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JCC Day Camps See Israel Close Up

Ten JCC day camp directors have been selected for our new Israel Up Close program in April. These directors will join Dr. David Ackerman, director of the Mandel Center for Jewish Education, and Jodi Sperling, director of camping and the Merrin Center for Teen Engagement,  for an educational seminar in Israel, including participation in the Jewish Agency for Israel’s summer shlichim training seminar for Israeli camp staff. Attending and participating in this training seminar has made a great difference in the way camp directors view their personal relationship with Israel and their camp’s relationship to Israel, according to Sperling. “Until you experience Israel firsthand, it’s very difficult to create a meaningful curriculum of Israel education on the ground,” she said. “The shlichim training seminar immerses directors in the conversation about how Israel comes to life at camp.” Melissa Hoch, director of programming at  the Robert E. Loup JCC in Denver said, “Attending the Shlichim training seminar has had a deep impact on my work and my life. We were American ambassadors when we arrived and Israeli ambassadors when we left.”  Israel Up Close is part of JCC Association’s day camp initiative to enrich the experience for thousands of children and teens.

The participating camps are:
James & Rachel Levinson Day Camp,  JCC of Greater Pittsburgh
Kehillah Day Camp, St. Louis JCC
O-la-mi Day Camp, Stamford JCC
Camp JCC, JCC of Greater Washington
Louisville JCC Summer Camp, JCC of Louisville
The Jack & Pat Kay Centre Camp, Prosserman JCC, Toronto
Camp JCC, Raleigh-Cary JCC
Camp Shai, Robert E. Loup JCC (Denver)
Shorefront Y Day Camp, Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton Manhattan Beach
JCCNV Camps/Camp Achva, JCC of Northern Virginia

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