Nestled in the foothills of the magnificent Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, Camp Harlam provides the finest in Jewish Camping. Established in 1958, Camp Harlam has developed a strong tradition of success and excellence based on a highly skilled staff dedicated to the spiritual, physical, social and emotional well-being of each child, while building lifelong relationships between friends.
Camp Harlam is one of 15 Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) overnight camps across North America. Camp Harlam opened in 1958 and has grown to its present size with a 300-acre facility, a population of approximately 550 campers each session, and a staff of over 225 exceptional role models.
The Camp Harlam family consists of smaller communities within Junior Camp, Senior Camp, and the Gesher (Counselor in Training) Program. Junior and Senior Camps are further broken down into units based on a child’s school grade to create a more intimate and age-appropriate experience for our campers.
The mission of Camp Harlam is to create a vibrant, fun and caring camp community which enriches and strengthens Reform Jewish identity and values while cultivating lifelong friendships.
Camp Harlam fulfills its mission through our commitment to the following core values:
Ahavat Yisrael / Love of Israel and Hebrew
B’tzelem Elohim / Created in Image of God
G’milut Hasadim / Acts of Loving Kindness
Hachnasat Orchim / Being a Welcoming and Accepting Community
Kehilah Kedoshah / Sacred Community
Ruach / Spirit
Talmud Torah / Lifelong Jewish Learning
Tikkun Middot / Character Development
Tikkun Olam / Responsibility to Repair the World
Open & Safe
Harlam’s commitment to a community that welcomes and values everyone.
The Harlam community is established and reinforced as a sacred Kehillah (community). In keeping with the camp’s mission to be a true and holy Reform Jewish community, our leaders have recommitted themselves to making sure that Harlam is a true reflection of today’s families: we are all individuals of different sizes, different shapes, different colors, with different backgrounds, feelings and of different beliefs. Because of that, we uphold one of our most cherished values, the belief that we are B’tzelem Elohim – created in God’s image.
For all people who are part of our community, we are dedicated to making Harlam an environment for them that will be open, understanding, accepting, and where bias and prejudice will not be tolerated. To meet this challenge, our leadership and members of our staff work with various organizations and professionals to receive training and to develop further strategies to establish greater sensitivity to people in all segments of the Jewish community that may be represented at Harlam. In addition, we continue to focus on facility and staffing improvements that further our success in creating a more inclusive camp program and facility. Examples include new ADA-accessible cabins and facilities, the establishment of gender-neutral restrooms, and an expanded Camper Care Team that features a dedicated Inclusion Coordinator to ensure that each member of our community is welcomed and supported regardless of any physical or intellectual disabilities, diagnoses, or challenges.
Harlam remains committed to supporting and representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community in every way possible. In 2017, Harlam joined the Keshet-URJ Youth Leadership Project: Leading Your Jewish Community to Act for LGBTQ Inclusion, which was a year-long experience dedicated to enhancing the inclusion of the LGBTQ community at Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) camps. We also stand proud with the Reform Movement in their passage of the resolution that affirms the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people within our community.
Each summer, we proudly welcome campers who may be in the midst of a gender transition, and who see camp as a positive, integral part of that process. We have been working closely with families to make this a smooth and seamless experience for everyone; providing accommodations that include capital improvements, such as private changing and bathroom facilities; focusing our staff training on these issues with the support of organizations like Keshet, Moving Traditions, and the URJ; and looking at our camp culture to ensure we are a welcoming place for all – no matter an individual’s gender identity.
For more than 30 years, the Reform Movement has also been at the forefront of the Jewish world ensuring a welcoming environment for interfaith families and their children. Any child from an interfaith family who is being raised as a Jew has a place at our camp. Our commitment to interfaith families is at the very core of who we are and we strive to do every single day.
To that end, we are hoping that camp continues to be a place where diversity is reflected in all aspects of who we are as a Jewish people. Jews of Color are encouraged to find their rightful place within the rich tapestry of our camp community.
Harlam will be a place where each child, staff member, and any person who walks onto our idyllic campus should be safe and have the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves, able to enjoy all that our program has to offer.