Jewish summer camp

Day Camp Drama: Why Can’t I Find A Jewish Program For My Kids?

03/03/2016 - 13:50
JTA

 

 

I live in New York, one of the most Jewish cities in the world, and yet I reside in a pocket that has few options for Jewish life.

Swimming instruction is part of the program at the Kings Bay Y’s summer camp in Brooklyn. JTA

New Online Inclusion Guide Helps Camp Prepare For All Campers

Editor's Note: It's summer camp season! We will be sharing voices from a wide range of Jewish camps throughout the summer.

As more Jewish camps across the country expand their programs to welcome campers of all abilities, a new online resource has been created in a partnership between the Foundation For Jewish Camp and the Ramah Camping Movement.  The “Inclusion Training Guide for Jewish Summer Camps” is a comprehensive guide that camps are able to download and use for staff training.

Families at a Tikvah Shabbaton at Ramah New England. Courtesy of Camp Ramah

Another Award For Inclusion

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Eric Rosenthal of Disability Rights International won the Charles Bronfman Prize, another major Jewish award is going to a disability community leader.

Howard Blas

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

Ramah Bikes Across Israel

An enthusiastic group of 72 bike riders and hikers, ages 13-73, arrived in Eilat on April 30 after biking since April 24 all the way from Jerusalem. They made the trip -- the Ramah Israel Challenge -- to support special needs programs at Ramah camps in the United States and Canada.

Howard Blas

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
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