Menu and nutrition
As you would expect, our campers are active all day long. Therefore, meals are an important part of our day!
We eat by cabins every day in our dinning room or what we call the Chadar Ohel. For breakfast and lunch, we have two serving times, one with younger age groups, and one with older age groups. Then for dinner we all come together for one big meal with the entire camp.
Our menu has been carefully designed by a dietitian and as a Jewish camp of course we have several food traditions. We begin every meal with the hamotzi and end every meal with our own special birkat hamazon created by Loui to remind us how food came to be at our tables. Every Friday night alongside our challah and grape juice we serve up Ms. Jonell’s famous fried chicken and end the meal with our delicious “Shabbat brownies”.
We serve our meals family style in bowls at the tables to reduce chaos and create a more familial and mindful atmosphere in the dining hall. At breakfast we have a full cold bar available with a variety of cereals, yogurts, Israeli salad, peppers, olives, cottage cheese, grapefruit, granola, oatmeal, and hard-boiled eggs. At lunch and dinner, we have a full salad bar available with a wide range of vegetable choices as well as vegetarian and alternative sources of protein such as hard-boiled eggs, edamame, hummus, cottage cheese, tuna, black beans, and chickpeas. We also always have bowls of apples, oranges, and bananas available for campers to take to top off their meal or grab as a snack. Milk and water are available at every meal as well as lemonade or teas during lunch and dinner served with a side of refreshing sonic ice. Additionally, we have bread and individual cups of peanut butter, sun butter, and jelly at our special diets table.
We want to make sure every camper has an opportunity to have a safe and healthy dining experience at, therefore do our best to accommodate any allergies, special diets, or picky eaters. At camp we have a trained registered dietitian on staff, as well as two nutrition therapy specialists in charge of all allergens and special diets. Campers with an allergy check in with the nutrition therapy specialists at every meal to ensure food is safe for them.
We’ve had campers with nut, fish, dairy, soy, and gluten allergies, and many other dietary needs. We always offer a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free option.
In addition to the main entree at meals, there are always side dishes, fresh fruit, our salad bar, and options to make a sandwich (wow butter, sun butter, and jelly). Our staff make sure that all campers are eating throughout the day and work with campers to make sure there is something that meets their needs.
When you send your child to URJ Greene Family Camp, they will make friends that may well last a lifetime. We promise we will provide a nurturing and fulfilling experience.
Your child – any child from an interfaith family who is being raised as a Jew – has a place at our camp. For over 30 years, the Reform Movement has been at the forefront of the Jewish world ensuring a welcoming environment for interfaith families and their children. As Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs has stated, “Creating pathways for Jews and non-Jewish partners to create active Jewish homes is a blessing.”
WHAT HAPPENS AT A URJ CAMP? WHAT IS JEWISH LIVING?
Camp is fun! Our campers experience a great atmosphere, great role models, great activities and programs, values not just taught but lived, friendships, and responsible adult role models.
When you entrust your child to our camp, he or she will experience what it is like to live in a completely Jewish environment. This complete absorption into the rhythms and calendar of Jewish living gives each child a fuller appreciation of the richness of their Jewish identity and heritage. They are taught the values of charity, justice and kindness. Experience has shown that they will bring these good values home!
Shabbat is a big event at camp. The entire camp comes together as one on Friday evening for blessings, dinner and song. Campers experience the fullness of a Shabbat celebration both spiritually and culturally.
Each child’s pride in their Jewish identity is nurtured, while respect for those of other beliefs is also strongly encouraged.
WILL MY CHILD FEEL ISOLATED OR DIFFERENT BECAUSE ONE PARENT IS NOT JEWISH?
Not at all. Many of our camp counselors themselves are wonderful products of interfaith marriages. Each child at GFC is valued as the unique individual they are, with the wonderful attributes they bring to our community. Each child is recognized as a full member of the Jewish community whether they have one or two Jewish parents.
WILL MY CHILD FEEL EMBARRASSED IF HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO DO SOMETHING JEWISH?
Greene is a place for your child to further their knowledge of Judaism in an experiential way. Every child who comes to camp brings a different skill set and knowledge of Jewish tradition and practice. They learn from us and from their friends at camp. This is a no-stress environment, where learning the levels of Jewish living is an enjoyable and natural progression.
WILL IT BE A PROBLEM IF MY CHILD HAS LIMITED OR NO KNOWLEDGE OF HEBREW?
No problem! Campers pick up Hebrew at camp in an experiential way, learning some basic Hebrew terms, Hebrew blessings and phrases. They enjoy showing off when they return home.
WHEN MY CHILD RETURNS HOME, WILL SHE BE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH MY NOT BEING JEWISH?
Remember that many of your child’s counselors have experience with interfaith families – either their own, their relatives or their friends. We teach each child that the Torah mandates to honor thy father and mother. We emphasize to each child that this teaching is not based on the parent being Jewish – the teaching is based on honoring each parent. Your position as the child’s parent will continue to be sacrosanct. We will encourage the respect you are due as a parent, with no regard to your own religious beliefs.
Jews from diverse backgrounds
As part on the Union for Reform Judaism and the Audacious Hospitality effors that our movement encapsulates, we believe that we will be a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community when we fully incorporate the diversity that is the reality of modern Jewish life. We believe that there is more than one authentic way to be Jewish and acknowledge that our diversity is an essential component to making our communities whole.
Jewish populations such as Jews by choice and those exploring Judaism, Jews of Color, LGBTQ+ Jews, Jews who live with physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, multiracial families, Jews who are unaffiliated and uninspired by Jewish communal offerings, and the evolving needs of interfaith and intermarried couples and families, are all an integraml part of our growing community.
We strive to engage more children and families who are often unrepresented and under-served in Jewish spaces, transforming our camp community into a space of belonging for all who wish to call it home.