International Family Summer Camps in Israel Attract Diverse Participants

Every August since 2003, Yahalom has conducted Family Summer Camps (FSC) in Jerusalem for mixed groups of FSU immigrant and non-immigrant families living in outlying areas in Israel. This summer, several hundred came together for six days of experiential learning about Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Yahalom believes their model for an International FSC in Israel for Russian-speaking Jews can become a defining Jewish experience for thousands of Rusian-speaking Jewish families in Russia, Ukraine, New York and Germany. After spending a week together in Israel where every activity is designed to strengthen their Russian Jewish identity and to provide the parents with fresh ideas about what Jewish identity they wish to transmit to their children, they return home, like the Birthright-Israel participants, with a passionate Jewish seed having been planted in them.

A separate multi-ethnic camp brings together immigrants of varied backgrounds: this summer 140 parents and children, 44 Ethiopians from Afula, 49 Russian speakers from Beersheba and Ofakim and another 47 Israelis from different parts of the country, participated in last month’s Jerusalem based program.

The family summer camp programs are supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group and UJA Federation – New York.