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The Power of Jewish Camp

By Jewish Camp Initiative

Summer just isn’t summer without overnight camp! Federation’s Jewish Camp Initiative sends kids to Jewish overnight camp by providing necessary grants and scholarships. The experiences kids have at summer camp help them form a lifetime bond to their Jewish community.

“Our son returned after a month at Camp Coleman with so many new skills and experiences. He learned how to take care of himself, his environment, and be a good friend and responsible part of the camp community. Meanwhile, our daughter attended 2 weeks of camp this summer, and came home asking if she could attend all 8 weeks next year! This tiny, 8-year-old girl blossomed at camp. The experiences she had growing as a leader, increasing her self-esteem, enjoying newfound independence, learning new skills, and making incredible friends are things she would not have gotten without the help of Federation.”
– A summer 2022 scholarship recipient family 

The Southeast is Making Jewish Camp a Priority

By COMMUNITY, Jewish Camp Initiative

In October 2021 the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) opened its Southeast Center in Atlanta. I am grateful to have been selected as its inaugural Director, and also to the Zalik Foundation for their support in helping the Southeast Center become a reality. During our first year, we have been primarily focused on Atlanta and the FJC Camps that are strongly tied to the community including Camp Barney Medintz, MJCCA Day Camps, Camp Ramah Darom, URJ Camp Coleman, URJ 6 Points Academy, In the City Camps, and Camp Judaea.
We are focused on building a strong professional Jewish Camp community by listening and learning the needs of each camp. Since nearly all seven of the Directors serving Atlanta are new, we offered them and their Facility Managers a Southeast Jewish Camp Tour. It was a wonderful way to learn about the camps and deepen the connections between our camp professionals. Additionally, the FJC-Southeast Center has been collaborating with Hillels throughout the SE to plan camp staff recruitment events and explore other ways that we can work together to strengthen our camps and campuses. 

It is also very exciting that FJC Leader’s Assembly 2022 will take place in Atlanta, December 4-6, 2022. FJC Leader’s Assembly consistently draws 750 or more attendees from throughout North America and even overseas including camp professionals, Board Members, Foundations, donors, and many others working closely with the Jewish camping community. Our local host committee is committed to sharing our city’s unique elements, culture, and talent with those who will be joining us from throughout North America and the world. 

 Bobby Harris spent 36 years serving as Camp Director/Jewish Educator at Camp Young Judaea-Sprout Lake, JCC Camp Arthur-Reeta, and 30 summers as Director of URJ Camp Coleman. Bobby is now working to strengthen Jewish camps in the Southeast.

Bobby Harris

Director, Foundation for Jewish Camp