As the newest ‘happy camper’ on the FJC team, Archie Gottesman’s “Op-Ed: New Ten Commandments for the Jewish People” hit home for me, particularly her 7th commandment:
7. Jewish camp
Jewish camp may be the savior of the Jewish people. I am not talking about camp with a lot of Jewish kids, but Jewish overnight camp where they teach Jewish values in a hip way. Jewish camp will light the spark inside your children that will make them love and identify with their cool Judaism in ways that we just can’t seem to teach at home.
So much of my identity was born out of my Jewish camping experiences. I found myself getting red in the face as I read some of these new commandments – we really need to tell people to join a synagogue?
I’m lucky – for me, going to temple is a mini camp reunion. I am always trying to add in a Havdallah service or tack on a song session to an event because it makes me feel like I am at camp. When my kids come home from Sunday School, I know every song they sing because I sang it, too (most likely at camp).
A foundation for almost all of the new commandments can be built – very naturally – from Jewish camp experiences. See for yourself and find out where you can fit a new commandment into your life.
-Allison Cohen, Director, Marketing & Communications, Foundation for Jewish Camp