YU’s Israel Summer Camp Initiative Becomes an Accredited Program for Jewish Service-learning

The Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future has announced that its “Counterpoint Israel Program,” a month-long service-learning initiative that aims to empower the next generation of Israeli youth via a Jewish values-driven summer camp experience, has been retooled to allow counselors to receive graduate level credits for their participation in the program.

This new development makes Yeshiva University the world’s first institution to offer an accredited program for Jewish service-learning.

Now in its sixth year, Counterpoint Israel – supported by the Zusman Family and Repair the World and staffed by 34 students from the U.S., Canada, South Africa and New Zealand – will double in size with camps operating in Dimona, Arad and Yemin Orde between July 12th – August 18th.

As in past years, the Dimona program – run with additional funding by Sharon and Avram Blumenthal – as well as the new program in Arad – with additional support from the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey as part of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2000 initiative and Congregation Beth El-Atereth Israel of Newton, MA – will include classes given in English and workshops in arts, fashion, music, dance and sports, all with the goal of improving the students’ English skills while promoting a positive self-image and traditional Jewish values.

However, the Yemin Orde program – sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America – will be run as an overnight camp hosted at Yeshiva University’s Israel campus in Bayit Ve’gan and will focus on addressing the specific needs of the Israeli teens residing in the Yemin Orde Youth Village following their firsthand experiences with the devastation caused by the Carmel forest fire in December.

In addition to Counterpoint Israel, the CJF will be running several other summer programs around the world, including student kollels (Torah study programs) for Jewish communities in Georgia, Colorado, California, Kansas, New Jersey and Illinois, and a Counterpoint summer camp for unaffiliated children in Sao Paulo, Brazil.