Summer 2020 Updates


5:30pm PT
Kabbalat Shabbat Experience (Zoom & Facebook Live)

6:15pm PT
Family Dinner Break

7:15pm PT
Song Session & Israeli Dancing (ZOOM ONLY)

Join us on Zoom!




Avodah, our special program for rising 11th grade, spends significant time every summer fundraising for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation as part of their effort to give back to our greater community. One of our treasured staff events, Avodauction, is going virtual this year and EVERYONE in our camp community is welcome to join. We invite you to support our amazing class of 2020 as they host a silent and live auction and win some fun camp prizes!


Avodauction Zoom Link


All 2nd-8th graders can join us for an incredible summer experience with the Camp Newman community you LOVE!
  • Create meaningful relationships with other campers and our amazing counselors
  • Choose from some of our favorite camp chuggim including cooking, guitar, Israeli dancing, art, Teva AND MORE!
  • Connect through evening programs & Hashkevah (Cabin Time) with Siyum (closing circle)
  • Play, laugh, learn and celebrate the joys of being Jewish with Kabbalat Shabbat, Shira (Song Session), Rikud (Israeli Dancing), Session Songs and Havdalah

Learn More!

A project of YOUR synagogue, NFTY & Camp Newman!


An innovative, virtual experience for 8th-12th graders where you can pursue a passion, spark your curiosity, take action on issues that matter to you and create lasting friendships!
  • Choose a track (Eco-Judaism, Arts, Justice Work or Leadership), choose a major/track and choose electives* to create your own experience
  • Belong to a community of passionate, caring, FUN teens
  • Live your values through meaningful, relevant and joyful Judaism
  • Create and strengthen lasting friendships and mentor-relationships

Learn More


Some summer camp fun for the weirdest summer ever.

Starting Monday, June 15, TECHers can choose from a list of epic challenges—science, cooking, building, silly, outdoor, indoor, physics, art. Interpret the challenge in a creative way, snap a pic or video, upload it to the site and earn points.  TECHers will receive weekly emails with featured challenges, double point opportunities, newly added challenges and a leaderboard. You might even recognize some of the challengers!

Learn More



It is with great sadness that we share our plans to cancel all in-person, on-site activities at Newman by the Bay (Cal Maritime) and Porter Creek for the summer. This is a movement-wide decision for all URJ camps and programs. If at any point new information emerges and conditions change that lead us to be able to provide in-person gatherings, we will do so as a top priority.


What are the factors that informed the decision to cancel in-person programming for the summer?

We have been in deep conversation with local, regional, and federal medical authorities, the CDC and other consultants. While we have continued to plan, prepare, pray, and hope for another transformative summer at camp, the risks posed by COVID-19 threaten our most sacred value – the health and well-being of our community. Ultimately, there are too many known and unknown risks for us to create an acceptable pathway forward for this summer. These risks also compromise our ability to provide the excellence in programming and participant care that are hallmarks of our camp.


Is it possible that camp could open later than expected? Could we still have camp for part of the summer?

If new information emerges at any point and we can re-evaluate the potential for in-person gatherings, we will do so as a top priority.


When will summer 2021 registration open? Should we expect the summer to be different?

Decisions about when 2021 registration is opening will be made in the coming months after we have managed the 2020 logistics with our camp families. We want to stay true to the program you have come to know and love – and that ensures maintaining our commitment to health, safety, and program excellence. We don’t know yet what the new realities created by COVID-19 could mean for the fall and beyond, but we are doing everything we can to be ready to open registration as usual.

What are my options for my tuition fees?

Your family can choose from the following options for how you’d like us to handle your 2020 tuition:

  1. Make a tax-deductible donation to Camp Newman which will help ensure our sustainability for 2021 and beyond.
  2. Credit your tuition to a future program
  3. Receive a partial or full refund

How do I indicate my preference for how I want you to handle my tuition?

Your family will receive an email from Camp Newman with a form to submit. We ask all families to complete the online form by June 1, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact us at

What’s most helpful for camp right now?

Thank you for asking! Donations (Option 1) are the most helpful to us, followed closely by crediting fees towards a future program (Option 2). We hope you’ll consider one of these two options as they will ensure we are able to serve you, your children, their friends, and our Jewish community into 2021 and beyond.

Tax-Deductible Donation

How will my donation work?

If you are able, we hope you will consider converting at least 50% or more of your tuition into a tax-deductible donation. Every dollar will be generously matched by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.  Your gifts will directly support Camp Newmans’s professional team, and the creation of virtual programming so that our community can stay connected. It will also help provide assistance to those families who experience financial hardship as a result of the pandemic and might have a hard time affording camp when we’re up and running again.

How will you use my gift to support camp?

Our priority for all gifts at this moment is to support Camp Newman’s core operations to ensure that we can weather the current financial storm and continue to serve your family and the community. Core operations includes things like providing our campers with virtual programming this summer; training, retaining, and supporting our counselors and senior unit staff throughout the year so we’re ready for 2021, and more.

Can I give more than I have already paid?

Yes! We would deeply appreciate your consideration to making a gift beyond that with which you have already paid. Select this option in your refund allocation form and we will contact you to discuss payment options.

Can I make a donation over time? Can I give monthly if I can’t give all right now?

Absolutely. Every dollar counts and we are so deeply appreciative of whatever you can give. We have options for making a monthly or recurring donation on our website.

Credit for a Future Program

How does credit for a future program work?

You can apply some or all of the funds you’ve already paid for 2020 towards future URJ youth programs, including next summer at Camp Newman, academic year retreats, NFTY, travel programs, and more.

How long does my forwarded future credit last?

  • Funds credited for future use will be available for use through December 31, 2022.
  • After August 1, 2020 requests for refunds on unused credits will be accepted at any time and will be refunded within 90 days of the request.
  • As of January 1, 2023, any unused funds will be automatically refunded, less a service fee of $25, by March 31, 2023.

Can my future credit be transferred?

Future credits can be used by anyone on your family account; however, they cannot be transferred to other families. Credits can be converted to a contribution to the Camp Newman scholarship fund at any time. Funds credited for future use will be available for use through December 31, 2022.


How does a refund work?

Families can request a full or partial refund of summer 2020 tuition paid to date. Choose this option in the tuition allocation form, which you should receive via email. If you need us to resend it, please email

What is the time frame for receiving my refund?

Due to our current financial and operational realities, refunds may take 12 weeks or more and may come in several installments. Families experiencing financial hardship should email so we can expedite your refund to the best of our ability.

My family is experiencing financial hardship, can I get my refund sooner?

We will expedite your refund to the best of our ability. Please submit your request in writing to Kim Press at

How can I support my camper at this time?

Camp’s closure this summer is devastating for campers, families, and our whole community. We encourage you to talk to your kids about this and to let them express their feelings. We have some that can help inform your approach. Here are a few guiding principles to consider:

  • Be empathetic and understanding
  • Encourage them to connect with their camp friends daily, and participate in virtual experiences with them this summer
  • It might take your child a few days to process the news – they might not want to talk right away, but let them know you’re there if and when they’re ready. Click here for resources to help with this difficult conversation.
  • Let us know if we can be of assistance helping your camper adjust to this new reality.

How can I help camp at this time?

Thank you for asking this question – we are moved by your support! We made the decision to cancel in-person activities at camp this year based on our values, and with the health and safety of our campers and staff as our top priority. It is important for us to share, too, that the financial ramifications of this decision today and looking forward are significant.

You can choose from several options on how to handle your tuition (click on "Options for Your 2020 Tuition", including the options to make a donation that will be generously matched by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, credit fees paid for use on future URJ programs, or receive a refund.

Support the URJ Camp Newman Sustainability Fund

Is there anything you are offering this summer with camp not able to run in-person?

Yes! We're excited to be offering a variety of virtual programs this summer:

Zoomin' with Newman: Our full virtual camp program for campers entering 2nd-8th grades will run from June 21-June 27 complete with chuggim (electives), cabin-bonding time, evening social activities, joyful Jewish activities and learning, culminating an inspiring Shabbat experience with shira, rikud, session songs and havdalah!

TeenFest: We're bringing some of our beloved teen sessions online for a two-week TeenFest from June 29-July 11 for teens entering 8th-12th grade. Tracks will include Hagigah (arts), Hevrah (social action), Rishonim (nature-oriented), and Yitro (teen leadership). Teens will select two-week immersive workships, have a blast in evening social programs, connect in small cabin groups, celebrate Shabbat and culminate with an inspiring closing ceremony and Havdalah.

Our selective Avodah (11th grade, 6/21-7/19) and CIT (12th grade, 6/15-7/11) programs will also be running virtually and accepted teens will receive program information via email soon. For more information please email

How do we transfer our enrollment to next year? Will we pay 2020 rates?

Families have a choice to forward 2020 program registration fees paid for future use. Decisions about when 2021 registration is officially opening will be made in the coming months after we have managed the 2020 logistics with all of our camp families.

We want to stay true to the program you have come to know and love – and that ensures maintaining our commitment to health, safety, and program excellence. We don’t know yet what the new realities created by COVID-19 could mean for the fall and beyond, but we are doing everything we can to be ready to open registration as usual.

This is my child's Avodah/CIT/Israel summer. Will there be an option for them to complete this program next year?

We understand the importance of these experiences for our campers. The Union for Reform Judaism will be looking at all available program options for summer 2021. Our ability to allow people to enroll in special programs like Avodah and the NFTY in Israel program will depend on a number of considerations including, but not limited to, program requirements or qualifications and program capacity. Please watch for summer 2021 program information and enrollment dates.