Tablet Magazine - a new read on Jewish life

06 June 2023
17 Sivan 5783

From sleeping in cabins to playing Ga-Ga, falling into drama among friends, waging color war, sharing Shabbat meals, and learning to exist on your own, summer camp still holds a transcendent allure for Jewish American kids and nostalgic adults.

Listen to Tablet

Navigate to Notes on Camp podcast page


Notes on Camp

Episode 96: Everything you ever wanted to know about summer camp

June 29, 2017

Navigate to Ep. 6: Nature podcast page


Ep. 6: Nature

Lisa and Aimee learn to embrace the great outdoors—ticks and all—with the help of ‘Outside’ magazine’s Emily Pennington

March 3, 2021

Navigate to Staying Cool podcast page


Staying Cool

Ep. 326: Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb on the joys of summer camp, Cantor Yisroel Leshes on reinterpreting Yiddish jazz music

July 28, 2022

Escaping the city’s heat entirely and being sent off to a summer camp in the mountains or the countryside was considered a child’s best protection against catching polio. So too was spending the summer some sixty miles away at the Jersey Shore. A family who could afford it rented a bedroom with kitchen privileges in a rooming house in Bradley Beach, a strip of sand, boardwalk, and cottages a mile long that had already been popular for several decades among North Jersey Jews. There the mother and the children would go to the beach to breathe in the fresh, fortifying ocean air all week long and be joined on weekends and vacations by the father. Of course, cases of polio were known to crop up in summer camps as they did in the shore’s seaside towns, but because they were nothing like as numerous as those reported back in Newark, it was widely believed that, whereas city surroundings, with their unclean pavements and stagnant air, facilitated contagion, settling within sight or sound of the sea or off in the country or up in the mountains afforded as good a guarantee as there was of evading the disease.

Philip Roth, ‘Nemesis’


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