By Ruben Arquilevich
Executive Director, URJ Camp Newman

It begins the moment campers come home.

A deep yearning to return home, to their summer home, URJ Camp Newman.

“Mom, Dad, I can’t wait to go back next summer. I will be counting down the days to my next summer.”

During this time of year, we “Count the Omer,” the act of counting down the days between Passover (freedom/growth) and Shavuot (receiving the Torah/Redemption). This tradition is likened to final preparations for receiving the Torah. Today is day 21 in counting the omer. We too are in our final preparations, getting ready to usher in our 69th year and celebrate the gifts our campers and staff are about to receive:

  • a greater self esteem, more confident in their ways by living independently from parents, building resilience, personal growth and creating their own community.
  • a stronger Jewish identity, living in a community that values the blessings of each individual and celebrates the value of “Betzelem Elohim” (that all of us are created in a divine image and have gifts).
  • a deeper appreciation and understanding of Judaism, by living in an enriching Jewish environment steeped with joy, friendship, celebration, laughter and untouchable memories.

At Camp Newman, many natural wonders are in sync with preparations for summer. New growth shines brightly at the tips of our Redwood trees and other evergreens; new leaves unfold from our maples and other deciduous trees; grape leaves bud from our vineyard and a warm breeze announces that summer is almost here.

And with opening day comes another momentous occasion, the opening of our newly built Welcome Center and the last five of our nine new Lodges!

The Star of David overlooking camp awaits the community that will soon enter our gates. The buses will roll in and the voices of “heiveinu shalom alechem” will be heard through the mountains of Camp Newman. Along with the omer, we’re counting down the days until camp’s opening day – 38 days – and the day our campers arrive!

We look forward to welcoming and embracing your child into this sacred community.