Foundation for Jewish Camp

Incubating Summer Fun

From sports to technology and business to ‘wellness,’ Jewish foundation will offer campers new specialty camp experiences for 2014 season.

09/19/2012
Associate Editor

So, your son is too busy with his startup ventures to bother with color war? Your daughter is happier in a science lab than in front of a campfire? The idea of your organics-only child exposed to S’mores and bug juice makes you queasy?

That’s no reason not to send the kids to Jewish overnight camp.

Or at least it won’t be as of June 2014, when four new programs are slated to hatch from the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC)’s second “specialty camp incubator.”

The URJ's Six Points Academy is one of the most popular of the five specialty camps launched in 2010.

Camps Build Robots And Ruach

Next cohort of boutique camps luring new generation of sophisticated Jewish teens.

05/28/2014
Staff Writer
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When Josh Steinharter was growing up in mid-’80s Dayton, Ohio, he split his summers between baseball camp and Jewish camp.

Six Points Sci-Tech Academy will allow teens to choose workshops ranging from robotics to environmental science. Courtesy of URJ

Elsewhere On The Web: URJ Working For More Special Needs Camping Funding

On the eJewishPhilanthropy website, the Union for Reform Judaism's camping arm responded to The Foundation for Jewish Camp's release of its study "Jewish Camp for Children with Disabilities and Special Needs." Click here for the rest of the article, including the movement's committment to put more "human and financial resources" toward special needs programming.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp released preliminary findings last week from their recent research study Jewish Camp for Children with Disabilities and Special Needs, which maps current, potential, and desired camp program opportunities for children with disabilities/special needs. The study paints an encouraging picture of the field of Jewish camping, highlighting a variety of models that successfully provide meaningful Jewish camp experiences to children with diverse needs.

Wheelchair ramps are a necessary but not sufficient condition to creating camping option for children with disabilities. Fotolia

Survey: Jewish Camps Serving More Children With Disabilities Than Expected

05/02/2013
Associate Editor

Jewish overnight camps are serving more children with disabilities and special needs than had previously been believed, but are doing little to publicize or market these offerings, according to a preliminary study released Wednesday by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC).

Despite serving children with disabilities, most Jewish camps don't market these programs. Photo courtesy FJC

Survey: More Children With Special Needs Attend Jewish Camps Than Expected

At the recent GISHA Conference on Jewish Special Education at Hebrew College, I had the privilege of hearing the personal story of a husband and wife and their years-long attempts to find a Jewish space in which their children – both struck with the same severe neurological disorder – could make Jewish friends and strengthen their Jewish identity.

Abby Knopp

Inclusion Means More Kids At Camp -- Not One Kind Of Camp

My colleagues and I at the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) have been following with interest the special needs dialogue and debate that has emerged in recent months and weeks online.

New Normal

Summer Camp Cliffhanger, Pt. 3: The Importance Of Inclusion, Done Right

Last week, the New Normal ran two posts by Rabbi Rebecca Schorr, who is very nervous about the coming summer. Her son Ben, who has Asperger’s, learned recently that his beloved self-contained summer camp, Round Lake, is moving to become part of a campus that contains four other camps. Ben and his buddies will still have their own bunks, but they will spend much of the day in mainstream activities and social settings. Rabbi Schorr concluded that the Jewish community needs both self-contained and integrated summer camps. Now, we’re publishing a Q&A with Shelley Cohen, one of the architects of the change and also a mother of a child with a disability. She spoke with the blog about why Round Lake is making this change and how they determined they are to make it work for Ben and his friends.

Shelley Cohen

Special Needs At Summer Camp To Receive Formal Study

Foundation for Jewish Camp will map what's available and what needs to be done.

01/07/2013
Associate Editor

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is launching what is believed to be the first-ever research project mapping current services available to children with special needs and physical disabilities at nonprofit Jewish overnight camps across North America.

Funders Debate Inclusion During Tour Of Camps

Philanthropists get an education in special-needs camping along twisting Pocono roads.

08/07/2012
Staff Writer

Usually, eating is the fun part and cleanup is a chore.

That’s not how they do it at Camp Nesher, an Orthodox overnight camp in the Poconos, where on any given day, lunch or dinner will turn the dining hall into a disco.

A raucous gang of campers — some with disabilities — whoops it up after dinner at Camp Nesher. Helen Chernikoff

An Odd Absence Of Women

I know I’m supposed to focus on intermarriage here, but sometimes I just need to vent on another topic.

And today that topic is, why are so many speakers’ panels at Jewish conferences composed almost entirely of men? I’m not talking about the fervently Orthodox Agudath Israel of America, although I did go to one of its dinners many years ago and there was not one woman on the dais. Which was striking, but not surprising. (If I remember correctly, the table assignments for the meal were also gender-segregated.)

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