The Perfect Fit

by Jerry Simon | December 2013, Exclusive Stories from OCJL | 1 Comment »

We’re embarking on the season of giving and if you’re a parent or grandparent, you know that a large part of that is gift giving.  This year, choose a Chanukah present that your child will love and also creates a vibrant Jewish future … Jewish camp.

Nonprofit Jewish overnight camp offers the best of “traditional” camp from swimming to zip lines, boating to arts and crafts.  Kids have a blast while discovering who they are and learning Jewish values like tikkun olam (repairing the world).  That’s the beauty of Jewish camp – campers just see fun but they are learning self-confidence, independence and leadership along with Hebrew, the value of community and teachings from the Torah.

For those kids who prefer non- conventional camp activities or have a special interest they would like to pursue, the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is currently running the Specialty Camps Incubator II to launch four new camps that focus on sports, wellness, science and technology, business and more while weaving in Jewish culture, values and learning throughout the camp program.

Thanks to the generosity of The Jim Joseph Foundation and The AVI CHAI Foundation, the four new camps are now open for enrollment for summer 2014.

Camp Inc.will provide a business and entrepreneurial summer camp experience rooted in Jewish values on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder. Campers will learn how to build a company in an industry of their choice and gain the skills necessary to become innovators and social leaders in business, philanthropy and the Jewish community.

Camp Zeke will be a Poconos-area camp that will help children become healthier, fitter, happier and more spiritually-engaged Jews.  It is founded on the time-honored Jewish lesson that physical and spiritual wellbeing go hand-in-hand.  Focusing on pure foods, energizing fitness activities and culinary arts, Camp Zeke will immerse campers in traditional teachings of shmirat haguf (taking care of the body) and the latest developments in exercise science and nutrition.

JCC Maccabi Sports Camp will be for young Jewish athletes who are passionate about sports and desire to advance their skill levels. Based in the San Francisco area, this camp’s focus will be less on the individual’s current skill level than on the athlete’s capacity to be coached and a commitment to competitive sports with Jewish values and traditions weaved into the every day.

URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy will provide quality educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for campers in Byfield, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.  It will not only engage campers’ curiosity about the world through hands-on exploration, experimentation and reflection; it will immerse them in a vibrant Jewish community.  Jewish values, ethics and tradition will be woven together with the spirit and excitement of open scientific inquiry.

One Happy Camper grants are available for first time campers attending these new camps as well as other Jewish camps.  Find out if your child is eligible for up to $1000 at OneHappyCamper.org.

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