The MACHON SUMMER LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE is a summer-long intensive values-based leadership development internship for rising high school seniors. It is designed for hardworking individuals looking to challenge themselves and actively engage in their own growth within a Jewish context throughout the summer and school-year. Participants (Machonikim) explore what it means to become productive and successful staff members of the camp community, deepen their Jewish identity, and gain valuable skills as Jewish leaders. The program offers participants a meaningful opportunity for authentic growth while adding depth to their resumes and completing community service hours.

Machonikim participate in experiential and thought-provoking programs focused on counselor training and leadership development through a Jewish lens. Programs and activities provide Machonikim with opportunities for authentic skill-building and ongoing reflection. Machonikim create meaningful Jewish experiences (including, but not limited to programming and T’filah) for themselves, their campers, and their friends. By summer’s end, Machonikim will have practiced a variety of 21st century skills including...

  • caring for campers
  • expressing empathy
  • active listening
  • working collaboratively
  • peer leadership

  • creative thinking
  • time management
  • risk taking
  • problem solving
  • conflict resolution & mediation
  • They will return home with real-life experience that can inform the creation of resumes and college application essays.

    Under the supervision of the Machon Director, Unit Heads and Department Heads, Machonikim have the chance to work directly with campers and staff. They live together with other Machon participants (during second session, Crane Lake Machonikim move into camper cabins). Some programming occurs with Crane Lake and Eisner Machonikim together, providing unique cross-training opportunities. In addition to working with campers, Machonikim also have the chance to experience every facet of camp’s operations, from specialty program areas to administration, food service, logistics and maintenance. By opening up these other areas of camp, we are redefining and expanding our traditional counselor-in-training program to become a more holistic leadership development experience for all types of leaders.

    Year Round Jewish Engagement

    The Machon Summer Leadership Institute is a core component of the URJ Eisner and Crane Lake Camps’ year-round youth engagement effort, The Northeast Teen Collective. Seeking to inspire more young Jews to embrace Jewish life as a path to meaning, purpose and joy, Machonikim are not only trained to become camp leaders but also peer leaders with values-based event planning experience.  The Collective leadership training prepares Machonikim to lead one “Pop-Up” event in their home communities as part of the fabric of this year-round initiative. A "Pop-Up" event is a fun, local, low-commitment stand-alone or on-going event, created by Machonikim from Eisner and Crane Lake in their home communities.

    Important Details

    The Machon Summer Leadership Institute runs from June 26-August 16, 2020, and all Machonikim must commit to the full program. Tuition for the 2020 summer Machon program is $3,860 ($4,190 for non-URJ members), which includes all camp-related expenses, special trips, and laundry.

    At the end of the summer, participants will be given the unique opportunity to continue their leadership development experience by taking on a leadership role in the Northeast Teen Collective.Upon successful completion of the entire program, including running at least one "Pop-Up" event at home, participants will receive a $300 stipend.  When they return to camp as full counselors for the summer of 2021, graduates of the Machon Summer Leadership Institute will receive an increase to the base counselor salary for successfully completing the Machon program.


    The application process consists of two parts:

    • Submitting an online application to either Crane Lake Camp or Eisner Camp and paying the $500 program deposit, and
    • Submitting the complete application packet, which must be downloaded from the "Forms & Documents" page of your CampInTouch account (available when you submit the online application). The application packet consists of essays, references and forms.

    If you have any questions, please call the Eisner & Crane Lake office at (201) 722-0400 or email us at