An Update From GUCI – May 2022

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To our GUCI Family,

Thank you for choosing URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute for your camper(s)’ immersive summertime experience. We are beyond excited to welcome everyone to camp for another amazing summer. Thank you for entrusting your child(ren) to our care this summer. Nothing is more important than the protection and well-being of our communities. The safety of every person in our community is our sacred moral responsibility. It is, and always will be, our highest priority.

The health, wellness, and safety of our Camp community is paramount, and we employ a holistic strategy for addressing Youth Safety, empowering our staff with knowledge and a compassionate approach to creating a Culture of Accountability for safety and protection at Camp. We want you to be aware of the array of policies and protocols we have put into place to ensure a safe and inclusive environment, and an amazing experience for every member of our Camp community. 

  • Staff and volunteers are carefully vetted through a process that includes background checks, reference checks, and interviews.
  • We mandate extensive staff training programming designed to prepare all levels of staff for their work with youth, and have added the to our staff and volunteer requirements. All staff and volunteers are required to complete this training before camp begins. We have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and harassment of any kind – physical, emotional, and sexual. CampSafe provides a proactive approach to youth safety, which includes sexual abuse prevention training. The training includes an overview of staff’s role as mandated reporters and a review of appropriate response and report mechanisms in place when incidents are reported.
  • All Camp supervisors and faculty (clergy and educator volunteers) are required to participate in Traliant’s award-winning Preventing Discrimination & Harassment course to ensure our teams are trained to prevent and respond to bullying, discrimination, and harassment. This is supplemented with an intensive on-site review of the incident response and Camp-specific reporting mechanisms in place to report and address any incidents that may occur that are not aligned with our values or our policies.
  • The URJ acknowledges that due to racism, ableism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression, that our communities are not whole until everyone experiences a sense of belonging within the Jewish community. As a movement, we stand for a Judaism that is inclusive and reflective of a wide range of identities and accept the responsibility of dismantling oppression both inside and outside of our communities. As such, all staff participate in the URJ’s Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) training.
  • International staff receive additional training and support in navigating and understanding our policies and procedures as well as cultural differences and expectations.
  • All staff, visitors, and volunteers receive an updated manual that includes URJ Youth Protection and Workplace Policies and Procedures. Training is provided to ensure all staff and volunteers have a clear understanding of how to translate these policies and procedures into action.
  • We have created and shared a Behavior Policy to ensure that all parents/guardians, staff/volunteers, and campers are aware of behavior expectations (including anti-bullying), guidelines and our response process. See here.

As always, we thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to a safe and wonderful summer!