by: Foundation for Jewish Camp Articles & Press Releases January 27, 2023

Avodah Institute for Social Change Partners with Foundation for Jewish Camp

NEW YORK (January 23, 2023)—Avodah is proud to announce that it has partnered with Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) for the second cohort program of the Avodah Institute for Social Change. The 18-month program trains Jewish community professionals to develop their Jewish justice skills.

Avodah established the Institute in response to a growing demand from Jewish organizations for professional development that would help promote greater diversity, equity, and inclusion within their communities. Through retreats, workshops, coaching, and peer mentoring, the Institute will provide eighteen Jewish day and overnight camp senior staff with opportunities to learn about social justice, respond to issues that matter to their campers and staff, and develop skills to deepen their camp’s commitment to equity and inclusion.

“The Institute offers powerful resources and guidance to Jewish organizations and their leaders so that they can make true structural changes and ensure that justice remains at the heart of our communal life,” said Sarra Alpert, Director of the Avodah Institute for Social Change. “We’re thrilled that Foundation for Jewish Camp has embraced this opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to justice by bringing this program to camp communities.”

“Camps are laboratories for grappling with challenges and building the foundation for a better world,” says FJC’s CEO, Jeremy Fingerman. “Partnering with the Avodah Institute for Social Change in supporting a camp cohort brings expertise to the leaders of these communities and enables camps to embrace their values in a way that ensures justice is not only an ideal we pursue, but holy work we do.”

The Institute’s January 2023 to April 2024 program builds on the success of its pilot cohort, which included Hillel campus senior staff and staff from Hillel International. The Institute’s faculty includes leaders in the field of Jewish social justice, including Catherine Bell, Caroline Rothstein, Yoshi Silverstein, and Yehudah Webster. Learn more about the faculty team here.

The Avodah Institute for Social Change is generously funded by Crown Family Philanthropies, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, Irving Harris Foundation, Perlin Family Foundation, The Rakin Family, Sally Gottesman, Alisa and Daniel Doctoroff, Martine and Stanley Fleishman, and Ruth Wolman.


Participants of the Leadership for Social Change cohort include:

  • Dan Chomstein, JCamp, Westside JCC (California)
  • Ben Cohen, URJ Jacobs Camp (Mississippi)
  • Sarah Cotler, URJ Camp Coleman (Georgia)
  • Haylee Davis, Camp J, Tucson JCC (Arizona)
  • Rachel Eilbaum, Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake (New York)
  • Abigail Evonuk, BB Day Camps Portland (Oregon)
  • Molly Helm, Camp Sabra (Missouri)
  • Kathryn Jay, Urban Adamah (California)
  • Kachel Kohnhorst, URJ Greene Family Camp (Texas)
  • Justin Levy, URJ Camp Coleman (Georgia)
  • Adra Lustig, Camp Havaya (Pennsylvania)
  • Jayme Mallindine, URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy (Massachusetts)
  • Eileen Price, In the City Camps (Georgia)
  • Joshua Rudman, Camp Sabra (Missouri)
  • Ronni Saltzman Guttin, Camp Avoda (Massachusetts)
  • Ken Shifman, Camp Avoda (Massachusetts)
  • Zachary Weisbrot, Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp (New York)
  • Cindy Zingher, Camp Kinderland (Massachusetts)


About Avodah

Founded in 1998, Avodah develops lifelong social justice leaders whose work is informed by Jewish values and who inspire the Jewish community to work toward a more just and equitable world. Avodah’s programming provides leaders working within the Jewish community and beyond with the tools, networks, and spiritual nourishment to fight the root causes of injustice. Its many programmatic offerings include the Jewish Service Corps, the Avodah Justice Fellowship, and the new Avodah Institute for Social Change. To learn more about Avodah visit www.avodah.net and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube.

About Foundation for Jewish Camp

Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) fosters excellence and accelerates innovation at Jewish camps across North America by developing adaptive talent, deepening immersive learning experiences, and catalyzing field growth. Founded in 1998, FJC elevates Jewish camp on the cultural and philanthropic agenda, creating opportunities to engage even more young people in Jewish camp through groundbreaking programs such as One Happy Camper® and FJC’s Specialty Camps Incubator. FJC advocates for over 300 day and overnight camps that provide nearly 180,000 campers and counselors each summer with a meaningful, personal, and lifelong connection to Judaism. FJC is a public 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, please visit: jewishcamp.org.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Friedlin
(912) 863-6270

Aimee Lerner, Marketing Director
Foundation for Jewish Camp
(646) 278-4518