Specialty Camps Incubator

The Specialty Camps Incubator provides funding to new Jewish specialty camps during their planning, start-up and first three years of operation, and evaluates the progress of each camp’s development. With support from the Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation, Incubator I, II, III have successfully established new business models for Jewish camps and created a forum to pilot new educational models by integrating Jewish learning with activities that kids are passionate about – the environment, STEM, performing arts, sports, and outdoor adventure. Over 75% of campers selected the camp strictly due to the specialty offered. To date, the Specialty Camps Incubator has touched thousands of lives in an intentional, outcomes-based model of building news camps. These 15 camps have provided a meaningful Jewish and specialty camp experience to over 10,000 unique campers, with almost 50% new to Jewish camp.

For questions, please contact Michele Friedman, Director New Camp Initiatives,  michele@jewishcamp.org.

REPORT: The Hard Work Behind the Magic of Camp Results & Learnings from the FJC Specialty Camps Incubator II- July 2017

Incubator III Camps

To Launch Summer 2018

Eden Village West

Eden Village West cultivates a diverse Jewishly-rooted community of children, teens, and young adults who learn to steward the earth and strengthen our food systems in the Bay Area of California. Alongside Casey Yurow and Zachary Friedman, campers emerge from immersive Jewish farm-to table experiences empowered to promote a more environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually connected world. Eden Village West is an outgrowth of Eden Village Camp, a part of the Specialty Camps Incubator I cohort.

Havaya Arts 

Havaya Arts is where top-notch arts and summer camp meet. In this incredibly diverse and welcoming community, kids are encouraged to discover what being Jewish means to them—no matter who they are or where they come from. Located at Scripps College in Claremont, CA, each two-week session is open to campers entering third through tenth grades. Campers participate in three arts studios every day; they can choose to dive deeply into one core area (theater arts, music, visual arts, dance and movement) or pick the individual studios that most interest them. All studios are taught by working artists who are expert at teaching to a variety of levels, providing a truly camper-centered experience. In this lively, welcoming, and progressive community, kids explore the arts and Judaism in their own ways and become the best versions of themselves.

Ramah Sports Academy

Ramah Sports Academy is a high-level sports specialty overnight camp located at Fairfield University in Conneticut, emphasizing skill development, within a caring summer community infused with the traditions and values of Judaism. The vision behind RSA is the creation of a sports camp run by elite coaches and counselors, designed to enhance skills, encourage teamwork and sportsmanship, and instill confidence in every aspect of our campers’ lives. The program goes beyond sports instruction to instill a deeper love for Judaism, Hebrew language, and the land and people of Israel, while challenging campers to grow intellectually, athletically, and spiritually.

Sababa Beachaway

Sababa Beachaway is a Residential Summer Camp for fifth through twelfth grade girls and boys. Located in beautiful Virginia Beach. Sababa immerses campers in the magic and majesty of the beach, adds the right amount of Jewish spiritual practice, and provides a non-competitive yet challenging camp experience! Our two-week sessions invite campers to escape the “Race to Nowhere” in order to focus on life at the beach.  Weather on a surfboard, in a sailboat, behind a camera, or under the sea, Sababa campers learn thrilling new skills, build lifelong relationships, grow a stronger sense of self, and stoke an innate spiritual flame.

URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy

At 6 Points Creative Arts, the program, staff, campers, and site work together to create a holistic, meaningful experience for artists in a living laboratory for learning and performing. Our program is located at the beautiful Westtown School on the Main Line of Philadelphia and led by Jo-Ellen Unger and Kara Hoffman, focuses on the whole child, fostering personal advancement and resilience while creating an aspirational arc of growth and possibilities. Through major and minor workshops, campers will challenge themselves to continue their development as artists, sharpening their natural abilities and acquiring new skills. Electives offer further opportunity to expand imaginations. Specialists from the field will serve as compelling role models who weave Jewish values, ethics, and tradition together with the spirit and excitement of dynamic creative artistic community.

URJ 6 Points SciTech Academy West

URJ 6 Points Sci Tech Academy West expands the highly successful Incubator II model to the West Coast.  The exciting camp environment addresses the whole child. This innovative specialty camp not only engages campers’ curiosity about the world through superior hands-on scientific and technological exploration, experimentation, and reflection; it immerses them in a vibrant Jewish community filled with Jewish music, Shabbat experiences, and living connections to Israel. Jewish values, ethics and tradition are woven together with the spirit and excitement of open scientific inquiry. The camp is located at Cal Lutheran College in Southern California.

The Specialty Camp Incubator III is made possible by a grant of $12,639,737 jointly funded by The Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation.

Accelerator I Camps

Due to the success to-date of Incubator I and II, FJC created a similar model, the Specialty Camp Accelerator, to support the creation of two new Jewish specialty camps that opened in 2016.  URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California and Ramah Northern California. These camps are receiving mentoring and training from the same FJC team of experts that helped launch the two Incubator cohorts. All of which has been funded by the AVI CHAI Foundation.

Camp Ramah in Northern California 

Camp Ramah in Northern California is an innovative Jewish summer camp located along the beautiful shores of Monterey Bay, California. We offer a coed overnight camp experience that combines the excitement of specialty programming in ocean exploration, performing arts, and adventure sports with the cherished traditions, nurturing environment, and community-building of a traditional Ramah Camp.

URJ 6 Points Sports Academy West

URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California, North America’s premier Jewish Sports Specialty Camp, welcomes young Jewish athletes entering 4th-11th grades. Located in beautiful Los Angeles, CA, 6 Points Sports Academy is housed on the 120 acre, state-of-the-art, athletic and camp facilities of the Occidental College. At 6 Points Sports, young Jewish athletes participate in a unique camping experience that offers top-level sports training and all the beloved traditions of Reform Jewish camping. In California our 2-week sessions include intensive training in Basketball, Baseball, Soccer and Tennis.

Incubator II Camps

Launched Summer 2014

Camp Zeke

Camp Zeke is the first Jewish camp where 7 to 17 year-olds celebrate healthy, active living. Campers can put on an apron and cook gourmet dishes with a professional chef. They can also choose from action-packed fitness electives, like running, yoga, strength training, dance, sailing, and krav maga. Camp Zeke also offers arts, music, sports, and nightly all-camp evening programs (like dances and talent shows).

JCC Maccabi Sports Camp

JCC Maccabi Sports Camp is for campers who love sports and want to advance their skills in a fun and supportive camp environment. During our two- or four-week sessions, campers focus on developing athletic skills and improving as teammates in the sport of their choice – baseball, basketball, soccer, or tennis. In addition to receiving high-level individualized instruction in sports, our campers gain life skills as well. Guided by Jewish values, we place a lot of emphasis on sportsmanship, ethics, and community. In fact, when you add the community and character building nature of team play, we find that sports and Jewish values go hand in hand.

URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy

URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy will create an exciting camp environment that addresses the whole child. This innovative specialty camp will not only engage campers’ curiosity about the world through superior hands-on scientific and technological exploration, experimentation, and reflection; it will immerse them in a vibrant Jewish community filled with Jewish music, Shabbat experiences, and living connections to Israel. Jewish values, ethics and tradition will be woven together with the spirit and excitement of open scientific inquiry. URJ 6 Points Science Academy, the 14th in the Union for Reform Judaism’s camp system, will be located in the Boston, MA area.

The Specialty Camps Incubator II is made possible by a grant of $8.6 million jointly funded by The Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation.

Incubator I Camps

Launched Summer 2010

Eden Village Camp

Eden Village Camp is a pluralistic, co-ed camp focused on Jewish environmentalism. Rooted in the Jewish vision of an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually connected world, EVC is a compassionate community where each camper develops leadership skills, explores new passions, and awakens their sense of purpose and joy. The EVC experience includes organic farming, wilderness trips, natural building and service projects, art, music, sports and spiritual practice. Campers have fun while deepening their appreciation for themselves, their communities, and the natural systems sustaining us.

Ramah in the Rockies 

From the thrill of rock climbing, hiking, or whitewater rafting to the peace of Shabbat, Ramah in the Rockies offers teens inspiring outdoor adventures while living in a joyful, supportive Jewish community. Participants experience the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains as they face new challenges, developing leadership skills and strengthening their sense of self. Part of the Ramah family of camps, Ramah Outdoor Adventure provides a unique opportunity to explore Jewish identity in the context of environmentalism and outdoor living.

URJ 6 Points Sports Academy

URJ 6 Points Sports Academy offers young athletes intensive sports training in a vibrant, fun, Jewish community. Talented girls and boys come here to train with the athletic elite in a state-of-the-art facility. Part of the Union for Reform Judaism, 6 Points provides a unique opportunity for these athletes to explore their Jewish identity in relation to their sport. 6 Points offers core training in basketball, soccer, baseball and lacrosse, plus other sports electives. Each day is intense, challenging and fun.