Values, Virtues, & Making Mensches

A Study of Jewish Camp’s Impact on Character Development  

Jewish summer camp is magical. It is where young people find Jewish role models and create enduring Jewish friendships. It’s where they forge a vital, lifelong connection to their essential Jewishness. It is also an extraordinary place for character development.  

Working with the John Templeton Foundation, FJC is conducting research to explore and understand how Jewish camps make mensches. Through Values, Virtues, & Making Mensches: A Study of Jewish Camp’s Impact on Character Development, we hope to translate the “magic” of camp into a framework for understanding the youth development models that are embodied by the camp experience, allowing us to articulate, elevate, and illuminate exemplary practices of how camp shapes and develops character.

The initial planning grant will be used to conduct a landscape survey of current virtue development practices across our network of Jewish camps. From there we will interview a select group of 10 camps to learn more about their current practices; and, develop a proposal for a three-year study to evaluate the impact of character development practices on the minds, hearts, and behaviors of adolescents and young adults who participate in Jewish camp. 

Read the full press release…

We welcome your thoughtsideas, and participation. Please be in touch with Nila Rosen, our Director of Learning and Research, at