From generation to generation, enriching Jewish lives since 1962.
Camp Coleman, a program of the Union for Reform Judaism, serves campers from the Southeast United States from Tennessee and the Carolinas through Georgia and Florida.
The Union for Reform Judaism strives to create a more whole, just, and compassionate world.
Our mission is to inspire campers and staff to be caring, committed, and connected to the Jewish community through an extraordinary camp experience.
Committed to core values of respect, peace, community and kindness, we build a warm and caring community where campers have fun and experience the excitement and warmth of belonging to a Reform Jewish community. We look with pride to the thousands of young people who have formed lasting friendships and called Camp Coleman home over the past 60 years.
URJ Camp Coleman allows our children to live a wholly Jewish life while at camp. Campers can experience Jewish culture and tradition while in a safe, challenging and fun environment. In a natural setting, campers are given the opportunity to explore their Judaism. Coleman provides a creative setting for Jewish living and learning, through camp programming. At Camp Coleman campers and staff can develop lifelong friendships.
Statement of Belonging, URJ Camps and Immersive Programs
URJ Camps and Immersive Programs are safe spaces where we welcome and affirm every person for their whole self. There is no place here for discrimination against any person based on their religion or religious practice, citizenship or nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, race, age, neurodiversity, appearance, disability or impairment, social class, or any other aspect of what makes them the unique and irreplaceable human being they are. Our vision and deepest aspiration is to create and foster communities in which Judaism enables all people to experience peace and wholeness (shalom), justice and equity (tzedek), and belonging and joy (shayachut and simcha).
Coleman’s tech-free, parent-free environment enables our campers to develop their confidence, creativity, empathy, and ability to connect and develop friendships with others. Supported by caring staff and bunkmates, Coleman is the ideal environment in which campers also embrace the opportunity to learn new skills in athletics, the arts, outdoor adventure and nature programs, as well as water sports. Our campers are not only given the tools to succeed at camp but also the skills, attitudes that are predictors of success beyond camp.
Each summer our campers and staff join together to create joyful, caring, and meaningful Reform Jewish community. Our 4 core Jewish values of Chesed (kindness), Kavod (respect), Kehillah (community) and Shalom (peace), are the foundation for everything that we teach and do at camp. Our creative Jewish programming is woven into the daily tempo of camp and designed so that campers and teens will find it relevant and meaningful. Each day at camp, whether in the bunk or the athletic field, at the Zip line or during song session, we look to build a community in which everyone from our youngest campers to our Machon CIT’s/staff feel like they belong and return home feeling more connected to the Jewish community.
HISTORY OF CAMP COLEMAN
Nearly 60 years ago, a small group of people recognized the need for a Reform Judaism-based overnight camp in the Southeast to serve Jewish teens—and bought a piece of land North of Cleveland, Georgia. Originally named the Southeast Federation of Temple Youth (SEFTY) Camp Institute., the property included a dining hall, rec hall, and infirmary, along with the 8 newly built cabins for approximately 130 participants at one time.
In 1964, they made a decision to serve children of all ages and not just teens. Thanks to the generous support of Ray and Philip Coleman of Jacksonville, FL, the property was re-named Camp Coleman. For the past 60 years, Coleman has continued to grow and expand to meet the demand to serve more campers each summer.
Help us honor Allan by donating to the Allan F. Solomon Scholarship Fund.
Allan F. Solomon
Allan Solomon was hired in 1964 as the Director of The Ray and Philip N. Coleman UAHC Southeast Camp Institute* which eventually became what we know today as URJ Camp Coleman. It did not take long for Allan to lead the camp from serving just a few dozen campers to almost 700 by 1967. Over the span of the ensuing 2 decades, with strong leadership and creative Jewish programming, Coleman was annually filled to capacity and became a summer home for thousands of Reform Jewish children throughout the Southeastern United States. From its inception, Coleman also served thousands more teens during SEFTY Camp held for 1- 2 weeks at the conclusion of the summer. Without the incredibly strong foundation that was built by Allan and his team, Coleman would not be where it is today. Our scholarship fund bears Allan’s name in honor of his many decades of leadership and dedication that brought “joyful Judaism” to so many individuals and communities.
*The name of the camp property when it opened in 1962 was UAHC Southeast Camp Institute and was changed after the summer of 1964.