For over 25 years, I’ve been asked a similar question over and over again:
- What is it about Jewish Camp that makes my child come back so happy, glowing with confidence and a glitter in their eyes?
- What is it about Jewish Camp that makes my child fall deeply in love with Judaism?
- What is it about Jewish Camp that provides my child with such profound, sweet friendships and sense of community, confidence, personal growth, self-esteem?
- What is it about Jewish Camp that enables my child to discover their best self?
- What is it about Jewish Camp that provides the young adult staff with the same transformative benefits?
- What is it about Jewish Camp that reignites and focuses the passions and work of the Rabbis, educators, Cantors, and artist and scholars-in residence that comprise our faculty?
- What is it about Jewish Camp that bestows such life gifts in a matter of weeks?
Every year around selichot I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to join Congregation Rodef Sholom brothers in our annual Mikvah. The attached photo is from this past Sunday, 9/9/12. Rabbi Michael Lezak, led us with deep kavanah (direction of the heart). 7:00 a.m. we are enter the very cold waters of the Pacific and in just a matter of minutes we recited prayers as we immersed ourselves in the ocean, symbolically reenacting our birth and our experience in the womb.
IMMERSION IMMERSION IMMERSION
This experience helped me frame my response to the parents, grandparents, community leaders and funders about their question – What is it about Jewish Camp?
It is the IMMERSION, the 24/7 and what transpires in the holy waters of Jewish Camp that help explain the Why and What about Jewish Camp.
- Immersion in a community that teaches and lives the value of betzelem elohim, that every person is created in a divine image and has divine gifts and purpose.
- Immersion in a community that celebrates the joys of Judaism.
- Immersion in a community that fosters welcoming, friendship and unconditional love.
- Immersion in a community that practices living in an ideal world, committed to our best selves and seeking and revealing the best in each other.
The Rabbis called the waters of the Mikvah “Mayim Chayim”, “living waters” and there is no place like Jewish Camp where life is so vibrant, positive and life embracing.
May the blessings of Jewish Camp resonate in your lives as you prepare for the school year and the high holyday season.