Search results for: Camps
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A little over a year after its creation, Yeshiva Camp, the world’s only summer camp for descendants of forcibly converted Jews, has already had dozens of participants aged 11 to 25. They stay with the Venturas at their spacious synagogue in Sao Paulo, which the couple transform into a youth camp for each new group. “Connecting these youngsters with Judaism is only the beginning,” said Gilberto Ventura, the charismatic rabbi who established, with his wife Jaqueline, Yeshiva Camp as part of their Synagogue Without Borders congregation and outreach project. “What follows is connecting bnei anusim to the rest of Brazilian Jewry and society.”
Updated: Apr. 04, 2019
Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) is a 10-month fellowship (August 21, 2019 - June 10, 2020) for Jewish college graduates, between the ages of 21 and 35, who want to mentor Israeli children, gain valuable teaching experience, and have a remarkable, immersive experience abroad. Fellows who select Ashdod as their host city will have access to even more benefits. We’ve paired up with Masa Israel Journey and Israel Outdoors NEXT to create a special MITF Jewish Camp Track.
Updated: Mar. 07, 2019
Indian play at North American Jewish summer camps offered three sets of overlapping lessons. First, by providing activities created and understood as respite from urban pressures, including donning and removing so-called primitive faux-tribal identities, camps reinforced Jewish urban, modernist values and virtues. Second, as Indian play recapitulated the colonial process that had displaced actual Indigenous people to make room for the White, European settlers—Jews included—it provided Jews a vehicle to perform assimilatory and nationalistic sentiments. Finally, playing Indian offered camp staff members techniques for imparting visceral and emotional engagement with forms of spirituality they thought campers could absorb, particularly ones that overlapped with Jewish notions of Creation.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019
Veteran staff members play a key role in a camp’s success. They preserve camp culture, maintain traditions, and serve important roles in the peer-training environment that camps depend on. It is not surprising, then, that camp counselor retention is important to the business of camping. This study focused on five counselors from Jewish camps in the United States, all of whom were about to return for a fourth summer. The research explored common phenomena of young adults’ experiences as counselors, how they made sense of their experiences, and their motivations for returning to camp. The data offer insights to camp directors interested in increasing counselor retention.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019
Given the centrality of Shabbat celebration to the weekly cycle of Jewish residential camps, it is surprising how little Shabbat-at-camp has been studied. This participant observational study of three American Jewish residential camps has focused on how Shabbat-at-camp is created and how the ritual celebrations engage the older campers.
Updated: Jan. 27, 2019
Jewish overnight summer camp has been touted as an especially well-suited venue for Israel education. This article brings an institutional lens to test this proposition. Data come from the survey responses of 1,382 campers, CITs, and staff at 12 overnight and day camps.
Updated: Jan. 27, 2019
To understand more about Jewish camping in Europe, I spent time this summer visiting four Jewish youth camps. While much has been written about the successful Szarvas International Jewish camp in Hungary, most European Jewish communities organise their own summer (and sometimes winter) youth camps.
Updated: Oct. 07, 2018
I asked Zachary Lasker, the director of Melton & Davidson Education Projects at the William Davidson Graduate School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (and former director of Camp Ramah in California), what makes camp the incredibly potent experience it is. He answered, “Studies have shown us that the more immersive an experience is, the more ‘sticky’ it is, in a good way. That goes for learning anything: language, music, culture.” Because overnight camp is an immersive, shared experience, it feels hyper-real and intense. You’re with your friends 24/seven. You see them in multiple contexts: You see what they’re good at and what they struggle with; you gain insight into your own accomplishments and struggles. You and your bunkmates fight and you make up, because the intimacy of camp means you can’t (and don’t want to) fight indefinitely. “An hour in camp is like a month in the outside world,” Lasker said. “Everything cycles so quickly.”
Updated: Jul. 11, 2018
Engaging young people in their 20s and 30s, the so-called millennial generation, is a high priority for Jewish philanthropists. Some funders have banded together to create new initiatives, including free trips to Israel, with the express purpose of drawing members of this generation into Jewish life. Others have gravitated to the so-called innovation sector, supporting millennials who dream up new programs to entice their peers into some form of Jewish participation. But for all the energy and money expended on such programs, one question remains unanswered: Will these efforts move people from shallow engagement to actively live a Jewish life or deepen their knowledge?
Updated: May. 02, 2018
Foundation for Jewish Camp Rolls Out New Initiative to Address Issues of Gender, Sex and Power Dynamics in Camp Community
As more than 750 Jewish summer camp professionals, educators, philanthropists and communal leaders gathered on March 18 for Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC) seventh biennial Leaders Assembly, FJC unveiled a new initiative to prevent harassment and abuse, sexist language and behavior in the camp community. The “Shmira Initiative” aims to change camp culture on all levels, implementing a shift in staff programming, training, policy and enforcement around issues of gender, sex and power. Shmira, in Hebrew and in the vernacular of Jewish summer camp, means guard duty, embodying the social and individual responsibility every community member must ensure a safe environment.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2018