Positive Long-Term Impacts of Jewish Day Camp
fresh, formative, & far-reaching.
Jewish day camp has reached a pivotal moment, and Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) now has the research, data, and supporting literature to capitalize on it.
Research shows that JEWISH DAY CAMP has the unparalleled potential to:
…Meaningfully engage the youngest members of the Jewish community.
Day camps may be particularly impactful for younger children and preschoolers. Numerous studies indicate that much of children’s cognitive development, including the development of individual religious and cultural identity, takes place in the early childhood years. Therefore, in line with benefits of day camps put forth by ACA, Kimmelman and JCCA, Jewish day camps appear to have exceptional opportunities to engage the youngest members of the Jewish community.
…Influence the lives & Jewish futures of young staff members.
Working as a counselor at a Jewish day camp can have a significant impact on teens and young adults and can help solidify their personal commitment to a life as a member of the Jewish community. This may be particularly true for those whose first significant work experience offers opportunities for personal and professional growth and is immersed in a culture shaped by Jewish values and learning.
…Shape entire young Jewish families, including parents & siblings.
In addition to campers, Jewish day camps have the potential to shape their parents according to Jewish communal values. Unlike in overnight camp, day campers return home to their families each evening to share stories, songs, and new learnings from their day. Day camps also have the ability to encourage family involvement in the camp experience; inviting families to participate in programs like pre-Shabbat events and Havdallah, and offering parents access to a local Jewish social network of their own.
READ THE FULL REPORTS:
The following reports and data unearth the positive long-term impacts of Jewish day camp, lay out a blueprint for how FJC can help day camps increase impact, and analyze current outstanding models of engaging families with young children through high-quality Jewish day camps. This initial research conducted by Dr. Judith Samuels and Ramie Arian under the guidance and in close partnership with Jenni Zeftel, FJC’s Director of Day Camp and Strategic Programs, and Marci Soifer, FJC’s Operations and Planning Director, also points to the feasibility of creating new day camps and leveraging new models such as day camps that are co-branded with overnight camps. By sharing this knowledge and these new metrics for day camp impact, FJC hopes to better ensure engagement of the youngest members of the Jewish community, their families, and young staff in order to build a bright Jewish future through transformative Jewish day camp summers.
The time has come for the Jewish community to fully embrace the power and potential of the Jewishly intentional day camp.