Collaborative Reimagination of Hebrew, Culture, and Israel at Camp
Jewish camping is recognized as one of the most powerful engines for community and identity building, a key element in the Jewish educational path that changes lives of both campers and staff. The Hebrew language is yet another extraordinary tool that helps connect Jews to their people, Israel, culture, and values. The recent publication of the award-winning book Hebrew Infusion demonstrates that bringing these two elements together can be unleashed to help camps accomplish their community building and educational goals.
Hebrew as a tool for cultural engagement with Israel
Through the joint efforts of The Jewish Agency for Israel and Hebrew at the Center, we are inviting a select number of camps to participate in a two-year pilot program to support a more intentional approach to using Hebrew language and engagement at camp in ways that make sense to both the summer population and the leadership.
- The first summer will focus on capacity building and learning together how Hebrew will fit into the camp’s program and culture, including listening and learning, pilot programming, and reflection and evaluation.
- The project begins with camp leadership considering their current connection to Hebrew engagement and identify ways in which Hebrew can be used to advance their camps’ educational and organizational goals.
- Prior to the summer, the camp director and a selected project partner from the camp participate in short, focused conversations and trainings to surface questions and identify goals.
- The participating camps will receive a heavily subsidized and uniquely trained amitei ivrit, a Hebrew emissary, who brings new and fun activities, tools that support observation and learning, skills to facilitate discussions about Hebrew and culture, and understanding about change.
- The amitei ivrit will work with the camp partners to consider where to selectively test out new program ideas, whether with specific age groups or in particular program areas, and work with the full mishlachat to leverage their Hebrew and passion.
- In this pilot summer, the goal is to better understand how camps’ unique missions and culture can leverage this initiative, with subsequent summers helping to build upon these learnings.
Amiei Ivrit will be selected based on prior experience at North American Jewish summer camps and their understanding of the unique nature of camp, passion for Hebrew and experience in informal education, and openness to creating new culture in partnership with camp leadership and camp staff. Priority will be given to candidates who are returning to a selected camp or are open to returning to the same camp for a second summer.
This program is brought to you by The Jewish Agency for Israel, thanks to the generous support of the Patrick & Lina Drahi Foundation, and powered by Hebrew at the Center.