Educator Match Program - Foundation for Jewish Camp
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Educator Match Program

The AVI CHAI Foundation and Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) are proud to celebrate the third year of the Educator Match Program (formerly the Innovation Fund for Jewish Impact at Camp). Our research and decades of direct experience have shown that overnight camps benefit from Jewish educational and engagement resources as significant components for deepening Jewish culture and strengthening camper and staff retention. The goal of the project is to bridge overnight camps’ desire for compelling Jewish programming with the gift of some of the best (and best fitted) programs in the field of Jewish engagement and education. This initiative will be used to identify, test, and validate the effectiveness of experiential Jewish education programming that has potential to expand a camp’s Jewish content and enhance Jewish life.


2019 Jewish Education and Engagement Providers and Programs:
Name Title Program Description
Asya Gribov Coming to America! Artifact Investigation Through an interactive and hands on exploration of documents, artifacts, and memorabilia, participants will uncover the personal story of a Jewish family escaping the former Soviet Union and immigrating to the United States in the early 1990s. Uncovering this story, participants will explore broad themes of immigration, Jewish diaspora, and share their unique family stories (not necessarily of immigration) to highlight diverse Jewish heritage at camp. Following the investigation and discussion, participants will work to create a keepsake that illuminates their own personal or family journey.
Avodah What's Jewish about Justice? How can campers connect their developing justice values to their Jewish tradition? And why is it so powerful for them to do so? In this transformative session, participants will engage with different Jewish perspectives on justice work, drawing from both traditional texts and modern sources. Participants will gain the tools to both discover the justice values embedded in Jewish tradition and to interrogate the thinking that doesn't resonate. Finally, participants will explore how to bring these values into their own Jewish communities, at camp and beyond!
BINA Let's Schmooze about Israel Let's Schmooze About Israel engages campers in discussions around contemporary Israeli dilemmas in constructive, interactive, fun and meaningful ways - and trains staff (including Israeli shlichim) and CITs/SITs in this method. Program will bring up-to-date issues and insights from diverse perspectives "on the ground” in Israel to inform, educate and inspire campers and staff on 21st century Israel challenges and opportunities.
Bodies of Water Bodies of Water Bodies of Water is an award-winning program about body positivity from a Jewish perspective. Participants explore three core practices--mindful eating with blessings, Jewish meditation, and ritual immersion--all of which convey a strong sense of living in a Jewish body. We will use your camp's natural body of water OR your pool to watch a demonstration immersion by a facilitator in their bathing suit, as well as explore immersion ceremonies that campers can do together (also in their bathing suits!). We'll learn simple ways to bless our food (beyond HaMotzi!), and get a taste of Jewish mindfulness practices. Bodies of Water helps grow a healthy body ethic throughout your camp community.
Brett Gurwitz & Jonah Canner Connected Cabin Communities: A Skill-Building Workshop Cabin culture and the relationships that develop in the bunk are a defining element of the camp experience. Building a strong, safe and caring community comes with a plethora of challenges that many young counselors have never had to face. Through the use of Jewish text, games and discussion techniques counselors will develop an understanding of how to cultivate strong connections, shared purpose, continued learning and a unique cabin culture. Participants will leave this workshop with new skills, strategies and action steps that will enable them to build and maintain strong cabin communities.
Caroline Rothstein Words Create Worlds: How Storytelling Empowers Us To Grow As Jews, we are a resilient diaspora, using storytelling and our voices to ignite change and spark hope. In this 2-day program, spoken word poet and educator Caroline Rothstein will offer a unique interactive poetry performance for campers and/or staff (including Q&A), and up to three workshops around topics of the camp's choosing, including (and not limited to): identity, Jewish values, consent, body image, gender, sexuality, social justice, tikkun olam, leadership, spirituality, and storytelling. Campers and/or staff will learn how, with a Jewish lens, to intentionally use their unique, individual voices and stories to feel heard and have an effective impact both at camp and in the world at large.
CharacTours Acting Ancestors: Bringing our Family History and Jewish History to Life “Acting Ancestors” combines theater and storytelling to explore Jewish history, and increase counselors’ and campers’ connection with their ancestry and Jewish identity. Acting Ancestors is an immersive theatrical program where an actor presents stories from Jewish Historical characters. Campers and counselors then get to create a character based on an ancestor or historical figure, and share their story as a performance. This transformative experience helps participants think about where they came from, and who they want to become.
Jewish Eco Seminars Games Connecting Ecology, Jewish Values, and Israel Engage your campers and staff with innovative Jewish experiential nature games! Over the course of two days, we offer 10 hour-long programs for individual bunks. We will go into the beautiful nature at camp and explore about animals in Israel, water, trees, and biodiversity, and also see some cool Jewish ecological infographics. Through the power of outdoor, active games, campers will be exposed to the dynamic connection between Judaism, ecology, and sustainable living. These games are based on an outdoor learning method called 'Sharing Nature,' and adapted by a veteran educator to relate to Jewish values and Israel.
Jonah Canner & Yehuda Webster How to Talk about Anti-Semitism Antisemitism and the conversations around antisemitism are more prevalent and relevant to the lives of our campers and our communities than they have been in decades. And yet, so many of us are at a loss to truly be able to place antisemitism within the context of other forms of oppression that make up the social fabric that our campers and communities are having to navigate on a daily basis. This summer, campers and counselors alike will be arriving at camp, the place where they have always found their strongest connections to the Jewishness, the Jewish culture, the Jewish values that they hold dear, with an abundance of questions and feelings that they will not necessarily have the ability to articulate, much less understand. This session will use experiential and discussion based activities to offer participants a framework for understanding anti-semitism and where it fits into the social structure that we find ourselves in in North America. We will offer participants a language to articulate this understanding and tools to help themselves think and work through the impacts that the rise of acts of Antisemitism are having on them and their communities.
Jonah Comic Comic Book Creation Explore Jewish values, history and culture through comic book art at camp this summer. Campers will work on fun illustration projects created by professional comic book artists that create stories through art and depict their Jewish lessons visually. Comic Books are a dynamic part of the shared Jewish history, and now campers can combine their love of pop culture with their personal Jewish identity. Among what we do is create Jewish superheroes, tell our Judaic stories in comic book panels and bridge comic book media with Jewish values using professional comic book methods for the campers.
Landon Braverman Build Your Own Jewish Musical Build Your Own (Jewish) Musical is an immersive theatrical program that provides participants the exciting opportunity to be the creators and stars of their own new original show! Using a Jewish text or theme of the camp's choosing, participants will learn how to write their own music, lyrics, and script, and then perform their creation for the rest of camp. No musical or writing experience is necessary - Landon's inclusive collaborative approach ensures that every camper can use their own skills and imagination to contribute. Throughout the process, campers and counselors alike learn skills in team building, creativity, and leadership. Most importantly, it gives participants, and the camp at large, a beautiful sense of ownership for the story they have created, the values they have learned, and their own creative spirit they have explored.
Mainstages trAPPed! A "Pop-Up" Performance about being in the moment trAPPed! is an original "Pop-Up” Performance interweaving experiential workshops and activities into a culminating performance where staff and campers play characters, wear costumes, and perform for their peers. trAPPed! follows the story of Benji Chutzpah, a camper who gets transported into the apps on his phone. Along the performance, participants are posed critical questions about human interaction and shared viewpoints on how technology has changed the accessibility and relationship between Jews in a shrinking world. trAPPed! is designed for camps seeking relevant, polished Jewish content delivered in a way that feels "home-made.” The programming format and number of participants is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate different camp needs, making trAPPed! ideal for a camp-wide event or smaller breakout sessions.
Melissa Shaw Is It Torah-annical? Wrestling with Ourselves: A Theater of the Oppressed Workshop In this program we explore the fundamentals of Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed techniques, a theater methodology that helps us dig into truths about freedom and oppression, power and choice. After a foundational grounding in the method, we will layer, on top of our new responsive insights, an investigation of Judaism’s most intractable stories, laws, and conflicts. We will have an opportunity to put ourselves into famous moments of Jewish History and ask: what would you have said to Aaron when the Golden Calf was being built in Sinai? Was there another way things could have been resolved between Sarah and Hagar in Genesis? What can we learn from these stories (and more like them!) about who we are as Jews living today? By the end of our 3 -day- workshop, we will perform our ensemble-created short pieces and ask our camp to join us in wrestling with some of Judaism's most famous dilemmas.
Naomi Less Nightime Ritual Hack How ready is your soul for its nighttime journey? Are you carrying stress from the day? Are you anxious for tomorrow? Nightime Ritual Hack will help your soul ease into nighttime bliss with a recipe for sleep entry. During this program we will musically explore the ancient ingredient of ritual and create our own nighttime ritual hacks that fit with every person's own style and situation. This one and a half day residency with ritual expert and acclaimed song leader, Naomi Less will include a modeling during bedtime for multiple bunks, staff training on ritual, and daytime sessions for campers to engage in ritual preparation.
Noam Katz Sing Out for Justice! In either small or large groups, campers and staff will learn a diverse repertoire of American and Jewish social justice music that inspired people to make positive change. For camps that show interest, Noam can also lead a multi-session workshop focused on writing new songs that incorporate Jewish values, Hebrew text and the camp's mission. In addition, songleader training, song sessions, concerts and creative musical Tefilah can also be included during the residency.
Terry Wunder Honestly, I need to Chill the ____ Out: Personal Ecology and Self-Care "Honestly, I Need to Chill the ___ Out" is an interactive learning experience and companion activity book for teens and young adults that builds skills for self-care and personal ecology that are applicable for camp life and year-round. This experience provides practical tools that will help prevent mid-summer/semester burnout and build healthy personal wellness practices. This program is based in Jewish text, includes expert research from Rockwood Leadership Institute, contributions from Jewish educators and clergy members, and fun, age-appropriate art, quizzes, and self-assessment tools that can be used for team building and personal practice. Some examples of activities included in this program: The Urgency Index Quiz, How to Use Your Relational Power, Making Decisions: Important vs. Urgent Matrix, DIY Self Care First Aid Kit, The 5 Senses of Shabbat & Havdallah, planning guides, and much more! We spend so much time preparing our staff to take care of others and it's important to teach them how to take care of themselves too!
The Bible Players Mitzvah Moments: Mitzvahs in Disguise The “Mitzvah Moments” program teaches counselors and campers to make 30-second comedic commercials for mitzvot and Jewish Values. A Bible Player will brainstorm with campers and counselors what Mitzvot they see around camp, and which Jewish values they connect with. The Bible Players will then introduce engaging improv exercises, and comedy writing techniques, to show participants how to unleash their creativity in easy ways. By the end of the program campers would film brief commercials written by, and starring, the campers. The goal of this program is to train the counselors in how to use comedy and theater to explore Mitzvot and Jewish Values.
The Bible Players Improv-ing Camp: A Training Workshop to Build Emotional Intelligence, Cooperation, and Jewish Values Award Winning Educators, The Bible Players, will lead a transformational training workshop for Staff, Counselors, and Counselors in Training. Facilitation modalities will be combined with Improvisational activities to create a hands-on, impactful experience. During Staff Training we will introduce new activities that build communication and social-emotional awareness among the campers and can become part of camp culture for Summer 2019 and beyond. Creativity in the teaching of Jewish Values will be unleashed and all leaders at camp will feel empowered to bring Judaism to life in new ways.
The G!D Project How to (not) Talk about G!D This professional development experience utilizes music, sacred text, and personal reflection to examine how we talk about G!D and why it matters. At Jewish camp, G!D is in our curriculum whether we address it or not- in Torah, in prayer, and in our own struggles and questions. As a safe and sacred community, camp is the perfect place to explore spirituality and belief, for both campers and staff. Staff will leave this session with “tachlis” conversational tools and program ideas, as well as a better understanding of their own relationship to the Divine. Sessions are customized to each camp's Jewish practice and values. In addition, the G!D Project can offer experiential learning sessions to campers, to be observed and debriefed by staff as part of the training, or as a separate experience. More information can be found here.
The Validation Project From Struggle to Superpower: How to Empower Yourself and Others to Change the World "From Struggle to Superpower" is an award-winning, interactive program. At 14, Valerie was bullied brutally for being shy. Her Jewish community, especially her Jewish summer camp, inspired her to start a tikkun olam movement, The Validation Project, which is now a global youth empowerment organization. Now a college junior, Valerie's humorous and inspiring speaking style has captivated audiences around the world. She shares the life lessons she's learned through her own obstacles and provides the tools for campers and staff to increase self-confidence, push themselves out of their comfort zones, and turn passion into positive action to make their summer (and beyond) the most impactful it can be. Valerie can mold her program to reflect on a specific parsha, Jewish value, or message if desired. She has been featured in Oprah Magazine and CNN, and was recently named an L'Oreal Paris Woman of Worth.
Tivnu: Building Justice Building Tzedek (Justice), Building Understanding Tivnu: Building Justice will lead an active and interactive, thought-provoking and empathy-provoking simulation game for high school-aged campers and pre-college staff members at your camp. This engaging activity offers a Jewish frame for learning and thinking about the causes and challenges of living on an extremely low income and of houselessness in the United States. The program encourages participants to think about what they can do to bring about change and what Jewish sources and history bring to the discussion. And we’ll wrap up with some brainstorming for ideas of how to start making changes – right at camp!
Tomer Moked Jewish State of Mine A Jewish State of Mine is a mind-blowing interactive program that invitea participants to imagine how would a second Jewish state would look like if we had a chance as a community to establish a new one.
Introducing 4 stunning custom design board games and a deck of 80 knowledge cards, participants will create a proposal for a second utopian Jewish State, as well as discovering and discussing the complexities of Israel and the talk about the conflict. By experiencing the use of the board games, we will reveal more creative ways of using the kit to impact campers and staff throughout the summer!
Tzedek America Judaism through Pickle-Making Jewish Pickle Making is a hands-on pickle-making workshop. We will use Jewish texts, discussion and most importantly, we make pickles from scratch to connect Jewish cooking with the Jewish religion and culture. This workshop will teach about American Jewish history, Jewish laws of kashrut, and even discuss Talmudic texts mentioning pickle juice. At the end of each one-hour session, each participant will walk away with their very own jar of half-sour kosher pickles.
Ultimate Peace Ultimate Peace and All of Us Ultimate Peace is a non-profit that uses the sport of Ultimate Frisbee to build bridges of trust, friendship, and leadership to Arab Israeli, Jewish Israeli, and Palestinian youth. During the year there are weekly practices in communities across the region as well as tournaments that bring youth together to play with and against youth from other villages and cities. In the summer there is a week long summer camp for all the youth in the program and many high level American coaches and players come to coach the Middle Eastern youth.This program brings a taste of UP magic right to your camp, bringing two graduates from our Leaders in Training program, an Israeli Arab and a Jewish Israeli. Participants will learn a little about Ultimate Frisbee, a little about Ultimate Peace, and recieve an introduction to UP's philosophy on how it's addressing the conflict. This programming is great for all ages, including counselors in training and staff members. Our Jewish and Arab Israeli coaches will be able to show campers what real Tikkun Olam is, as well as loving thy neighbor.
Tzedek America Moral Courage : An Anti-Bullying and Social Justice Workshop How can you motivate yourself to stand up for what’s right? Through this interactive workshop, campers will identify moments in which they need to be an “ upstander” rather than a bystander. They will share stories, watch videos, studying Jewish wisdom and create an art project and an anti-bullying campaign for your camp. The participants will be inspired and learn new ways to become morally courageous during the summer and their everyday lives. This workshop will have a lasting impact on each camper and your entire camp community.
Tzedek America Judaism and Magic: Does Prayer Work? Is Magic Real? A thought provoking workshop and discussion that uses magic tricks, mind-reading “tricks," future predictions and more as a prompt to talk about the difference between prayer and magic. Professional Magician and standup comedy teacher Gerry Katzman and Jewish Educator Avram Mandell have teamed up to run a workshop on whether prayer works and is magic real.
The Greenhouse Project The Green Wall: Hydroponic Piping Instillation This project focuses on creating immersive spaces that engage all the senses, sparking learning about plant life, alternative growing methods, natural resources, climates in
Israel and the US, and the interconnectedness of the natural world and our human role in it. The Greenhouse Project will work with your camp to identify a space that lends itself to either a Green Wall, Hydroponic Pipes or a combination of the two. Both systems demonstrate how we can maximize our resources and grow plants in unlikely ways and places. The systems can be a great extension to a traditional farm at camp, contrasting conventional growing methods with innovative and high tech ones. Two members of the Greenhouse Project team will visit camp to construct the installation and train designated camp staff in working with the system, maintaining it and leading educational programming. Staff training will provide background on the project, time
working with the installation and an opportunity to get to know and personalize the
curriculum and guide materials.