Specialty Camp Incubator: Day Camp

With the generous support of UJA Federation of New York, the Foundation for Jewish Camp launched the Specialty Camp Incubator: Day Camp to provide expertise and support to the cohort, as they plan and implement their vision for new models of nonprofit, Jewish specialty day camps. The FJC Specialty Camp Incubator: Day Camp is based on the model of the business incubator, formed to accelerate the development of entrepreneurial ventures by providing assistance during the early years and a platform for peer learning and support.


Day Camp Incubator Cohort:

Sprout Brooklyn Day Camp is an expansion of the Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake brand, which has many years of experience connecting a fun, safe, summer camp program to informal experiential education about Jewish life and the State of Israel.  Situated at the Basis School in Red Hook, the camp was established in 2015, as a natural next step to establishing the Young Judaea values of Jewish identity, Tikkun Olam, pluralism and connection to Israel in a day camp setting.

Project Dacha is a specialty camp sponsored by COJECO, with the goal of empowering Russian-speaking Jewish families who spend their summers at predominantly Russian-speaking cabin communities to embrace Jewish traditions on their own terms, and become active participants in their children’s Jewish education. The program entails Jewishly-themed workshops for children and culturally sensitive Jewish activities for the whole family. By bringing Jewish programming to the locations where Russian-speaking Jewish families already spend their summer vacations, Project Dacha lowers the threshold for engagement and offers interactive, fun, and valuable Jewish experiences that strengthen and develop a sense of Jewish family identity, and encourage long-term Jewish involvement.

The expansion of the New Country Day Camp (NCDC) program builds on the strengths of both NCDC and KOL, the 14th Street Y’s Special Needs Program. They identified an unmet need in the community: Jewish families who want to enroll their children with special needs in Jewish day camp. The addition to camp programming enables NCDC to offer an inclusionary environment for Jewish children with special needs in order to provide them with a richer engagement with Jewish life and learning. By increasing the diversity of its campers, the camp has also created a more open, dynamic and diverse Jewish day camp experience for all campers.

This camp, sponsored by the very successful day camp programs operated by the Kings Bay Y, creates a sense of Jewish memory for many Jewish unengaged and underserved individuals from their  two Brooklyn locations in Windsor Terrace and North Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  By establishing a specialty Jewish camp for children ages 10-13 that combines their two North Brooklyn/Park Slope-based camps with two weeks of residential Jewish camping, they established one total immersive Jewish experience.

In partnership with the Riverdale Y and the JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown, the Washington Heights Y created a day camp with multiple specialties under the leadership of one camp director. The camp operates at the Henry Kaufmann Camp Grounds in Rockland County, where the children participate in specialties including sports, wellness, science, performance and story- telling, as well as outdoor education.