Foundation for Jewish Camp Announces 2nd Cohort of Incubator Camps

Four new camps will open their doors in time for the 2014 camp season as part of Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC) 2nd cohort for the Specialty Camps Incubator grant program. The Specialty Camp Incubator II is made possible by a grant of $8.6 million jointly funded by The Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation.

Through a multi-step selection process, the Incubator advisory committee selected nonprofit specialty camp proposals possessing strong Jewish missions that weave Jewish culture, values and learning throughout the elements of the camp program. The Incubator seeks to develop camps to reach demographic groups and geographic regions underserved by existing traditional and specialty Jewish camps. This cohort will build on the success of the first Incubator, which launched five Jewish specialty camps in 2010.

The camps selected for Specialty Camp Incubator II are:

  • Camp Inc., Business and entrepreneurial camp based in Boulder, Colorado
  • Camp Zeke, East Coast based health and wellness camp
  • JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, Sports camp in the San Francisco Bay area
  • URJ Six Points Science Academy Science and technology camp in the Boston area

About the camps:

Camp Inc provides campers with a business and entrepreneurial summer camp experience rooted in Jewish values. Campers will learn how to build a company in an industry of their choice and gain the skills necessary to become innovators and social leaders in business, philanthropy and the Jewish community. Israel education will be embedded in the program as campers learn about Israel through the lens of their entrepreneurial sector. Campers will learn from high-level mentors, teachers and business pioneers. Camp Inc., under the direction of Josh Pierce, will be operated by the Boulder JCC.

Focusing on pure foods, energizing fitness activities and culinary arts, Camp Zeke is founded on the time-honored Jewish lesson that physical and spiritual well-being go hand in hand. By immersing campers in traditional teachings of shmirat haguf (taking care of the body) and the latest developments in exercise science and nutrition, Camp Zeke will help children become healthier, fitter, happier and more spiritually-engaged Jews. The director of the camp, Isaac Mamaysky, is a professor, attorney and Camp JORI alum who has a longstanding connection to Jewish camping, and has been involved in both formal and informal Jewish education. Isaac is joined by his fiancee, Lisa Kravitz.

Through intensive clinics and creative programming, the JCC Maccabi Sports Camp will be a transformative experience for young Jewish athletes who are passionate about sports and desire to advance their skill levels. Infused with the same spirit and commitment of the JCC Maccabi Games, the focus will be less on the individual’s current skill level but on the athlete’s capacity to be coached and a commitment to competitive sports. The JCC Maccabi Sports Camp will be based on the west coast with Joshua Steinharter as the director. For seven years, Josh has held the position of Athletic Program Manager for Youth & Coach Development at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and has served as the Delegation Head for Team San Francisco in the JCC Maccabi Games for the past five years. He is an alum of URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute.

URJ 6 Points Science Academy will create an exciting camp environment that addresses the whole child. This innovative specialty camp will not only engage campers’ curiosity about the world through superior hands-on scientific and technological exploration, experimentation and reflection; it will immerse them in a vibrant Jewish community filled with Jewish music, Shabbat experiences and living connections to Israel. Jewish values, ethics and tradition will be woven together with the spirit and excitement of open scientific inquiry. URJ 6 Points Science Academy, the 14th in the Union for Reform Judaism’s camp system, will be located in the Boston, MA area.