The connection to Israel and Jewish culture is something we infuse in both our staff training and our camp programming.
Many of our campers are not exposed to any form of informal or formal Jewish education throughout the school year. Our camp becomes the wonderful opportunity for campers, and their families, to be exposed to Jewish values, Israeli culture and the Hebrew language.
Some of our other camp families have children in the Hebrew Day School system. For them, camp is a chance to continue their year-long journey with their friends in an informal setting, filled with experiential learning.
For more than 10 years, we have had the pleasure of bringing seven Shlichim, or Israeli Emissaries, to camp that act as camp specialists. Shlichim are typically Israelis that have just completed their army service and apply for a chance to infuse the diaspora with Jewish and Israeli culture. Their educational contributions is special because it creates a connection between what is being taught and real people. For both campers and staff, life-long friendships are forged each year over the love of Israeli nature, dance, music, culture, Judaic art and drama.
More recently, we’ve also been privileged to welcoming Shinshinim (the acronym for “Shnat Sherut” meaning “a year of service”) from Israel. These Israeli high school graduates volunteer for a year abroad with a school, shul, youth movement or camp. Shinshimin join our team of senior camp counselors and Judaic art specialty staff and support our weekly Oneg Shabbat programs and our camp-wide Israeli Day celebration.
Each summer, our programming focuses on a Jewish theme that is infused into daily activities. Past themes have included Community, Tikun Olam/Repairing the World, Diversity, and most recently, Home”.
We are always open to new idea for summer themes. Please share your ideas with us in the comments below.