Building on the success of its previous two Incubators, the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has announced support of five new specialty camps as part of Incubator III. The new camps will open their doors for the summer of 2018.
Incubator III is made possible by a combined grant of up to $12 million jointly funded by The Jim Joseph Foundation and AVI CHAI Foundation.
Since 2010, the nine Specialty Camps incubated have served over 6,000 campers – with nearly half reporting that they had never attended a Jewish camp before. The camps continue to surpass enrollment and retention goals, proving the demand for Jewish specialty options in the summer camp marketplace. FJC expects that each of these new specialty camps will serve approximately 300 campers and 40 college-aged counselors per summer with a cumulative potential of serving 1,500 campers and 200 college-aged counselors by the summer of 2021.
The camps selected for Specialty Camps Incubator III are:
- JRF Arts will provide campers with high level arts programming within a Jewish, values-based, and magical community to become better artists – and better people. Based in Southern California, JRF Arts will focus on the film arts with other supporting modalities. Campers will learn from professional artists, build deep and lasting friendships, and be part of the inclusive, diverse, and welcoming JRF family. This will be the second camp for the Reconstructionist movement.
- Moshav Eden, on the West Coast, will cultivate a diverse Jewishly-rooted community of children, teens, and young adults who learn to steward the earth and strengthen our food systems. Campers will emerge from immersive Jewish farm-to table experiences empowered to promote a more environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually connected world. Moshav Eden is an outgrowth of Eden Village Camp, a part of the Specialty Camps Incubator I cohort.
- Ramah Sports Academy will be a high-level sports specialty overnight camp in the Northeast, emphasizing skill development, within a caring summer community infused with the traditions and values of Judaism. The vision behind RSA is the creation of a sports camp run by elite coaches and counselors, designed to enhance skills, encourage teamwork and sportsmanship, and instill confidence in every aspect of our campers’ lives. The program will go beyond sports instruction to instill a deeper love for Judaism, Hebrew language, and the land and people of Israel, while challenging campers to grow intellectually, athletically, and spiritually.
- Sababa Beach Away will inspire a diverse group of Jewish campers of varying ages, levels of Jewish affiliation and all types of observance to experience a relaxing, noncompetitive and fun environment while building relationships, self-knowledge, balance, and critical life skills through the exhilaration of ocean activities and the wisdom of Jewish spirituality. Sababa Beach Away Camp looks to capitalize on the setting of one of the East Coast’s top surfing locations, the exciting, spiritual nature of surfing/beach activities, and the growing popularity of Jewish mindfulness to provide Jewish teens and tweens a unique camp experience that combines friends, fun, and physical challenge with profound Jewish content.
- URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy will be a unique environment fully dedicated to the pursuit of visual, performance and media art, building an immersive experience where creative expression permeates every aspect of their day – from meals, to cabin time, to Jewish learning. This innovative specialty camp, envisioned to be in the Mid-Atlantic region, will not only engage campers’ creativity through hands on exploration of music, visual arts and theater, it will connect them to and immerse them in a vibrant Jewish community filled with Jewish celebration, Shabbat experiences, and living connections to Israel.
Research from the first two Incubators show that the specialty model attracts new campers – 66% said that they only went to Jewish camp because they were attracted to one of the specialties. Additionally, 74% of campers’ parents reported that the experience positively impacted their Jewish identity and 65% testified to positive changes in campers’ Jewish knowledge, further aligning the successes of this program with the missions of all three foundations.
The Specialty Camps Incubator III Workshop Curriculum is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their efforts to launch new Jewish specialty camps. The content of the workshops will be enhanced by group learning and shared experiences of participants and lessons learned from Incubator I and II.
“We are excited to be growing the portfolio of specialty camps, developed through a Jewish lens. The hard work done by the camp professionals through the Incubator, will make the magical experience of Jewish summers more accessible for many more teens.” explains Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO, FJC.