to play guitar (and later became a Jewish song leader), it's where I learned leadership skills (which led to becoming a teacher), and it is where my Jewish identity was solidified.  The camp had been the prior estate of William Walker, VP of Eastman Kodak.   The camp was founded in 1959.My nephew recently moved to Great Barrington, so there must be some connection there. 

I also went to the Schenectady Jewish Community Day Camp throughout most of my childhood.  I learned how to swim and dive and make crafts and learn Jewish music.

After high school graduation I was a counselor at Camp Schodack in Nassau, NY -- the best summer of my life (and I made enough money in tips to purchase a Martin D-28 guitar).

Another noteworthy Jewish camp is Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Springs, NY attended by Eddie Cantor, Larry King, and Jerry Stiller.  My cousin, a camper 40 years ago, still works at the camp during his summer vacation.  His brother went to Surprise Lake as well, as did his two sons, one of whom met his future wife at camp. This camp is part of our family.  The camp was founded in 1902.

Jewish summer camps were an integral part of my life -- they were especially important because there was considerable antisemitism in my community at the time.  My strongest childhood memories are of Passover seders and summer camp.  Camp is where most of my secular and Jewish learning took place.  If you have children, please send them to a Jewish summer camp.

Links:
https://eisnercamp.org
https://surpriselake.org
https://www.schodack.com
http://www.schenectadyjcc.org

--
Leah R Cook
Florida, USA
Jewish Genealogical Society of Southwest Florida


Norman Sohn
 

Interesting tidbit on Jewish Summer camps. My mother, Fannie Ament Sohn, was born in 1911 and immigrated from Sanok, Poland to New York's Lower East Side at age 2. In her 20s, she spent her summer vacation at Camp Livingston in Livingston Manor, New York. I have seen many photos in her album of those vacations, but know very little else. Camp Livingston did have a lake with row boats and swimming. Every resort had a handball court.
Norman Sohn, MD, MBA