A Summer That Lasts A Lifetime. Since 1952, OSRUI has provided campers a place to build lifelong friendships,explore Judaism, and have the time of their lives. OSRUI is a place of fun and excitement where every child is important.
As we prepare to celebrate our 65th summer, we look with pride on the more than 30,000 children who have passed through our gates, building lifelong friendships, exploring their Jewish identity, and having the time of their lives. In 1952, Union Institute was founded by the Reform Movement; today, URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute serves more than 1,000 campers each summer from throughout North America and beyond.
We see our mission, in part, as providing the opportunity for the pursuit of excellence in Jewish life experiences. Our sessions are varied and focus on specific areas of interest, including Kibbutz life, the arts, Hebrew immersion, and more. We offer a wealth of activities, from archery and the Alpine Tower to drama, photography, and waterskiing, to name just a few. Most importantly, our programs foster independence and personal growth.
From the beginning, OSRUI has been a pacesetter in Jewish camping. We were the first Reform camp:
- in North America! (And we are proud of our many sister camps throughout the continent.)
- to create methods of learning that make Judaism come alive.
- to develop the concept of primitive camping - Kibbutz HaTzofim and Moshavah.
- to develop an intensive Hebrew immersion program - Chalutzim.
Our staff members are carefully selected from among applicants from all over the United States, Canada, Israel, and Europe. More than two thirds of our counselors have grown up as OSRUI campers.This provides us with the opportunity to know them well and continue past traditions. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well being of our campers. For that reason, our staff members are generally older and more experienced than those at many other camps. Our counselors in training (members of our Machon program) are high school graduates. Counselors are at least 19 years of age or entering sophomores in college. Unit heads are college graduates or at least 21 years of age. Most specialists are over 21 with significant experience in their area of interest. We also have a special work/study program – Avodah Corps – for entering high school seniors. Please note: Applications for staff positions, including Avodah Corps, are available in the Staff Section of the website.
More than 40 rabbis, cantors, and educators from Reform congregations join us for at least two weeks each, helping campers learn more about themselves and their Judaism. Our faculty works with all of the programs at Camp, shaping the learning activities, guiding worship experiences, lending a knowledgeable helping hand in bar/bat mitzvah preparation, and just being a new adult friend to our campers.