Camp Young Judaea was founded in 1939 by Harry and Louis Levine and Dr. Morton J. Robbins and is the oldest Zionist youth camp in the United States. The camp is a private non-profit organization that is operated by the Friends of Young Judaea and is not affiliated with the Young Judaea movement, other camps with similar-sounding names or with Hadassah. We are the original Camp Young Judaea!!
In the early years, campers lived in tents and actually helped build some of the bunks. They debated and discussed Zionist principles, sang songs, learned how to fire rifles and helped raise money for what was then known as Palestine. Our Israel trip program is the oldest co-ed camp Israel teen trip in the country. Over the years, our supportive board of directors has overseen the construction of additional buildings and facilities, including a new dining hall in 1993, new basketball and tennis courts, several new bunks, a brand-new pool in 2008, new cabins in Girls Area (2016) and plans for many other updates and upgrades. Despite these physical changes, the essential ruach (spirit) and sense of Jewish community has remained strong and vibrant.
During the past 77 years, CYJ has provided a fantastic summer camp experience for thousands of campers. In fact, many former staff and campers are now parents (and even grandparents!) of current campers. No wonder that the camp’s Alumni Association has already connected with thousands of alumni worldwide and sponsors events, get-togethers and reunions (including a 20th year Daled reunion every summer at camp).
If you or a family member is an alum (camper or staff), please sign up with the Alumni Association by clicking below and join our lively Facebook group!