Lekhu Lakhem - Foundation for Jewish Camp
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Lekhu Lakhem

JCC Association and Foundation for Jewish Camp are pleased to announce the fourth cohort of Lekhu Lakhem, a Jewish educational leadership fellowship designed for up to twenty Jewish residential camp directors. Lekhu Lakhem is the plural form of Lekh Lekha, God’s command to Abraham to “get up and go” (Genesis 12:1). It identifies the personal Jewish journey as a primary goal of the program.


Jodie Abrams, Director, Shwayder Camp (CO)
Daniel Baer, Director, Camp Mountain Chai (CA)
Alicia Block Berlin, Director, Camp Louise (MD)
Aaron Cantor, Director, Camp Seneca Lake (NY)
Jason Charnas, Director of Teen and Family Progs, Tamarack Camps (MI)
Rachel Felber, Interim Director, Camp Wise (OH)
Aaron Goldberg, Assistant Director, Camp Alonim (CA)
Maryn Gordon, Assistant Director, Camp Daisy & Harry Stein (AZ)
Terri Grossman, Director, Camp Sabra (MO)
Seth Gutkin, Assistant Director, Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp (NY)
Joelle Kelenson, Assistant Director , Camp Chi (WI)
Andrea Lear, Director, Herzl Camp (WI)
Mindee Meltzer, Director, Camp Tevya (NH)
Eric Nicastro, Director, Camp Bob Waldorf on the Max Straus Campus (CA)
Jennifer Silber, Executive Director, Habonim Dror Camp Moshava (MD)
David Starkopf, Assistant Director, Camp JCA Shalom (CA)
David Weiss, Executive Director, Camp Galil (PA)
Leah Zigmond, Associate Director, Camp Judaea (NC)

Lekhu Lakhem is funded by a grant from the AVI CHAI Foundation.


  • To take each director on a personal journey of Jewish learning.
  • To engage the fellows in the exploration of principles of Jewish education and vision, especially as they relate to their roles as directors of Jewish camps.
  • To create a community of directors who share a Jewish educational vision about the import and potential impact of Jewish camps on the lives of campers, staffs and families.
  • To infuse participants with the passion to provide the Jewish educational and visionary leadership to bring about fundamental change within their own camps.
  • To implant within each director the desire for continued Jewish learning and educational reflection beyond this fellowship.


Four four-day group seminars in North America and one twelve-day group seminar in Israel.

  • Fall 2016
  • Winter 2017
  • Fall 2017
  • January 2018 (in Israel)
  • Fall 2018

Individual/ small group learning between seminars with master teachers/ mentors twice a month via Skype/ Zoom. Site visits during the summer by the mentors, helping to apply the content of the program to the camp program. A demonstration project, chosen by the director and guided by the mentor, serves as a “capstone” experience for the program.


Lekhu Lakhem focuses on two primary content areas: Jewish education and Jewish living.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The camp director as Jewish educator, role model and visionary leader
  • Developing a Jewish vision – existential and institutional
  • Building Jewish community
  • The camp as a Jewish educational institution
  • Building Jewish identity
  • Concepts of experiential/ informal education
  • Institutional change
  • Jewish values education
  • Torah through text study
  • Jewish Practices and Observances
  • God
  • Jewish Peoplehood
  • Israel and Zionism
  • The Notion of Covenant
  • Chesed (Tzedakah/ Social Action)
  • Jewish Lifecycle
  • The Jewish Arts


Lekhu Lakhem is intended for full-time, year-round camp directors at independent or JCC Association-affiliated Jewish resident nonprofit camps. One need not have any Jewish educational background to be a candidate for the fellowship.  The fourth cohort of Lekhu Lakhem is currently underway; additional applications are not being accepted at this time.

For more information about Lekhu Lakhem, please contact Rabbi Ramie Arian, Project Manager, at (914) 682-2814, or via email at ramie@ramiearian.com.


“ I continue to learn from many of the moments and people introduced to me as part of Lekhu Lakhem, and the institutions I have led have been positively impacted by my participation. “

Lekhu Lakhem deepened my own sense of Jewish spirituality and helped clarify my commitment to being a Jewish communal leader.”

Lekhu Lakhem made a huge impact on my life, personally and professionally. Professionally, it allowed me not only see myself as a Camp Director, but as a Jewish educator as well. The impact on my camp over the last few years is profound. For many of us in the program, it was the beginning of an inspirational journey that never really ended. It gave us the tools to look introspectively at our own Judaism. For me, one of the greatest strengths of the program overall was the freedom to say that I didn’t know something relating to Judaism and to have some great educators to help guide me to answers. Possibly the best element of this program was the deep connections I created to a network of colleagues and educators. We’ve all remained quite close and continue to lean on each other and learn from each other.”