Camp Bauercrest was founded in 1931 by four Jewish Community Centers in the Boston area. Today, our approach to Jewish living at camp incorporates life lessons and traditions in a relaxed manner that remains both meaningful and accessible to all campers.
We are an all-inclusive community and we welcome campers from all backgrounds, beliefs, customs, and traditions. Many of our campers come from interfaith families; some aren’t Jewish at all. While some campers come to Bauercrest to enrich their Jewish identity, others are being exposed to Jewish culture and traditions for the first time. This makes for a rich experience where no one feels uncomfortable for being who or what they are/are not.
A single blessing in Hebrew is chanted before and after each meal. On Friday night, we usher in Shabbat with a short (about 30 minutes) service, followed by a traditional Friday night meal. On Saturdays, we have a longer (about 45 minutes) service in which we integrate both traditions and life lessons. Campers and staff are invited to lead readings in either Hebrew or English, but only when they volunteer to do so.
A senior member of the counselor staff serves as the Camp Rabbi. In recent years, we have welcomed Israeli staff members to the Hillside. These individuals, all age 21 or over, are able to share a wealth of diverse life experiences as well as Israeli culture with our campers and counselors. In 2018, we sent our first group of Counselor Interns (CIs) to Israel for two weeks at the start of camp with the Y2I program; we hope to continue the Bauercrest in Israel program for years to come.
Lastly, for any young man preparing to become a Bar Mitzvah, tutoring is available at a nominal charge during the camp season.