Camp JRF, a Reconstructionist camp in the Poconos, has announced plans to open a “film and arts-based specialty camp” in Southern California.
Los Angeles is going to get a taste of Reconstructionism from Philadelphia.
Camp JRF, a Reconstructionist camp in the Poconos, has announced plans to open a “film and arts-based specialty camp” in Southern California with the help of The Foundation for Jewish Camp, as part of its Specialty Camps Incubator, which is awarding up to $1.4 million over four years to Camp JRF, according to a news release.
The camp, geared for third through 10th graders, is slated to open in 2018.
“Camp JRF is the beating heart of the Reconstructionist movement. It is one of our crown jewels,” said Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/ Jewish Reconstructionist Communities in Wyncote, in the release. “It is impossible to feel anything other than optimistic about the future of Judaism in general and the future of Reconstructionist Judaism in particular when you visit Camp JRF. We could not be more thrilled by or more grateful for the challenge of expanding it to the West Coast.”
Jewish summer camps have been increasingly recognized as the optimal environment for youth to grow and develop a love of Judaism and Jewish community. At the same time, many Jewish families are choosing to send their children to specialty camps – such as sports, drama, science or dance – rather than general camps with a Jewish focus. The Foundation for Jewish Camp Specialty Camps Incubator and the new site of Camp JRF represent an effort to offer kids seeking specialization the opportunity to do so in an immersive Jewish environment.
While Jewish summer camps have remained a popular destination for youths looking to grow and develop their Jewish identities and love for the Jewish community and Judaism, the release explains, many Jewish families are choosing to send their children to specialty camps — such as sports, drama, science or dance — rather than general camps with a Jewish focus.
“The Foundation for Jewish Camp Specialty Camps Incubator and the new site of Camp JRF represent an effort to offer kids seeking specialization the opportunity to do so in an immersive Jewish environment,” it says.
Added Rabbi Isaac Saposnik, executive director of Camp JRF: “The support and resources offered by the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the funders of the Specialty Camps Incubator will be invaluable as we embark on this innovative new endeavor. Since its inception, the growth and success of Camp JRF have been remarkable. Now, with the energy and commitment of our lay and professional leadership, and with the guidance of the incubator, we’re excited to grow our reach and multiply our impact.”
“The Foundation for Jewish Camp has repeatedly recognized the excellence of our camping program in the Poconos, most especially our unparalleled focus on diversity,” said Waxman. “With this transformative grant, we will be able to recreate, and expand upon, that excellence on the West Coast.”