games at summer camp

Awesome Jewish Summer Camps in California: Overnight + Day

Send Your Child to Any of These Jewish Summer Camps in California

Jewish summer camps can make a tremendous impact on a child’s life because they aim to make Judaism fun by building a sense of community, connection, and adventure. And the good news is that there are a ton of Jewish summer camps in California!

For some kids, Jewish overnight camp will be a life-altering experience. My closest friends all went to the same Jewish summer camp in Southern California and have maintained those friendships for over 20 years. And these are not acquaintances, they are all best friends into their 30s. Personally, I had a “just okay” experience. But I think it’s important for everyone to give Jewish summer camp a try. Don’t feel any sort of obligation to go away for three months your first summer. You can and probably should ease into it. There are Jewish day camps (check out the one at JCA Shalom) and there are 5 day overnights at many of these camps in both Southern and Northern California.

Every camp on this list makes a concerted effort to ensure that they provide financial assistance and/or scholarships for families that cannot afford the full tuition. Reach out directly to the camp to find out more of their offerings and be sure to check out the One Happy Camper Grant and Jewish Free Loan Association.

Psst: All of the descriptions of the camps are taken directly from their respective websites. Review this list and determine which Jewish summer camp seems like the best fit for your child!

Read More: Keep Your Kids Engaged in Hebrew This Summer!

Jewish Summer Camps in Southern California

Camp Alonim

  • Simi Valley, California 
  • Non-denominational
  • Contact:alonim@aju.edu; (877) 2-ALONIM

Camp Alonim was founded in 1953 and their mission is for campers to “experience the vibrancy of Jewish life is experienced every day through music, Israeli dance, sports, arts and crafts, nature, and social action. Campers are able to experience new things, build skills, make lasting friendships, explore, and have pure fun.” 

Overnight Camp

SessionDatesEntering GradesRate
FirstTues. June 22 – Sun. July 42-7$2,695
Mini ATues. June 22 – Sun, June 272-4$995
Mini BTues. June 29 – Sun. July 42-4$995
Second Wed. July 7 – Sun. July 257-10$3,995
ThirdWed. July 28 – Sun. Aug. 153-10$3,995
CITMon. June 21 – Sun. Aug. 1511$5,745

Gan Alonim Day Camp

SessionDatesEntering GradesRate
Gan AlephJune 31st – July 2ndK – 6$790
Gan BetJuly 5th – July 16thK – 6$790
Gan GimelJuly 19th – July 30thK – 6$790
Gan DaletAugust 2nd – August 13thK – 6$790

Early Bird Rates (Before March 31st) = $740

Camp JCA Shalom

  • Sylmar, California
  • Non-Denominational
  • Contact: info@shalominstitute.com

For almost 70 years, Camp JCA Shalom has been the “Camp for All Seasons.” Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, thousands of campers and staff experience the magic of Camp JCA Shalom. Camp’s vision of Tikkun Olam – creating a better world – is fulfilled through a positive Jewish living experience in the natural setting of the Shalom Institute. In our warm and supportive environment, campers experience living, learning and playing in a group setting that encourages personal growth and self-discovery.

Overnight Camp

ProgramDatesGrades (in Fall 2021)Fee – Regular
Session 1June 15 – 272nd-8th$2,865
Session 2June 29 –July 185th-8th$3,995
Session 3July 20 –Aug 12nd-8th$2,865
Mini Camp AlefJune 29 -July 42nd-6th$1,335
Mini Camp BetJuly 6 – 112nd-6th$1,335
Mini Camp GimmelJuly 13 – 182nd-6th$1,335
Gesher AlefJune 15 – 279th$2,865
Gesher BetJune 29 –July 189th$3,995
Gesher GimmelJuly 20 –Aug 19th$2,865
TASC AlefJune 15 – 2710th-11th$2,865
TASC BetJune 29 –July 1810th-11th$3,965
TASC GimmelJuly 20 –Aug 110th-11th$2,865
KibbutzJune 22 – July 1811th$4,195
CITJune 14 – July 1812th$1,250
Intersessions$180

The Early Bird Discounts ended January 15th, but there are a variety of other discounts, grants, and scholarships worth looking into should you choose to enroll your child at JCA Shalom.

summer camp hikes

Camp Mountain Chai

  • San Bernardino National Forest
  • Non-Denominational
  • Contact: info@CampMountainChai.com; 858-499-1330

Camp Mountain Chai is the realization of a dream of a number of committed leaders in the San Diego Jewish community. After years of searching, the current facility in Angelus Oaks was purchased in 2004 by the Jewish Community Camp and Retreat Center, Inc. and Camp Mountain Chai officially opened its doors to Jewish children in 2006. Camp Mountain Chai creates a community to inspire a love of Jewish living through fun, friendship, discovery, and exploration.

Overnight Camp

SessionsDatesGrade (in Fall 2021)Tuition
Session 1June 22 – July 42nd – 11th$2,850
Session 2 (Waitlist)July 6 – July 182nd – 11th$2,850
Session 3July 20 – August 12nd – 10th$2,850
Session 4August 3 – August 152nd – 10th$2,850
KavanahApprox. June 22 – July 1811th – 12th$4,950 + flights
SIT (Staff in Training)June 22 – July 1812th$2,500
Rishonim A (mini session) June 22 – June 272nd – 5th$1,100
Rishonim B (mini session)CLOSED2nd – 5th$1,100
Rishonim C (mini session)August 3 – August 82nd – 5th$1,100
Any Two Sessions2nd – 11th$5,400
Any Three Sessions2nd – 11th$8,100
Full Summer2nd – 10th$10,275

The Early Bird Discount ended January 1st, but there are grants, financial assistance, and other scholarships available.

Camp Ramah

  • Ojai, California
  • Conservative
  • Contact: gaby@ramah.org; 310-476-8571

Camp Ramah is located in the Ojai Valley, on a beautiful 450 acres of land adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest. You can experience the beaches and mountains of Southern California, all in a kosher and Jewish atmosphere!

We create lasting friendships, positive Jewish experiences, and the next generation of Jewish leaders. Join us in the Ojai Valley and get started on your Journey for a Lifetime!

Overnight Camp

SessionDatesGradePrice
Session 1June 15 – July 12Rising 4th-11th Grade$5,380
Gesher AlephJune 15 – June 27Rising 3rd/4th$2,885
2-Week Taste of Nitzanim I June 15 – June 27Rising 5th graders$2,885
2-Week Taste of Giborei I June 15 – June 27Rising 6th graders$2,885
Session 2 July 15 – August 11Rising 4th-11th Grade$5,380
Gesher Gimel July 15 – July 27Rising 3rd/4th$2,885
2-Week Taste of Nitzanim II July 15 – July 27Rising 5th graders$2,885
2-Week Taste of Giborei IIJuly 15 – July 27Rising 6th graders$2,885

Camp Ramah also has a Tikvah program for designed for those with learning, emotional and/or developmental disabilities.  It is structured to enhance independent living and self-help skills. 

SessionAgeDatesPrice
Tikvah (Amitzim 1)10-17June 16 – July 12$6,180
Tikvah (Amitzim 2)10-17July 16 – August 11$6,180
Tikvah (Ezra – Session 1)17 – 24June 16 – July 12$5,495
Tikvah (Ezra – Session 2)17 – 24July 16 – August 11$5,495

There is financial assistance available for Camp Ramah.

summer camp kids

Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps (Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop)

  • Malibu, CA
  • Reform
  • Contact: erica@wbtcamps.org;  (213) 388-2401

Since 1952, Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps have been providing a dynamic and fun environment where campers and staff become part of a community. We strive to build a place where everyone is equal and included, supported and cared for, connected and challenged. Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps provide children a better understanding of their Jewish background while giving them a summer they will never forget.

Camp Hess Kramer was so popular that in 1968, Gindling Hilltop opened for a smaller, more intimate experience with only 150 campers and staff.

Camp Hess Kramer

SessionDatesGrades (in Fall 2021)Registration Fee
Chaverim6/16 – 7/113-6$6,075
Kadimah6/16 – 6/273-7$3,075
Rishonim6/28 – 7/113-7$3,500
Hineni7/14 – 8/87$6,075
Havurah7/14 – 8/88$6,075
Kehillah7/14 – 8/89$6,075
Leadership7/14 – 8/810$6,250
CIT-Kramer6/14 – 8/812$6,900

Gindling Hilltop Camp

SessionDatesGrades (in Fall 2021)Registration Fee
Halutzim6/16 – 7/117-9$6,075
Mitzvah6/16 – 7/1110$6,250
Noar7/14 – 7/253-7$3,075
Vatikim7/26 – 8/83-7$3,500
Noar + Vatikim7/14 – 8/83-7$6,075
CIT-Hilltop6/14 – 8/812$6,900

Scholarships are available.

6 Points Academy

Science/Technology or Arts

  • Thousand Oaks, California
  • Reform
  • Contact: sci-techwest@urj.org; (424) 387-3764

At 6 Points West Specialty Camps, campers can choose either the Science & Technology track or the Arts track to focus on developing their own skills and passions while using that field to also explore their Judaism.  Staff guide our campers to see their area of focus as a portal through which to connect to our tradition, understanding it in new and personal ways.  At 6 Points West, that can mean a science experiment during services as an interpretation of a prayer or performing a scene from previously mounted work to illustrate a Jewish value.

Session GradeOpening DayClosing DayFee
Session 13rd-12thJune 22July 4$3490
Session 2 (Arts)3rd-12thJuly 6July 18$3490
Session 33rd-12thJuly 20August 1$3490

summer camp smores

Jewish Summer Camps in Northern California

Camp Newman

  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Reform
  • Contact: campnewman@urj.org ; 415-392-7080

Here at Camp Newman, we work together year-round to build a community of acceptance, where we role model positive behaviors, and acknowledge that each and every member of the community is vital and important. We live by the value of  b’tzelem Elohim, which reminds us that each of us are created in the image of God meaning that each person at camp has a specific set of needs, wants, feelings, hopes, and dreams. 

Session NameGrade Fall 2021Session Dates1st Timer TuitionURJ Member TuitionNon-Member Tuition
Shomrim Etzim6th & 7thJune 20 – July 18$5925$6925$7225
Rishonim Maccabiah8th & 9thJune 20 – July 18$5925$6925$7225
Hagigah Hevrah10th & 11thJune 20 – July 18$5925$6925$7225
Shoshanim4th-6thJune 20 – July 4$3425$4125$4425
Tzofim7th & 8thJune 20 – July 4$3425$4125$4425
Chaverim3rd & 4thJuly 21 – August 3$3149$3849$4149
Nitzanim5th & 6thJuly 21 – August 3$3149$3849$4149
Kesher7th & 8thJuly 21 – August 3$3149$3849$4149
Yitro9th-12thJuly 21 – August 3$3149$3849$4149
Giborim3rd & 4thAugust 6 -August 15$2425$2675$2875
Chayim5th & 6thAugust 6 -August 15$2425$2675$2875
Kallah7th & 8thAugust 6 -August 15$2425$2675$2875
Alufim9th & 10thAugust 6 -August 15$2425$2675$2875
Session NameGrade Fall 2021Session Dates1st Timer TuitionURJ Member TuitionNon-Member Tuition
Avodah11thJune 18 – August 15$7849$8849$9149
CIT + Israel12thJune 18 – July 15$2850$3850$4150
CIT 1 (1/2 Summer)12thJune 18 – July 18$4925$5925$6225
CIT (Full Summer)12thJune 18 – August 15$6825$7825$8125
CIT + Israel does not include Israel tuition.

Camp Newman will work with you to find every discount, scholarship and grant you qualify for to make camp a possibility for your family. 

Camp Tawonga

  • Tuolumne County Groveland, California
  • Non-Denominational
  • Contact: info@tawonga.org; 415.543.2267

For over 90 years, Camp Tawonga has served as a leader in Jewish camping, fostering in children and families a deep connection to nature, community and Judaism. We run programming for children, families and young adults at our stunning residential campsite next to Yosemite National Park and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

At Tawonga, children and teens build self-esteem, make lifelong friends and discover their truest selves. The impact of Tawonga often lasts forever.

Overnight Camp

ProgramGrade in Fall 2021DatesLengthFee
Session A4th – 10thJune 13 – July 83.5 weeks$5,975
Session B4th – 10thJuly 11 – August 53.5 weeks$5,975
A Taste of Camp2nd – 7thAug 8 – 114 daysApprox. $800 – $1,000
Counselor In-Training*12thJune 13 – July 83.5 weeks$5,975
Specialist In-Training *12thJune 13 – July 83.5 weeks$5,975
Teen Leadership Institute*11thJuly 11 – August 53.5 weeks$5,975
*Application and interview required for participation.

Adventure Quests – Overnight

ProgramGrade in Fall 2021DatesLengthFee
Surf ‘n’ Turf Quest7th – 8thJune 13 – 252 weeks$3,935
Magical Mystery Tour9th – 10thJune 13 – 252 weeks$3,935
Women of the Wild Quest7th – 8thJune 27 – July 82 weeks$3,935
Rock and River Quest9th – 10thJune 27 – July 82 weeks$3,935
Sierra Slam Quest7th – 8thJuly 11 – 232 weeks$3,935
Northwest Quest9th – 10thJuly 11 – 303 weeks$4,975
Sierra Slam Quest 27th – 8thJuly 25 – August 52 weeks$3,935

Camp Towanga offers financial assistance and first-time camper grants.

Has your child been to any of these Jewish summer camps in California? Please share about the experience in the comments below! And, don’t forget to check out these other posts on the BMA blog!

Keep Your Kids Engaged in Hebrew This Summer!

How To Make A Needlepoint Tallit Bag For Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Learn the Torah Blessings: Aliyah Prayer

Shabbat Blessings: Learn the Shabbat Prayers

B’not vs. B’nai Mitzvah & Bar vs. Bat Mitzvah: Which Is It?

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