by: Foundation for Jewish Camp Articles & Press Releases February 29, 2024

Foundation for Jewish Camp Brings Camp Professionals to Israel for Firsthand Insights 

girls with israeli flag

Camp professionals from across North America engage with a Post-10/7 reality 

[Israel] — At the end of February for two weeks, nearly 50 Jewish camp professionals, along with Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) staff members, embarked on an educational trip to Israel organized by FJC, in partnership with The Jewish Education Project.

Camp leadership came to bear witness to the impact of the events of October 7th and their aftermath, including meeting with Israelis directly impacted by the attacks, alongside shlichim (emissaries) and members of the Jewish camp community in Israel. 

“We want camps to see the landscape in Israel and that region and the significant impact since 10/7. By sending camp directors during this time of great conflict, FJC aims to foster understanding, promote education, and build connections between communities,” Jamie Simon, FJC’s Chief Program Officer, explains. “We hope to provide a first-hand perspective allowing camp directors to create programs, enhance dialogue, and uncover learning opportunities for their summer camps and the thousands of children they will serve.”

One of the primary goals of the trip is to provide camp professionals with the necessary skills and confidence to navigate conversations about Israel today. By connecting with those living in Israel, camp professionals will be better prepared to inspire and engage their camp communities with authenticity and empathy.

The connection of Jewish camps to the events in Israel cannot be understated. Camps host thousands of Israeli shlichim and campers each summer. Multiplied over decades, the connections run very deep. Indeed, the trip aims to highlight the role of Jewish camps in the broader context of global Jewry. Through meaningful interactions and observational learning, camp professionals will gain a deeper appreciation for their camps’ potential to foster connections and cultivate a sense of belonging while explaining the ways of the global Jewish community.

“Foundation for Jewish is committed to supporting the camps beyond this experience,” Simon said. “Through education, partnerships and grant making, we are working with camps so they have the resources they need to be successful this summer.”

The Jewish Educators Trips to Israel is seeded through a generous grant from The Jim Joseph Foundation and is powered by The Jewish Education Project and The iCenter in collaboration with The Jewish Agency. FJC was able to secure support from the UJA, and an anonymous donor to make sure all camp professionals would be able to take this important excursion.

About the Foundation for Jewish Camp

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 the only public 501(c)(3) charitable organization solely focused on Jewish camp. https://jewishcamp.org/

About the Jewish Educators Project trip For over 100 years, The Jewish Education Project has been supporting educators to build strong Jewish communities. Originally The Board of Jewish Education, The Jewish Education Project provides professional development and other resources to educators in early childhood centers, congregations, day schools and yeshivot, youth programs, and emerging spaces. https://www.jewishedproject.org/