Herzl, Olami Named Among Top Summer Camps In America

Herzl Camp and Camp Olami were two of the camps named among the 500 best in America by Newsweek magazine on Wednesday, according to the results of their nationwide study.

Olami was one of 16 Minnesota camps, and Herzl one of 19 Wisconsin camps that were in the list. There were 21 Jewish camps listed in “America’s Best Summer Camps 2023.”

“We’re honored and gratified to be recognized by Newsweek as one of the top 500 camps and one of a select number of Jewish camps nationwide,” said Josh Levine, the executive director of Herzl Camp. “We know that camp is always a place that looks to become even better every year, so we hope to continue being worthy of the highest esteem in which parents hold us.”

Newsweek’s list is composed of approximately two-thirds non-profit and one-third for-profit camps. All but 17 have earned American Camp Association accreditation; those camps were asked to complete additional information and may be added to the rankings.

“It’s really exciting to be included,” said Andrea Golden, the director of youth and camping at the Minnesota JCC Sabes Center Minneapolis, where Camp Olami is housed. “We’re really honored. Camp is a special place and we do all we can to make it a wonderful summer for families and kids who attend.”

Newsweek and Plant-A Insights Group have partnered to create the list, which was determined based on social media reviews and a comprehensive survey of 15,000 parents.

“We know that campers attend camp, more than any other reason, because of good word of mouth and the recommendations of trusted friends and family members,” Levine said. “So the fact that Newsweek is basing its ratings off of what parents think of the camps where their kids attend, is really exciting for us and also points away to a very successful future for Herzl.”

Said Golden: “It’s really validating and exciting as we approach the 2023 summer and moving forward.”