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Camps (Summer Camps)

Binding My Religious and Feminist Identities Together

I started wearing tefillin at camp. I was fourteen and I had a lot of ideas about overthrowing patriarchal Judaism, and I thought it looked cool. Tefillin are traditionally worn only by Jewish men who have reached bar mitzvah age (thirteen), although Conservative and Reform Judaism, some of the more liberal sects of Judaism, are very accepting of women wrapping as well. 

Deciphering the Code

Dress codes. If you’ve been on the internet in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that teenage girls tend to butt heads with them quite a bit. You may have read about how blatantly discriminatory dress codes are when it comes to gender. You might already be informed about how they contribute to victim blaming, are a form of slut shaming, and reinforce rape culture.  Indeed, dress codes have become a sort-of gateway into feminist thought for teenage girls. For me, they were certainly a rude awakening.

On Feminism’s Place in a Conventional Summer Space

My summer camp has rats in the walls and rotting wooden decks and haunted basements. My summer camp is hot and cold, made up of love and hate and freedom and restriction and myth and reality. My summer camp is more corrupt than the Brazilian government but still comforting enough to call it a religion. My summer camp is where I grew up two weeks at a time. 

People of Valor

It's Friday night. I'm sitting in a big tent, surrounded by some of the greatest friends I've ever made. The smell of chicken soup wafts under our noses. A man walks to the front of the room, and we smile and link pinkies with the people next to us. This is it. The moment we’ve been waiting for all week. I take a deep breath and close my eyes as he begins in Hebrew...

Moving Past My Passivity

I was a relatively passive preteen. I was stuck in this mentality that my life wasn’t really going to start until I was older, that everything until then was just filler. Looking back at it now, I can acknowledge the internalized adultism that clouded my perception of the world, but am still regretful of this period of stagnation in my life. 

Pearl Willen

Pearl Willen’s term as president of the National Council of Jewish Women from 1963–1967 capped a long career of community organizing from the local to the international level.

Sydney Taylor

Sydney Taylor’s famous and beloved All-of-a-Kind Family series of children’s books were almost left unpublished and forgotten.

Tillie Leblang

With her husband and daughters, Tillie LeBlang created a multi–million–dollar box office that transformed the way Broadway shows sold tickets.

Irene Rothschild Guggenheim

Irene Rothschild Guggenheim founded the Brightside Day Nursery and made it her life’s work, overseeing children’s services from day care for newborns to vocational training for teenagers.

Rose Gruening

Rose Gruening created a number of social assistance organizations to aid immigrant families, offering practical help that included childcare, funding for college educations, and even a summer camp.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Camps (Summer Camps)." (Viewed on October 22, 2016) <>.


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