Camp Judaea Camper Pursues Eagle Project to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico

For his Eagle Project, Ethan Klein (Bogrim 2016) is collecting new and used tools that will be shipped by the Urban Paradise League to Puerto Rico to help rebuild after Hurricane Maria. Please consider supporting Ethan and his efforts.

Here are some easy ways to help him!


If you live in the South Florida area, you can donate new or used tools anytime between now and Sunday, 11/26, at the Home Depot at the corner of Stirling and University (5801 University Drive).

Just look for Ethan’s donation boxes or come by on 11/26 between 10a and 4p and Ethan will be there with his troop collecting donations.


For those who live further away but wish to help, Ethan also has an Amazon wish list with a variety of tools at different price points that you can access here.

Items purchased from the wish list can be shipped directly to Ethan by using the wish list delivery address. It’s that easy!


If anyone has questions or needs more information, they can email Ethan at EthansEagleProject160@gmail.com.

Thank you for supporting Ethan and the people of Puerto Rico!

Kol Hakavod to Ethan, a true mensch!

2018 Financial Aid Opportunities

Dear Camp Judaea Families,

We have put together a list of potential grant and financial aid opportunities available to our families for Summer 2018. We hope it will assist you in the process of finding financial aid. We suggest contacting your local Federations, synagogues, and Jewish Children and Family Services organizations to explore their scholarship opportunities. This list will be updated as we learn more about applications opening, deadlines, and contact information.  Thank you for your patience.

CAMP JUDAEA CAMPERS:  The Camp Judaea Scholarship Application is now open. APPLY TODAYIf you have questions or need assistance with your application, please call FACTS at 1-866-441-4637.

PJ LIBRARY: PJ Goes to Camp (PJGTC) is a funder of FJC’s One Happy Camper program. PJ Goes to Camp offers incentive grants of up to $1,000 towards first time camp tuition for PJ Library* participants, siblings, and alumni.  Application for 2018 is open. Learn more about the program and how to apply.

ATLANTA, GA RESIDENTS: Needs-Based Scholarship: The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Camp Scholarship Program helps families in metro Atlanta with the cost of overnight camp tuition. Camp scholarships are based on financial need and are awarded by the Camp Scholarship Committee as a part of an anonymous review and allocation process. All applications and inquiries are confidential. The camp scholarship program is funded through the generosity of individual donors, grants from charitable foundations, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Annual Campaign. APPLY NOW. Application deadline is March 2, 2018.

If you have questions about the status of your application, please contact Sami Tanenbaum, Community Camp Ambassador, stanenbaum@jewishatlanta.org.

Atlanta One Happy Camper grants:The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and the Foundation for Jewish Camp are happy to sponsor the One Happy Camper grant for Jewish Campers who are attending non-profit Jewish overnight camp for the first time! First-time campers who are attending camp for 11-18 days can receive $700 and campers attending camp for 19 days+ can apply to receive $1000 off their first summer at camp. Grants are first come, first served and are NOT based on financial need. Jewish day school students are NOW eligible for One Happy Camper. Other summer experiences may apply; click here for a full list of approved programs. Please note that if your child attended camp in summer 2017 for 11-18 days and is planning to return to camp in summer 2018 for 19 days+  for the first time, they are still considered a second year camper. APPLY NOW.

Second-Year Atlanta One Happy Camper incentive grant: Atlanta campers who received a One Happy Camper grant during summer 2017 may be eligible to receive a Second-Year One Happy Camper incentive grant up to $500.  To apply for the second-year grant, complete the One Happy Camper application which includes questions that will determine your eligibility for the second-year program. Please note that in order to be eligible, families must have received a first year grant for summer 2017 and have a combined household AGI of less than $160,000. The application form for One Happy Camper years one and two is the same. Apply now.

BROWARD COUNTY, FL RESIDENTS: Application available ! Orloff CAJE provides need-based financial assistance for Jewish overnight camps to families residing in Broward County, on behalf of The Jewish Federation of Broward County, the Jewish Community Foundation and the Sonenshein Fund for Jewish Sleep Away Camps. Complete the application and return it, together with a complete copy of your most recent income tax return, prior to March 1. One Happy Camper is also available. Campers who received a One Happy Camper grant (www.onehappycamper.org) may also apply for need based financial assistance. Learn More or Apply! Please contact Rochelle Baltuch – camp@orloffcaje.org or at 954-660-2077.

MIAMI – DADE, FL RESIDENTS:  The Greater Miami Jewish Overnight Summer Camp Scholarship application will be available online at www.jewishmiami.org from the end of November through January 31.  If you have questions about your application or for more information, contact Inbar Cohen at 786.866.8431 or icohen@gmjf.org.

PALM BEACH COUNTY and BOYNTON BEACH NORTH through MARTIN COUNTY, FL RESIDENTS:  The Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County provides up to $1,500 in camp scholarship for children who demonstrate financial need (for up to a maximum of 3 summers). Contact Melissa Arden at Melissa.Arden@jewishpalmbeach.org or 561-242-6654.

BOCA RATON, DELRAY BEACH, and HIGHLAND BEACH, FL:  The Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Service Center for Families and Children offers scholarship assistance to camp families who qualify and live in their service area of Delray Beach and Boca Raton.  Contact Shari Cohen at 561-852-3171 or shariw@ralesjfs.org for more information or to apply.

CHARLESTON, SC RESIDENTS: Financial aid for Charleston-based campers is available. Click here to learn more about the available opportunities in Charleston. Please contact Sara Chesley at saras@jewishcharleston.org or call 843-614-6491 for free and confidential assistance. Thank you to the Pearlstine Family Fund and the Foundation for Jewish Camp for generous funding to support campers!

ALABAMA, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS or TENNESSEE RESIDENTS:  Application available beginning November 1st at www.jcrs.org.  If you have questions regarding your application, please contact Janice Zazulak at Janice@jcrs.org or (504) 828-6334.

INDEPENDENT COMMUNITIES: Thanks to the generosity of The Michael and Anita Siegal One Happy Camper Fund, six $1,000 incentive grants are available. Any Jewish child who would like to have a first-time experience at a Jewish overnight camp and who lives in a community that is part of JFNA’s Network of Independent Communities (small, outlying Jewish communities) is eligible to apply. The 2018 application is not yet available, but we will update this post once it is liveIn the meantime, if you have questions regarding the One Happy Camper grant application process for Network communities, please contact Edward Finkel, JFNA/Network Regional Director, at (212) 284-6530 or by e-mail at edward.finkel@jewishfederations.org.

LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA and FLORIDA PANHANDLE RESIDENTS:  The Goldring Jewish Summer Camp Experience  offers one-time grants of $1000 to first-time campers. Deadline: March 31, 2018.  Click here for more information or to apply. For more information, please contact Ellen Abrams at 504-524-4559 or ellen@jefno.org.

PINELLAS AND PASCO COUNTY, FL RESIDENTS:  The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco County and the Covenant Fund are offering need-based camp scholarships for the 2018 camping season. Click here for information or to apply. For information or assistance, please call 727-530-3223.

BIRMINGHAM, AL RESIDENTS:  The Birmingham Jewish Federation offers limited need-based camp scholarships. To learn more about how to apply, contact Collat Jewish Family Services at 205-879-3438.

GREENSBORO, NC RESIDENTS:  Grants and Financial Assistance, including the The Greensboro Jewish Federation Stanley Shavitz Camp Judaea Camper Incentive Grant, are available only for Greensboro residents who are contributing members of the Greensboro Jewish Federation. Contact Hannah Henza, Program Coordinator of Greensboro Jewish Federation, or Betsy Gamburg, Director of Jewish Family Services, about any aspect of this information.

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENTS:  The WNC Jewish Federation offers need-based financial aid. Download the information and application.

JEWISH FEDERATION and FOUNDATION OF NASHVILLE AND MIDDLE TENNESSEE:  The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee realizes the importance of building Jewish life and makes available on a need basis financial assistance for students to attend Jewish summer camps.  To request information on summer camp opportunities or for a scholarship application, please contact Becky Gunn at the Jewish Federation office, 615-356-1624, or by email, becky@jewishnashville.org.

JEWISH FEDERATION of SARASOTA-MANATEE:  The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, in partnership with local philanthropists, offers incentive grants for Jewish children planning to attend not-for-profit Jewish overnight camps for the summer.  Applications open November 1st and the deadline is January 31st, 2018.  Click here for more information or to apply!  Contact Andrea Eiffert at Aeiffert@jfedsrq.org or 941-552-6308.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES:  Please check with your local synagogues and Federations for opportunities that may be available to your family. As a reminder, this year One Happy Camper grants are generally offered only through PJ Library and specific local Jewish Federations.
If you know of any opportunities that are available, but not listed here, please email Camp Judaea at info@campjudaea.org.

Reminder: Most granting agencies that award funds on a needs basis want to know that families have made arrangements with Camp Judaea to cover a portion of the tuition prior to applying for scholarship. If you have not already, please ensure that you have a payment plan with camp that covers a good portion of your balance. When applying for assistance, agencies will want to know that you have approached multiple sources for assistance. Besides the places listed above, synagogues and Jewish Family Services are also good places to try. We understand this process can be confusing and frustrating at times. We would like this process to be as easy as possible. If you have questions regarding the scholarship process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 404-634-7883 or info@campjudaea.org.

PLEASE SUPPORT CAMP JUDAEA SCHOLARSHIPS
Please consider supporting Camp Judaea Scholarships.  You can donate here or contact us at 404-634-7883 or info@campjudaea.org. Your contribution is tax-deductible!

Where in the World is Camp Judaea? Upcoming Events

Events and Open Houses you won’t want to miss!

November 5, 2017
Miami, FL- Open House at the home of Valerie and Jesse Mitrani

November 6, 2017

Boynton Beach, FL- Open House at the home of Rachel and Idan Rotem

November 7, 2017

Haulover Park, FL- Food Truck Tuesday Camp Judaea Meet-Up!

November 12, 2017
Charleston, SC- Open House at the home of Tamar and Scott Sternfeld

If you have questions, would like to host an event in your community, or wish to RSVP to any of the events, please contact Elana Pollack at epollack@campjudaea.org or 678-201-1543

Camp Judaea Launches TIKKUN for Rising 11th Graders

Enroll Now!

Tikkun aims to offer our campers a continued experience at Camp Judaea based on a combination of leadership training and community service. Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, is a value that we practice at camp and hope to instill in our chanichim and tsevet. This program will be an opportunity to apply this practice and provide experience that will help participants emerge as leaders and dugma’ot ishiot (role models) — and eventually great madrichim at CJ.

We are thrilled to pilot this program with our campers’ TY summer in mind. Tikkun will begin on July 18th, after the completion of Tel Yehudah’s first session. Campers are not required to attend Tel Yehudah to attend this program.

Tikkun will include service learning, leadership development, and time to enjoy being a camper at CJ! A program highlight will be a trip to Columbia, SC for a six-day service learning mission. Our campers will be working with Saint Bernard Project (SBP), a non-profit organization committed to natural disaster relief and rebuilding. SBP has been in Columbia, SC since October 2015 aiding families who were affected by severe floods. To date, SBP has restored over 50 homes and still has a waiting list of close to 1000 families. During their stay in Columbia, campers and staff will be staying in dorm rooms at the University of South Carolina and enjoying kosher meals prepared in cooperation with Beth Shalom Synagogue. We are still finalizing additional details for this trip and working with partner organizations in the Columbia area to explore additional recreational and educational activities for that week.

Campers will be engaging in community service a total of 40 hours over the course of the program. Certificates of community service hours completed will be presented to campers at the end of the program.

Limited spots are available.

Details at-a-glance

Rates and Dates:
July 18-August 2
Tuition: $2750 (early bird) and $2850 (after October 31)

Schedule Overview:

July 18-July 21 Group bonding, pre-trip preparation, preparing Friday afternoon and Saturday activities for the rest of camp, preparing proposals for legacy projects to be completed during the last week of camp.

July 22-July 27 Volunteering on site in Columbia, SC with the St. Bernard Project. Housing will be in dorm rooms at the University of South Carolina. Kosher dinners will be eaten at Beth Shalom Synagogue.

July 27-August 2 Back at CJ for the last Shabbat, legacy projects at camp

Click Here to Enroll for Tikkun

Hurricane Maria: Help Our Families in Puerto Rico

Dear Camp Judaea Family,

L‘Shana Tovah to you and your family. As many of you know, the Puerto Rican community has been an integral part of the Camp Judaea family for over 50 years. Almost two dozen families from Puerto Rico currently send their children to CJ and many other CJ families are originally from or still have family living in Puerto Rico. We have been in touch with all of our families affected by Hurricane Maria, and fortunately they are all safe. However, many of our families are reporting significant damage to their homes, may not have electricity for an extended period of time, and are considering relocation so that their children can attend school. Simply stated, this hurricane has devastated the entire island, and it will take months (or possibly years) for the Puerto Rico community to rebuild.

We want to assist the Puerto Rico CJ community in any way that we can, so we have created a new scholarship fund called the CJ Hurricane Maria Scholarship Fund. This fund will go towards assisting Puerto Rican families in need of scholarship money to make sending their children to CJ a little easier while they rebuild their lives. Donate today to the CJ Hurricane Maria Scholarship Fund

In addition, we want to share with you some of the many ways that CJ families are currently assisting the relief efforts. We encourage you to reach out to them directly to provide assistance.
To name a few:

  • CJ Alumni David Solomiany, the Shub family, and other members of the CJ community are working with the Jewish Community Center of San Juan to help rebuild two local towns that were devastated by the hurricane. They are collecting and delivering water, food, and essentials for families located in these areas. Contact David (dsolomiany@kressgroup.com) for more information.
  • CJ Alumnae and camp parents Jennifer Zeuner and Vicky Cohen are working together with a group in Boca Raton, FL that is flying essential goods to those in need. You can click on this link to obtain a list of what supplies are needed most: PR Amazon Wish List. Contact Jennifer (jz@jenniferzeuner.com) or Vicky (coheymiami@gmail.com) for more information.

The CJ community is strong and committed to helping one another. After all, we call it the CJ family for a reason! Thank you for your continued support of Camp Judaea and for your help with our Puerto Rican families in need. We hope that you will consider making a donation to the CJ Hurricane Maria Scholarship Fund or reaching out to our alumni who are already coordinating relief efforts.

If you have any questions please contact our office or e-mail Walter (walter@campjudaea.org).

Shalom,
Camp Judaea

Camp Judaea Acquires a New Torah

This year, Camp Judaea had an opportunity to purchase a very old and well-loved Torah from a small and shrinking congregation in New Castle, Pennsylvania called Temple Hadar Israel. The Jewish history of New Castle, PA dates back to the mid-1800’s and Temple Hadar Israel originally began in the mid-1870’s as a small minyan held in congregants’ homes. From there it grew to a congregation of several hundred with youth activities and a religious school. However, by the 1960’s the Jewish population in New Castle was dwindling and in 2015, Temple Hadar Israel sold its building to a local business owner. The congregation still gathers in the space occasionally, but decided to sell their one of their Torahs to a community where it would be cherished.

We were matched with this congregation through a partnership with the Jewish Community Legacy Project which is a resource for small congregations located outside of metropolitan areas that have an aging population and dwindling leadership and a desire to insure their legacy.

After we purchased the Torah, it was sent to be restored in Florida through an organization called Sofer on Site. We got some incredible action-shots of our very own Torah as the Sofer worked to restore it to a condition suitable for our community.

The Torah made its way up to Hendersonville before the summer kicked off. The CJ community enjoyed the Torah on two very special mornings during which we celebrated B’nai Mitzvot of some of our campers. We will continue to treasure the new addition to the CJ community and our journey with Jewish Community Legacy Project, and we look forward to many future simchas with our Torah.

Leah Perez (Bogrim 2018)

Ethan Fisch (Kesher 2018)

Ayelet Baisburd (Bogrim 2019)

A Summer Reflection From One Of Our 2017 Cornerstone Fellows

Greetings, I am Melanie Weintraub, one of Camp Judaea’s 2017 Cornerstone fellows! Cornerstone is a fellowship for third-year madrichim (counselors) and camp leaders who are empowered to bring new skills, ideas, and innovations that will make a positive impact to strengthen their camp community.

Each summer before the camp season kicks off, the Cornerstone Fellows from more than 60 Jewish camps gather to exchange ideas, learn from Jewish camping experts, and prepare for their summer at camp. The five-day seminar was a camp madricha’s dream: experts in the field of camping, beautiful mountains, and camp madrichim from across the United States and Canada all coming together to talk about the best place on Earth, camp!

This experience was unique in that the camps represented at this conference all do things differently. Fellows could learn new ideas, understand different approaches, and be able to adapt programs from other camps for their specific camp they are representing. During this conference, each fellow chose a track. The chosen tracks allowed fellows to spend a few hours every day learning, participating, and communicating about an aspect of camp that is important and meaningful to them.

I chose the t’fillot (Jewish prayer) track. I learned how camps with diverse religious affiliations make prayer an integral part of the camp experience. I loved learning about how to enhance and integrate prayer in both alternative and traditional ways so that all chanichim (campers) could participate and enjoy.

My favorite activity I participated in was called “The Happy Lab.” This activity consisted of different stations that sparked our five senses: crazy instruments, meditation, blessing writing, a laughing session, and tangible objects. Before going to each station, I ranked my current happiness on a scale of one to ten. After each station, I wrote down how much these sensory activities increased my happiness. This program was entertaining, interesting, and influential, in that it demonstrated how such simple activities could make someone smile and laugh so much. I left the Cornerstone seminar so excited and inspired to bring programs like my beloved Happy Lab to Camp Judaea and share it with the chanichim and other madrichim.

Beyond my chosen t’fillot track, I attended presentations surrounding the ideas of confidence and body image, specifically relating to Judaism. Based on what I learned at the conference, I came to camp and was able to give chanichim a program that not only touched on this confidence, but also allowed the chanichim to figure out what exactly makes them confident specifically at camp that could benefit them in their lives as a whole. This program allowed chanichim to trace their bodies and point out which body parts allowed them to excel during a day at camp. Examples chanichim shared: pointing out that their legs helped them climb the tower, their arms allowed them to swim fast, and their hands helped them make creative artwork.

Melanie with her co-counselors ready to welcome their Offarim campers!

Looking back at this summer, I realize how much being a Cornerstone Fellow impacted my ability to lead other staff members and enhanced my ability to write and was able to provide unique activities that directly correlated with events at camp. I can say confidently that I not only grew as a staff member because of Cornerstone, but as a person. I am excited for other staff members to have this opportunity!

Camp Judaea Announces New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Camp Judaea is thrilled to announce that professional camping legend and CJ alumnus Walter Synalovski is returning to CJ as Executive Director effective August 21, 2017. After serving as the Director of Camp Judaea from 1992 to 1995, Walter was the director of Cedar Lake Camp in Pennsylvania for 14 years and will complete his seventh year as the Director of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac in Massachusetts this summer.

“Camp Judaea holds such a special place in my heart and I am incredibly excited to return as Executive Director,” Synalovski said. “The Zionist mission of Camp Judaea still resonates with me today like it did when I spent the 1984-85 year participating in Young Judaea’s Year Course in Israel. For me to be able to bring my camping experience and leadership back to where it all started is truly wonderful. I’m coming home.”

Board Chair Sam Levy said, “Walter’s hire is a home run for Camp Judaea. He’s friendly, warm, and engaging; he has a wealth of camping experience; and he’s a CJ alumnus. It’s the perfect mix that we’ve been seeking, and we are beyond excited to have found an Executive Director to lead us into the future.” Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, commented that “hiring Walter is great news for Camp Judaea and for the field of Jewish camp. Walter has earned a well-regarded and highly-respected reputation over his 25 years in the industry. We have confidence he will help continue the outstanding performance of CJ and will contribute much to the growth of the field.”

Walter is returning to CJ at an exciting time for the summer camp. Enrollment has grown to a record high, with 650 children slated to attend camp this summer. To accommodate the growth, CJ is upgrading its facilities, including building a new dining hall that will be ready for the summer of 2017. CJ also plans to add another cabin village, build a new arts center, and complete numerous other projects in the coming years. Synalovski marveled at how much camp has grown in the 22 years since his tenure as director in the 1990s. “The new cabins and brand new dining hall are state of the art. They show that the Board is committed to implementing the organization’s strategic plan. I know that camp will be in great hands under Leah Zigmond’s leadership this coming summer, and I look forward to working together with Leah starting in August to help CJ reach new heights.”

Walter was born in Puerto Rico and received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida International University. After attending Year Course and graduating from FIU, he worked in Miami as a Young Judaea Regional Director. He is fluent in English and Spanish and has two daughters, Lizzy (22) and Rachel (20).

Camp Judaea, located on 123 acres in beautiful Hendersonville, NC, is an independent not-for profit organization serving boys and girls ages 7-16. Camp Judaea’s mission is to provide a safe, fun, nurturing community where children, teens, and young adults grow as individuals, build lifelong friendships, develop leadership skills, and establish enduring connections with Judaism, Israel, and the natural environment.

8 Ways to get to Camp Judaea’s Alumni Camp

August 4-6, CJ young alumni are invited back to camp for a weekend of nostalgia, friends, and fun! For many of our participating alumni, it has been a while since they’ve had to fill out transportation forms and make their way to 48 Camp Judaea Lane. To help them make their arrangements, we’ve put together this list.

Camp Judaea Alumni ages 22-35, Don’t miss: Kabbalat Shabbat overlooking the lake, a hysterical oneg, late-night basketball, watching the softball game from the pool, Shabbat shira, an epic rikkud party, s’mores around a fire, bagel cheers, and more! Your favorite camp memories with all your camp friends in ONE weekend.

Bring your counselor, bring your bunkmate, bring your banquet date, bring your BO, bring your spouse (but don’t bring your kids!) and tell your boss you’re #GoingBacktoCJ2017!

Click here for more information about Camp Judaea Alumni Camp
Click here to register for Camp Judaea Alumni Camp– $199 until May 31st! After this date, price will go up to $240.

Contact Elana at epollack@campjudaea.org with questions or for more info.