Reform and Conservative Camping Movements’ Service Corps Will Engage Synagogue Youth Year Round

The camping movements of the Union for Reform Judaism and the National Ramah Commission of The Jewish Theological Seminary have announced a joint initiative to develop a year-round Service Corps program for camp staff alumni. Participants in the Service Corps will apply their experience, talents and skills to create camp-style programming for North American synagogue youth, and to recruit more children to attend camp.

A new grant will be shared equally by the two largest synagogue-based Jewish camping movements in North America. The program will include the training and support of up to 80 young adult educators, who will serve in part-time youth leadership roles at Conservative and Reform congregations throughout North America. The educators will work actively on camp recruitment and will help reenergize the communities they serve through innovative, inspiring, and immersive programming.

This new initiative builds upon the successful model of the Ramah Service Corps, funded by the Foundation for Jewish Camp and begun in 2010 with support from a Covenant Foundation Ignition Grant. It is expected that the expansion of this program will result in an increase of youth participation in synagogue/community programs and greater enrollment in camp and Israel programs.

Ramah and the URJ Camps will share administration, logistical and developmental aspects of the program, while maintaining individual supervision over their own Service Corps participants.