Menashe Gallery Exhibition Celebrates the History of  B’nai B’rith Camp

September 21, 2022 – January 26, 2023

Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education | 724 NW Davis Street, Portland 97209

OJMCHE Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11am to 4pm

B’nai B’rith Camp opened in 1921 with campers sleeping on old army cots in tents near Wallula, Washington. Now located on the shores of Devil’s Lake, Oregon and firmly anchored in its second century, Camp continues to forge new opportunities to meet the needs of all campers offering summer camp sessions, day camps, family camps, and sessions exclusively for adults.

Image above: Children in canoes, c. 1965 (OJM 04666).

“What a joy it has been to curate this exhibition from the museum’s archives of photographs and oral histories from so many, many happy BB campers,” said Anne LeVant Prahl, OJMCHE curator of collections. “The images and memories are a testimony to the legacy of Oregon’s beloved B’nai B’rith Camp. All of us at OJMCHE are delighted to share the history and energy of the BB Camp experience with our community.”

Image above: BB Campers, 2009 OJM7985.

After a century of growth, over 1,000 campers a summer enjoy a camp experience. BB Camp hosts summer camp sessions, day camps, and family camp, as well as ReJewvenation, Last Day of Camp Young Adult Weekend and Men’s Camp, sessions exclusively for adults. Camp also reaches out to the local community through efforts such as providing direct support for families in emergency situations, most recently those impacted by the Echo Mountain Complex Fire in 2020.

Today BB Camp threads Jewish values, culture, and traditions into the fabric of camp life, encouraging campers to connect to their own identity and the larger Jewish community and helping them to understand what makes Judaism and Jewish culture so unique in today’s world.

“What a joy it has been to curate this exhibition from the museum’s archives of photographs and oral histories from so many, many happy BB campers,” said “Pouring through the photos as we helped to prepare for the Exhibit has reminded me that so much of our BB Camp ruach (spirit) and magic is rooted in the generations that have come before us,” said Michelle Koplan, CEO B’nai B’rith Camp.  “We are grateful to OJMCHE for their tireless work to capture BB Camp’s history for those of us who lived it and for the future leaders of our community, many of who will call themselves BB Campers for the next 100 years and beyond.”

About B’nai B’rith Camp

B’nai B’rith Camp, located on a lakeside campus on the scenic Oregon coast, is a premier Jewish camp and conference center in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1921, B.B. Camp has been dedicated to providing the finest Jewish summer overnight camp experience for today’s campers while preparing them to be tomorrow’s community leaders. Since 2006, B.B. Camp has been serving the local community with our ecumenical day camp program. In addition to our summer camp programs, we provide a wide range of year-round youth, family, and community engagement programs, as well as rent our facility for conferences, retreats, and special events which build friendships for life. B’nai B’rith Camp is open to everyone. B’nai B’rith Camp is licensed by the State of Oregon, accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), a member of the JCC Association, and an affiliate of JCamp 180, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. www.bbcamp.org

About Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE) explores the legacy of the Jewish experience in Oregon, teaches the universal lessons of the Holocaust, and provides opportunities for intercultural conversation. Through exhibitions and public programming, OJMCHE focuses on Jewish art, history, and culture, while simultaneously recognizing the challenge of remaining relevant in a changing and tumultuous world. OJMCHE challenges our visitors to resist indifference and discrimination and to envision a just and inclusive world.