JTFN hits the road again, as Wayne Green, an adult who went to summer camp in South Africa and Australia, found his way to the beautiful hills and valleys of Ojai, at Camp Ramah in California.
The JTFN team worked with staff at Camp Ramah to create a unique program to fit their Tuesday schedules. The message for the day was “What are you going to take home?” which made exploring Jewish values and Jewish giving a perfect addition.
Over the day, Wayne worked with counselors and campers to learn about the Jewish values of giving and how the collective wisdom of each individual can help shape and influence the ways we can change society for good. Over the course of various sessions, campers strongly identified with the values of L’dor Vador, Chain of Wisdom, Kehilah Kedosha, Cultivate Community,and V’hechezekta Bo, You Shall Strengthen. Groups of campers from 7th through to 10th grade debated the personal and collective meanings of various values and how they can be applied to giving in a strategic way. Young campers connected to their ‘Chain of Wisdom’ as they reflected on the way they learn from their grandparents, and their counselors at Camp Ramah. For the older campers, it was important to connect to their peers and cultivate communities. Campers showed ownership and investment in what was important to support and how they can make changes locally in Los Angeles as well as in Israel and the world.
The JTFN program at Camp Ramah was possible through the Foundation for Jewish Camp and AVI CHAI Foundation Innovation Fund, as well as funding from an anonymous donor, giving campers the opportunity to allocate $5500 to organizations in the USA and Israel.
Funds from the program were allocated to: HIAS, an organization that rescues people whose lives are in danger and helps refugees build new lives and reunite them with their families; Hand in Hand, a Center for Jewish- Arab education in Israel; Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities; and Bet Tzedek; an organization providing free legal services for low-income individuals.