Jewish Camps: Summer 2009

eisner_staffoppbanner3At Brandeis University today, the first cohort of students will graduate from the specialized Jewish camp leadership track, a part of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. Combining their regular MA/MBA studies with courses in leadership and management in Jewish camping, the students in this program also participated in professional development seminars designed by the Foundation for Jewish Camp and completed targeted internships. Now, they too, head off into the tight job market.

And, in what is probably a coincidence, the front page of today’s Jerusalem Post carried a story, Jewish summer camps in US feel financial pressure.

“While Jewish summer camps grew during boom times, some are now struggling under mounting economic pressure facing campers’ families. Last year, 70,000 children attended Jewish summer camps in North America, up from 47,000 in 2003, according to the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

This year, camp directors – as well as organizers of teen tours to Israel – say anecdotally that their numbers are down, though some still hope to break even by the start of the summer.

“All the trips that I know about all have the same issues: It’s harder to get kids to sign up, they need more scholarship money, parents are more hesitant,” said Roger Braverman, director of Young Israel’s Achva summer tours, down 15 percent from last year.”

image: URJ Eisner Camp