Summer camps have become an important part of Jewish culture here in the U.S. Each summer, Jewish children from all parts of the world gather at summer camp and spend their time participating in exhilarating adventures while following Jewish traditions.
While these camps help children learn about their identity and traditions, they also offer the same exciting traditional camp activities like hiking, ziplining, archery, swimming, sports, outdoor games, and much more. It’s a place for campers to continue learning about themselves and have fun at the same time.
Here are some of the best Jewish summer camps that provide children with a wonderful summer experience.
Best Jewish Summer Camps
If you’re looking for one of the top Jewish summer camps, Camp Kingswood has you covered. Kids come from around the world for excellence in staff and program, provided in a warm and welcoming down-to-earth Jewish community. Camp Kingswood offers a rich and meaningful Jewish environment where they focus on Jewish connection and identity rather than education or “Hebrew school” camp.
Camp Kingswood is located in the pristine Lakes Region of Maine at the base of the White Mountains, providing for an endless amount of outdoor adventure and fun in and around camp. It’s one of the few Jewish camps in North America with an enormous, 500-acre lake. The camp offers a full array of watersports and activities, along with team and individual sports, theater and music, arts (including woodshop and ceramics), nature, and adventure.
Offering a schedule that combines bunk activities and electives, kids can feel empowered designing their day. With a maximum of 250 campers each session, Kingswood is intimate enough that it feels like a family and large enough that there’s an endless option of new activities to do and unique programs like Color War to try!
Camp Kingswood is Kosher and offers 2, 3.5, and 7-week sessions and a First Time Camper Grant of up to $1000 for all new campers.
Ramah in the Rockies
Ramah in the Rockies is a Jewish outdoor adventure camp located on a gorgeous 360-acre ranch in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. They offer some of the best of outdoor adventures, (e.g. mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, whitewater rafting) in an immersive and supportive Jewish environment. Campers from 3rd grade to 12th grade throughout the US, Canada, Israel, and Mexico come for two or four weeks to challenge themselves physically, intellectually, and spiritually.
They’re a kosher, Shabbat-observant community that empowers kids to explore their own Jewish identities. The entire camp splits into small groups bi-weekly to go on age-appropriate backcountry adventures throughout the state. These range from a short camping trip for young campers to five-day off-trail backcountry navigation high in the mountains for the oldest ones.
Kids who go to the camp will celebrate in the joyous Judaism, the incredible vistas, and the lifelong connections made through the magic of Ramah in the Rockies.
Since 1902, Tamarack Camps is a leading Jewish camp that was established by the Fresh Air Society. It focuses on building a vibrant Jewish community based in Ortonville, Michigan, by offering young children and their families an enriched Jewish camping experience.
Tamarack Camps has an array of overnight camp programs for children and teens — programs include travel trips, (Alaska, Israel, and Western USA) Camp Maas, Outpost Camps, and family camps. Campers enjoy both group and individual activities that include their own private lake, sports, horseback riding, arts & crafts, ropes courses, and performing arts. The experience helps create lifelong friendships, strengthens confidence and builds Jewish identity.
Tamarack Camps is ACA credited, has experienced well-trained staff members and facilities that provide a safe, happy, and joyful camping experience. Tamarack Camps is home to a strong Jewish community filled with campers and staff members from around the world!
Camp Young Judaea Midwest
Established in 1969, CYJ Midwest teaches campers to learn, play, build a stronger Jewish bond and connection to Israel. It’s situated in Central Wisconsin with an 80-acre campus plus the beautiful lake right by it.
This Jewish camp is for children as young as seven years of age in grades 2-9. It’s a place where Jewish youth join as a family and craft their own adventure guided by imagination and rooted in tradition. There are 130 campers for each session, which all come from different places. In combination with a pluralistic approach, CYJ Midwest camp offers an elective-based program where students can enjoy things like sports, nature, drama, arts, and more.
Staff focuses on each camper and ensures they are comfortable in a group setting. The camp is all about belonging, pride, respect, and a lifelong love for what it means to be Jewish.
Camp Interlaken JCC
The Steve & Shari Sadek Family Camp Interlaken JCC is an overnight Jewish camp for kids in 3rd to 10th grade. It was founded in 1966 and has been providing summer adventures driven by Jewish values since then. Situated in the north woods of Wisconsin between two gorgeous lakes, the campus is 106 acres big.
Each summer, over 400 kids attend the camp and choose between two different 4-week sessions with a shorter option for younger children.They offer a diverse range of activities so that any camper can find something they like. Activities include waterskiing, sailing, rocketry, video production, and sports like basketball, archery, and soccer, plus a whole lot more.
The goal of the camp is to help campers improve themselves while creating lifelong friendships, growing in a friendly Jewish community, all while having the time of their lives.
Found in the Pocono Mountains foothills with 70 acres of a private lake, Camp Poyntelle has been a premier Jewish summer camp since 1947. Camp Poyntelle has a secure, fun, and friendly environment for your child to learn more about the true essence of Jewish life.
Campers come out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves to try new things. Their junior program is for campers in grades 2-5, while the inter campers program is for grades 6 and 7, and The Lewis Village program is for teenagers. The value-driven nurturing environment builds confidence, builds up character, empathy, and independence.
Camp Ramah New England
Located in Palmer, Massachusetts, Camp Ramah an overnight Jewish co-ed summer camp for kids and teens to enjoy a wonderful Jewish living experience. Camp Ramah has state-of-the-art facilities and programs. They welcome students in grades 2-10 who can participate in their 4 or 8-week sessions.
Campers get the opportunity to explore all sorts of amazing activities involving sports, theater, arts, and drama. Their summer programs combine socializing and adventures with experiential education. They connect to Judaism in innovative and traditional ways each day during activities.
Camp Laurelwood offers premier overnight and day camps for Jewish kids and teens. Since 1931, campers have been coming from around the world to the state of Connecticut for Camp Laurelwood. The beautiful 140 wooded acres campus offers tons of exciting activities like swimming, basketball, water sports, etc.
The camp’s motto is fun, friends & forever! Laurelwood campers build up self-confidence, reliance and embrace Jewish values while having a fun summer camp experience. Kosher Dietary laws are followed at camp, and every Friday night they usher in the Sabbath along with other Jewish customs.
Located in the beautiful wilderness of Maine’s gorgeous Belgrade Lakes, Camp Modin is one of the oldest kids’ Jewish camps, having been created in 1922. Camp Modin is a place for your children to learn and explore in a nurturing environment of Jewish culture.
Each summer, 380 campers between ages 7-16 enjoy thrilling activities and form life-long friendships at one of the top Jewish camps in the U.S. By employing 180 professional instructors, Camp Modin ensures that each child gets enough support from devoted Jewish educators.
With top-notch facilities and programs available, the camp offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities. These include land sports, water sports, wilderness adventures, performing arts, teen leaderships, Jewish celebrations, and even community service. Camp Moding offers full-season and half-season program options.
You can also read our other camp guides:
Best Catholic Summer Camps 2023