Join us for a conversation with Sandra Fox, author of The Jews of Summer: Summer Camp and Jewish Culture in Postwar America, and Aaron Goldberg, the director of Camp Alonim, about how a cultural crisis birthed a rite of passage that remains a significant influence in American Jewish life.
This is a past program
This program took place on
Thursday, September 7, 2023
About the Program
Mess halls, bug juice, new BFFs, and a talent show performance that still brings on pangs of embarrassment... Look back on the highs and lows of Jewish sleepaway camp—or learn about this American Jewish phenomenon—during a conversation between Sandra Fox, author of The Jews of Summer: Summer Camp and Jewish Culture in Postwar America, and Aaron Goldberg, the director of Camp Alonim.
With the goal of preserving and producing authentic Jewish culture in the postwar US, American Jewish leaders pinned their hopes on residential summer camps for Jewish youth. Adults' fears, hopes, and dreams about the Jewish future inflected every element of camp life, from the languages they taught to what was encouraged romantically and permitted sexually.
But adult plans did not constitute everything that occurred at camp: children and teenagers also shaped these sleepaway camps to mirror their own desires and interests and decided whether to accept or resist the ideas and ideologies their camp leaders promoted. Focusing on the lived experience of campers and camp counselors, The Jews of Summer demonstrates how a cultural crisis birthed a rite of passage that remains a significant influence in American Jewish life.
A book signing, Israeli dancing, and refreshments follow the discussion.
"Transporting the reader into the rhythms and romances of summer camp, Sandra Fox offers a deeply compelling lens into the profound and often generative ambivalences of postwar American Jewish life."—Lila Corwin Berman, Temple University
This program is co-presented with American Jewish University.
6:30 pm: Doors open and camp activities commence
- Engage with representatives from the following Jewish summer camps: Camp Alonim, Camp Gilboa, Gindling Hilltop Camp, Camp Hess Kramer, Camp JCA Shalom, Camp Newman, and Camp Ramah
7:00 pm: Guitar accompanied sing-along in Magnin Auditorium
7:30 pm: Program begins, featuring a conversation between Sandra Fox and Aaron Goldberg
- A Q&A follows the conversation
8:45 pm: A book signing and continuation of camp activities in the main lobby; Israeli dancing, plus coffee, tea, and cookies outdoors in Founders Courtyard
9:30 pm: Program concludes