It is with broken hearts that we share our plans to cancel all in-person activities held on our site for summer 2020.
If at any point new information emerges and conditions change that lead us to be able to provide in-person gatherings, we will do so as a top priority.

OSRUI is dedicated to making camp affordable for every family.  We are committed to ensuring that financial need is not the reason that stops any family from experiencing a life-changing summer at OSRUI.  We provide partial, need-based financial support or “camperships” to help families send their children to camp.

There are a range of other resources available to families as well, including:

  • OSRUI Discounts.  OSRUI offers sibling discounts and referral discounts.  These are not need based.
  • One Happy Camper (OHC) Incentive Grants. Campers going to OSRUI for the first time for 2 or 3 weeks or more may be eligible for this grant, which is not need-based.  Please scroll down for more information to determine if you are eligible.
  • ­­Congregation Scholarships.  If you are applying to OSRUI for a campership, you must also apply to your congregation for financial assistance.
  • Federation Scholarships. Local Jewish Federations frequently offer scholarships to campers in financial need who are attending a Jewish summer camp.  If you apply to OSRUI for a campership, you must apply to your Federation if you are eligible.

Read below for more information about these resources.  If you do not belong to a congregation, or you live in a Jewish community that does not provide scholarships for summer camp, you’ll be able to indicate that on the OSRUI Campership Application.

OSRUI Camperships

OSRUI offers tuition assistance to campers in financial need, regardless of how many summers the child has spent with us.  Families may not apply for scholarship for campers attending more than 4 weeks of camp (except for Chalutzim).  All applications are confidential.

A significant portion of the assistance we provide is made possible through the generosity of former campers, parents and friends of OSRUI. We are extremely grateful for their support and commitment to making camp accessible for our families.

Step 1:  Read These Guidelines:

  • Register for Camp. Your camper must be registered for Summer 2020 before you fill out the Campership Application.  The committee cannot consider your child’s campership request unless enrollment has been confirmed.
  • Deposit.  Families applying for an OSRUI Campership may submit the standard deposit ($500 per camper/per session) via check or credit card or, if necessary, they may submit a $200 deposit per camper (in place of the standard deposit) by check to the Deerfield office. When you register, just indicate you are paying the deposit via check.  Please note that we cannot confirm your registration or hold your child's spot until we receive the deposit check. If the $200 registration fee is beyond your means, please contact Denise Heimlich:, 847-239-6989.  We handle exceptions on a case by case basis.  If you cancel your child's registration before April 1st for financial reasons, your deposit will be refunded (less a $50 cancellation fee).
  • Determine What You Can Afford. We expect families to pay a portion of their camp tuition, as a demonstration of their commitment to the camp experience.  Determine what you can comfortably afford and begin making regular payments as soon as you can.
  • Congregation.  Families who apply to OSRUI for a campership must also apply to their congregation for financial assistance (see below for more information)
  • Other Sources. Families who apply to OSRUI for a campership must apply to all other funding sources (OHC, local federation).
  • Session Length. Families may not apply for a campership for campers attending more than 4 weeks of camp (except for Chalutzim).
  • Due Date.  While the scholarship deadline has past, we will still accept applications.  Please submit your application as soon as possible, as our funds are limited.  You will be notified 2-3 weeks after you apply.
  • Required Tax Forms. You must submit pages 1 and 2 of your 2019 U.S. Form 1040 with your application. If your taxes aren't complete, submit your W2 or 1099 forms.  After review of your application, additional tax forms may be requested.

Step 2:  Print out and read What You Need to Complete Your Campership Application.  This includes a list of what you will need as well as the Clergy/Educator Recommendation Form.  Read through the list carefully and take note of everything you need.  You must fill out the application in one sitting.  If you have everything you need, it shouldn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes.

Step 3:  Submit the Clergy/Educator Recommendation Form (included in the document above) to your congregation (if you affiliate).

Step 4:  Once you do all that, and you have your financial information, personal statement, and tax forms ready to upload, then you are ready to fill out the online form (see link below).

Note for divorced parents:  Parents who are divorced should fill out the Campership Application separately.  Do not include the other parent's income; only your income plus any spousal support you receive.  If you are responsible for only a percentage of the camp tuition, make sure to adjust the tuition amounts appropriately.

Click on the link to fill out the CAMPERSHIP APPLICATION.   

For more information, contact us:  847-509-0990.

OSRUI Discounts

Sibling Discount.  Families with two or more campers will receive a $100 discount for each camper after the first.  The discount will be applied to your balance once your deposit has been paid.

Referral Discount.  Any current camper who refers a first-time camper (not a sibling and must be a new family to OSRUI) who attends OSRUI 2020 for 2 weeks or longer will receive a $100 tuition credit. There is no limit on the number of tuition credits a camper may receive! The referring camper must attend camp to get the tuition credit. If the referred camper cancels, the credit will be removed. We are sorry but clergy and educators will not receive a credit for referring a congregant. However, they will receive a credit for referring other family and friends. Please email the names of campers you have referred to Those families must indicate that you referred them when they register.  Note:  this fee is not valid for cash and may not be used toward your deposit.

Other Sources for Financial Assistance

One Happy Camper Incentive Grants
One Happy Camper (OHC) is a program run by the Foundation for Jewish Camp.  OHC offers grants to campers attending Jewish summer camp for the first time.  These are not based on financial need.  There are community grants (usually provided by the local Federation) and camp grants.

  • Community Incentive Grants.  OSRUI campers living in the Chicago Metropolitan area who attend a Jewish overnight camp for the first time for 3 weeks (19 days) or more (even if they’ve attended shorter sessions in the past) are eligible for a $1000 OHC grant through the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. (Siblings of campers who have already received the OHC grant get a small grant.) Other communities (such as Milwaukee and Madison, WI) may have similar grants for either $1000 (19-day session) or $700 (2-week session).
  • Union for Reform Judaism/OSRUI Incentive Grants.  OSRUI campers who live in an area that does not have a community incentive grant may be eligible for a grant from the Union for Reform Judaism/OSRUI. Campers attending camp for 19 days or more (even if you attended a shorter session in in the past) may be eligible for $1000. Campers may receive a One Happy Camper grant through OSRUI and still apply for a scholarship based on financial need.

Visit the One Happy Camper website for more information.

Your Congregation
Many congregations have scholarship programs to help offset the cost of camp tuition for their congregants.  For families who belong to URJ (Reform Movement) congregations, OSRUI works hand-in-hand to help leverage available funds from camp and the congregation.  Some congregations have special scholarship funds set aside that are not need-based, while others may consider support on a person-by-person basis. There is a Congregation Participation Form that your rabbi or educator can fill out to confirm for us the amount of scholarship funds they are providing.  The first step is to speak to your rabbi or educator about what scholarships are available from your congregation.  

Jewish Federations
Many of the Jewish Federations in North America offer need-based camp scholarships.  The process for applying for a Federation scholarship depends upon whether you live in the Chicago area or not.

  • Chicago Area: Campers in the Chicago metropolitan area (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry & Will counties), may be eligible for financial aid from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. OSRUI will review your OSRUI campership form and if we determine that you are eligible, we will send you the Federation application. Eligible campers must be entering 3rd-12th grades and attending camp for 3 weeks (19 days) or longer. Campers attending Tour La'Agam are not eligible for a Federation scholarship.
  • Outside of the Chicago area: Families who live outside of the Chicago area should contact their local Federation directly about scholarships based on financial need.

Questions about tuition assistance?  Contact us:  847-509-0990.


One Happy Camper Grants

Your first-time camper may be eligible for a One Happy Camper grant of up to $1000!