The Magic of Overnight Jewish Camps

16 Jul

Lisa Silva, Steve Silva, and camp counselor, Jen, making jewelry

I am lucky to be able to attend overnight Jewish camp every year for one weekend. Aside from kvelling from watching over 400 children pray, sing, dance, schmooze – always with big smiles on their faces – I get to participate in camp activities. This year, with my husband and good friends, I celebrated Shabbat at Camp Ramah Darom with all of the campers, counselors, and teachers. We also learned from a great artist how to make Jewish jewelry.

As I saw firsthand this past weekend, Jewish overnight camps offer rich experiences in Jewish living and learning to youth, adults, families and communities. Children learn from committed and dedicated Jewish educators and counselors in a fun, welcoming and relaxed environment. At camp, it is cool to learn Hebrew, Torah, and core values of respect, peace, community, kindness. Beyond just learning and memorizing the concepts, Jewish camp is a place where children live and practice what they have learned.

Studies show that children who attend Jewish overnight camp have higher rates of in-marriage, synagogue affiliation and a stronger connection to Israel and Jewish life.

Like many other campers, I start counting the days to go back to camp next summer, from the moment I return home!

Flora Oynick is the Engagement Ambassador at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.


One Response to “The Magic of Overnight Jewish Camps”

  1. Terry Blumenstein July 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    It was a great time for our son. He wanted to stay for second session at Coleman, but plans already made. Next Year in Jerusalem, with the NFTY trip.

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