Recognizing the unique way that youth learn at summer camp, Center for Israel Education is putting renewed energy towards providing resources that will positively enhance the way that Jewish kids know about Israel. Jewish camp is a place of immersive learning. Campers learn by living together, playing together, eating together and from the cultural values that can be unique to each camping environment.  However, most of all, Jewish kids at summer camp learn from the counselors and staff who organize programs, teach classes and serve as role models.

This May, CIE is partnering with six locally based camps on a unique program which will provide valuable resources about Israel’s history, politics, and culture.  Camps Barney Mednitz, Coleman, Ramah Darom, Judaea, Blue Star Camps, MJCCA Summer Day Camps, and In the City Camp will each select key staff members to participate in the two-day seminar.  In addition to enhancing participants’ knowledge of Israel and Zionism, special session will be included that explore the application of content in the context of summer camp.

According to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, most summer staff are college students, with nearly 11,000 working at Jewish summer camps last summer.  An added value to our approach is that these camp staff will benefit from enhanced Israel knowledge as they confront issues related to the BDS movement on campus.  CIE will deepen the staff member’s personal knowledge, guide them in planning projects which will teach others, and provide them with tools that will serve them when they return to campus.

Following the initial seminar this May, CIE is planning future seminars for camp staff in 2019 and 2020.  For more information about this project or to connect us with summer camps to participate in the program, contact me at [email protected]