In the NFTY spirit

The spirit of Debbie Friedman was evident at Washington Hebrew Congregation as the North American Federation of Temple Youth paid tribute to the late Jewish singer-songwriter with song and dance as part of an alumni reunion concert celebrating 75 years of the Union for Reform Judaism’s organized youth movement. In addition to honoring Friedman, about… Read More

Laughter through tears

There are all kinds of specialty camps for girls out there: riding camps, volleyball camps, rock ‘n’ roll camps, modeling camps. What about a camp for girls who are grieving the death of a parent? For the second summer, the Circle Camps for Grieving Children will hold a week-long session on the grounds of Emma… Read More

Sports camp provides specialized focus

Gaithersburg-resident Jeanne Ellinport has a cardinal rule for her children: If you don’t go to Jewish day school, you go to Jewish summer camp. When Ellinport’s youngest daughter was in fourth grade, she wanted to go to an overnight soccer camp, something that didn’t exist in the realm of Jewish overnight camps. Being an avid… Read More

Study puts Habonim Dror to the test

When asked to summarize the almost 79-year-old Habonim Dror Progressive Zionist movement, Camp Moshava executive director Jen Silber is rightfully overwhelmed. “A kibbutz-like environment dedicated to inclusion and social justice, campers are challenged to develop a strong and personal connection to Israel, the Jewish people, and in doing so gain leadership skills and form friendships… Read More

Gap-year program offers study in Israel

Once only popular with students from Europe, a gap year is being adopted by a growing number of high school graduates in the United States who are delaying entering college. With college acceptance standards rising and no promise of a career at the end of four years of study, many are considering ways of distinguishing… Read More

‘Ten toes, 10 fingers and a great smile’

Whenever Debbie Corwin drops off her son at B’nai Israel Congregation’s Schilit Nursery School or picks him up, director Karen Gerton is right there with a smile. “She’s very visible. She’s just very warm and loving. The kids are her first priority,” said Corwin, whose two older children also went through the preschool program at… Read More

A little friendly competition

At Camp Ramah Berkshires, they call it Yom Palmer. At Camp Ramah Palmer, it’s Yom Berkshires. At both places, campers spend a large portion of the summer preparing for it. “It” is an annual athletic competition between the two Conservative movement camps in Wingdale, N.Y., and Palmer, Mass., also known as Camp Ramah in New… Read More

Day school students to head overseas

Every year, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School sends its senior class on a trip to Eastern Europe and Israel in lieu of a second semester. The class of 2014, which graduated on Feb. 9, is getting ready to leave for their trip on Sunday. According to trip planner and JDS teacher Aileen Goldstein,… Read More

Shabbat camp for families

Families who have children with special needs have a limited menu of choices for Jewish activities. The Conservative movement’s Ramah Tikvah program has long offered family camps at some of its locations, including Camp Ramah in the Poconos, California and Georgia. Next month, Camp Ramah in New England, in Palmer, Mass., will introduce a variation… Read More