Exhibit intro

Online Exhibition
  • Trails to bungalows hidden in the hills at Ray Hill Camp, circa 1920

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  • Jewish youth dancing the hora at Camp Wel-Met, October 1948

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  • Camp Hofnung. 1947. A summer camp in Pipersville, PA sponsored by the Workmen's Circle. Rehearsal for Gershwin's ""Of Thee I Sing."" Left to right, Leon Lubeck, Jerry Barsky, Shirley Wasserman, Murray Ancharov, Sonny Yankowitz, Milt Simpkin.

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  • Baseball game, Y.M.H.A. camp, Detroit, Michigan, 1929

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  • Camp Walden. Denmark, Maine. Ethel Katzenstein attended the girl's camp in the 1920s. Postcard of girls hiking in a field.

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Early Jewish Camping
Over time, camps became a setting for Jewish socialization and identity formation. Various camps developed different levels of Jewish programming, ranging from purely secular activities for Jewish campers, through cultural expressions of Judaism, to different levels of religious practice (different denominational camps followed or ignored kosher, held fewer or more Sabbath services, and included more, less, or no formal Jewish education). The 1940’s saw a boom in Jewish camping as US anti-Semitism and the Holocaust led many Jews to turn to summer camps as a way to fost