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Jewish Camp

A great way to connect your kids to Judaism.

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Visitor Comments: 17

(17) Leah, August 22, 2010 10:42 PM

Affordable camping experiences

It's true that camps tend to be expensive. However, there exist a variety of scholarships to subsidize the cost, especially for kids who don't attend Jewish day schools. I know of several kids who was able to attend Camp Nageela Midwest for free. Many others received significant scholarships. For more information, contact your local federation or the camp's office.

(16) Ellie, August 22, 2010 2:35 PM

Camp is unaffordable for many parents.

I wish I could have sent all my kids to sleepover camp. However, I was a single mom for many years and, after the sacrifices of day school tuition, I did not have the monies for camp. My children, who watched many of their friends depart for a summer of camp delights, tried to push their disappointment deep down where Imma would not see it. Because the Jewish community does not consider camp a necessity, it is out of the question for many parents. Keeping at-home children busy and active is a problem for working parents, especially if that busyness cannot involve outlays of cash. I have read several articles about the importance of the camp experience, and, frankly, I find them insensitive to the segment of the population that finds that experience to be out of reach and impractical.

(15) Anonymous, August 20, 2010 11:31 AM

Hi Lori Do you know any good camps in Israel? My kids would love to go, We are modern orthodox and I would love them to learn Hebrew. Thanks - your insights brighten my day and my life!

(14) Jill Morales-Ratner, August 19, 2010 6:51 PM

Camp is Life, The rest is just details...

I learned this phrase during the summer of 2003, where as a 43 year old woman, I got to experience again, the magic of Jewish Summer Camp, working in the office. As a child, my love of Judaism came from going to day camp at Camp JCC and to overnight camp at Camp JCA in the LA area. It left a lasting impression on me. When I applied to work at Camp Newman in Santa Rosa (where the majority of the kids from my synagogue attend), I found out that Ruben Arquilevich, Camp Newman's director, also attended Camp JCA. My summer at Camp Newman was magical because I experienced it through the children's eyes. I now always encourage the families from my synagogue to find a way to send their children to Camp Newman. It never ceases to amaze me how Jewish Summer camp transforms these kids...

(13) Anonymous, August 19, 2010 4:24 PM

I have 3 children. My oldest attended Jewish camp from age 9 through16 thanks to the generosity our synagogue. We moved when my twins were 9. We were able to get scholarships for them for only 2 years. After that, scholarships were not big enough for us to afford the out-of-pocket funds asked of us. My two boys, who loved camp, were no longer able to attend. Such is the problem with Hebrew day schools. Both are priced so high that only the well-heeled can afford them. There is little scholarship for families who need help and I know of no family like mine that receives any help. The point I make is that if, as a Jew you don't have the income, don't bother trying because it becomes insulting and embarrassing to keep asking when you are offered too little to make a difference or to be denied outright. So, for the Rabbi who taught my husband that "EVERY JEWISH CHILD WHO WANTS A JEWISH DAY SCHOOL EDUCATION SHOULD BE GIVEN ONE REGARDLESS OF ABILITY TO PAY", well, yes, I agree. No one running day schools seems to agree. I venture that the opportunity for Jewish camping experiences should be treated the same and, of course, no one truly follows that train of thought either. Hence, in my experience, Jewish day schools and Jewish camps are only for those with the ability to pay. Of course, I do know that some children have attended both for no cost due to them being victims who lost everything in Katrina or some other disaster. That's okay until they get back on their feet, then they should contribute what they can afford. My children were not so lucky. I wasn't asked what I could afford, I was told what I must pay. Kosher food costs too much more than tref; a home in walking distance of a shul is much more costly. Lower income families cannot afford the costs. Hence, I can't afford to do what the Jewish community requires of me. I CAN'T AFFORD YOUR PIE. HUMBLE PIE ISN'T KOSHER.

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