By Rich Walter
Recognizing the unique way that youths learn at summer camp, the Center for Israel Education is putting renewed energy toward providing resources that will enhance the way that Jewish kids know about Israel.
Jewish camp is a place of immersive learning. Campers learn by living together, playing together and eating together and from the cultural values that can be unique to each camping environment. Most of all, however, 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 for a program that will provide valuable resources about Israel’s history, politics and culture. Camps Barney Medintz, Coleman, Ramah Darom and Judaea, Blue Star 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 sessions will explore the application of content in the context of summer camp.
According to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, most summer staffers are college students, with nearly 11,000 working at Jewish summer camps last summer. An added value to our approach is that these camp staffers will benefit from enhanced Israel knowledge as they confront issues related to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on campus.
CIE will deepen the staff members’ personal knowledge, guide them in planning projects that will teach others and provide them with tools that will serve them when they return to campus.
After the initial seminar in May, CIE is planning seminars for camp staffs 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]
Originally published in the Atlanta Jewish Times. Reprinted with permission