Trybal Gatherings’ Northern California adult Jewish summer camp is set to unfold Aug. 25 to 28 on the sprawling 500-acre grounds of URJ Camp Newman near Santa Rosa. It is one of seven adult camps scheduled at camps from Massachusetts to California, the inaugural project of Trybal Gatherings.
Trybal wants to replicate the success of short-term programs in Israel, like Birthright, by having Jews reconnect to Judaism and relax in a nostalgia-inducing and familiar environment.
“It’s the same weekend as Burning Man and a fantastic alternative to tap into a meaningful Jewish community and to have fun activities,” said Trybal Gatherings co-founder Carine Warsawski. Much of the programming is still in the works; Warsawski said they are in talks with Bay Area organizations, such as Wilderness Torah, among others, to create a special activity.
“We’re trying to keep the core elements that make these immersive experiences so powerful and bring them to people in their 20s and 30s,” said Warsawski, 32, who as a teen attended the Reform Jewish Eisner Camp in Massachusetts. “The core elements are a sense of community, a sense of Jewish connection and a sense of adventure.”
The camp will run for four days, including a weekend, at a time when the kids’ camp is not in session. Anyone 21 and over, Jewish or not, can attend, so that Jews with non-Jewish partners won’t be excluded. Bunks in a regular cabin run above $500, while a spot in a private room at the camp’s retreat center will cost more than $600. Warsawski is planning on a minimum of 100 campers at each location.
Of course, the weekend will also include Camp Newman staples like archery, tennis, a pool party and baseball, among other activities. But in addition to what you’d expect, organizers are aiming to tap into what the Bay Area can uniquely offer.
Located in the heart of one of California’s most famous wine regions, Camp Newman even grows grapes on the premises (not for wine-making, though) — and it’s a given that vino will be a part of the experience.
“Grapes are one of the seven species of Israel, and wine has been a part of Jewish gatherings for thousands of years. We want to tap into the region and invite vineyards to do something like a vineyard crawl to appreciate the fruits of the region without having to leave the grounds,” Warsakski said.
The food menu will include California favorites, she added, praising Camp Newman chef Tammy Kempner.
Trybal is also partnering with One Table, an organization that helps millennials host and attend Shabbat dinners, to assist with the Shabbat experience.
“We want to take that traditional Friday night camp Shabbat and, using the land and space we have, allow people to experience an outdoor meal — depending on the weather,” said Analucía Lopezrevoredo, One Table’s Bay Area hub manager. She hopes to feature locally sourced food and people that have a commitment to environmentalism. “We want to create a farm-to-table experience,” Lopezrevoredo said.
Loal Isaacs, Camp Newman’s director of new initiatives and retreats, is enthusiastic about hosting Trybal Gatherings. “We want everyone to feel at home and welcome” at camp, he said.