Jewish Life

Jewish Life at Step It Up

If you’re looking for a Shomer Shabbat camp with Kosher food, the highest level of basketball development and personal development you’ve found the right camp. Camp Step It Up is excited to host hundreds of Jewish campers entering grades 4-12 from over 30 Jewish Day Schools around the U.S.

Jewish Life is run by Rabbi Mishael Keller, returning for his second summer. Year round Rabbi Keller serves as the student and educational coordinator at the Politz Day School of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Last summer Rabbi Keller was one of the most inspirational and effective staff members and we are absolutely lucky to have him on our team.

Rabbi Keller has an innate ability to engage, inspire and entertain his campers as he integrates them into every fabric of Jewish life at camp. From davening to laining to Shabbat and more. Our Jewish life staff is comprised of Rabbi Keller, current Yeshiva University basketball players and our camp counselors. All of whom serve as great religious role models for the kids.

Before the summer, we speak with each parent to identify the family’s objectives and goals. We seek to continue the Jewish education and values that your child receives at home.

We aim to develop leaders not only on the basketball court but Jewish leaders as well. The spiritual growth at Camp Step It Up is evident by the feedback we receive from campers and parents.

Instilling such leadership and independence at a young age has helped our campers grow a love and understanding for who they are as Jews. This is part of the overall character development that we seek to instill in all of our campers.

Step It Up is all about the growth of our campers, not just in basketball but as Jews as well.

Is the food at Step It Up Kosher?

All of the food served at Step It Up is Glatt Kosher. Hashgacha is under the supervision of the OU. We have washing stations at every meal and kids are able to bench after meals. Chalav Yisrael is available upon request.

What’s Shabbat like at camp?

Step It Up provides a truly unforgettable Shabbat experience.

Kabbalat Shabbat is followed by a traditional Friday night meal, followed by zmirot, divre Torah and benching. Shabbat morning services are led by Rabbi Danieli as well as the rest of our religious staff and campers. Following Shabbat lunch, campers have the option to rest, learn, take part in our Shabbat programming or play some pickup games if they play ball on Shabbat. At 5:30 pm we get together for Mincha followed by learning, Seuda Shlishit, Maariv and an inspirational outdoor Havdalah.

Is there learning as well?

Learning groups are led by Rabbi Keller several times a week. We have boys who bring their Sfarim and learn daily and some who learn a few times a week.

What do you do for Fast Days?

Rabbi Keller runs a meaningful Tisha B’Av program led with the reading of Eicha. We also screen educational movies/documentaries and share stories during the day followed by a break fast meal.

For Shiva Asar B’Tamuz, we wake the campers up early and have a big meal before they go to minyan and head back to bed to nap or rest in their rooms. The campers are chaperoned by staff members who are fasting as well.

It goes without saying that no physical activity is required on any fast day or Shabbat at camp.