The Reform Movement announced this week the founding of the first Jewish specialty camp for science and technology. The new Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) camp, called the URJ 6 Points Science Academy, will open in the summer of 2014 in Boston, MA, and serve upwards of 600 campers in grades 6-10 over three two-week sessions per summer.
The URJ 6 Points Science Academy will build on the growing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and serve as an on-ramp into Jewish camping for unaffiliated and currently unengaged Jewish families who have not been attracted to the classic Jewish summer camp model.
Funding for the URJ 6 Points Science Academy is being made possible by a Foundation for Jewish Camps (FJC) Specialty Camps Incubator II grant. The purpose of the grant - funded by $8.6 million jointly funded by The Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation - is to engage more children in the Jewish summer camp experience by funding the foundation of new specialty camps. The URJ 6 Points Sports Academy was a previous recipient of the FJC’s first Specialty Camps Incubator Grant in 2010.
URJ 6 Points Science Academy will not only engage campers’ curiosity about the world through superior hands-on scientific and technological exploration; it will immerse them in a vibrant community filled with Jewish experiences and connections to Israel. Jewish values, ethics and tradition will be woven together with the spirit and excitement of open scientific inquiry.
The URJ 6 Points Science Academy joins 13 other URJ camps throughout North America serving more than 8,000 campers. Responding to demand, the overall URJ camping program has dramatically expanded in the past few years.