Campers making pita on their outdoor oven with recipes
received through their Israel @ Camp Resource Box.
Photo provided by the iCenter.

By Deborah Fishman

Israel @ Camp – a collaboration between the Jewish Agency for Israel, iCenter, and Foundation for Jewish Camp, with funding from AVI CHAI and the Maimonides Fund – is featured in this article in JNS. The article explores how Israel @ Camp helps camps become more intentional about how their Israel education pervades through all aspects of camp life. Here is one excerpt about the three organizations’ collaboration and the program’s Jewish impact:

The Israel @ Camp Initiative combines JAFI’s expertise and role in training shlichim, FJC’s leadership and support nationally in the Jewish camping field, and the iCenter’s years of experience and past initiatives related to fostering Israel education at camp.

Together, the three organizations are not only helping camps re-evaluate and discover their connection to Israel, but also their relationship with being Jewish. Orlow explained that among the ones they’ve worked with, there are a group of camps where “dealing with their ‘Jewish identity’ was inaccessible until they dealt with their Israel identity.”

“There are camps that do not self-understand themselves to be religious camps; they understand themselves as community camps, or secular camps or cultural camps,” he explained. “And the process of thinking about where Israel lived in their camp gave them a place of reflection from which they can ask, ‘Who are we Jewishly?’ So I think the camps we’ve been working with in this process, they’ve really welcomed not only what [it] did for them in terms of bringing Israel more intentionally into camp, it actually helped them think more intentionally about how they do in the larger umbrella of Jewish identity, of which Israel is a huge part of.”

What is one aspect of your work where greater intentionality and a more holistic approach will make a difference?

Cross-posted from The Avi Chai Foundation