Bringing Israel to Camp

Ideas and opportunities for infusing meaningful Israel experiences into your camp environment this summer

Please share your ideas and resources with others! Email us to submit details of a program, speaker, performer, or other activity that your camp colleagues should know about. We'll post it on this page.

Visiting Artists, Performers, and Specialists

  • Tamir Goodman, dubbed “The Jewish Jordan” by Sports Illustrated, shares the amazing story of his high-profile basketball career and what it means to be a Jewish role model. He also leads acclaimed basketball clinics.
  • Former contestants on Israel’s The Voice, Maytal Michaeli and Etzion Mayer use their music as a powerful lens to explore different parts of Israeli culture, offering an uplifting, hopeful message for coexistence. Estimated cost: $3,000 plus travel and accommodations. Contact: Maytal Michaeli (maytal2.mi@gmail.com).
  • Comedian Benji Lovitt riffs on all aspects of life in Israel, his own Aliyah story, U.S.-Israel relations, and visits to Israel by North American youth.
  • Leading Israeli artists Hanoch Piven (http://goodman.theicenter.org/activities/piven-workshop-what-makes-great...) and Ya’acov Agam (http://goodman.theicenter.org/activities/israel-3-d) can inspire your arts specialists with their unique work and styles through programs such as those in the Goodman Database.

Movies

  • Jerusalem U offers documentaries that can anchor exploration of many compelling issues related to Israel and how it is viewed from abroad. Two suggestions:
    • Beneath the Helmet – This film chronicles the path that leads Israeli teens from high school to IDF service.
    • Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus – This film documents some of the latest attacks on Israel and its supporters on American college campuses, and can serve as a trigger for discussions and workshops for college-bound campers as well as staff who currently attend college.
  • Short films from the Ma’aleh Film School in Jerusalem delve into many aspects of the complexities of Israeli life.
  • Many Israeli feature films are great for movie night programs, rainy-day programs, and more. Examples include Noodle, The Human Resource Manager, The Syrian Bride, Ushpizin, Mika’s Homecoming, and The Band’s Visit.

Israeli Music

  • Playing Israeli music in the dining room or other public spaces immediately connects the camp setting with Israel! Email us at ari@theicenter.org to receive a list of new and old Israeli favorites along with ideas about ways the lyrics from songs can enrich your campers’ connection to the Hebrew language and Israel (note: you’ll have to download the songs yourselves). Ask your shlichim to bring playlists of their personal favorites and use them to build a camp playlist.  

Programs and Activities

  • The Goodman Database (goodman.theicenter.org) is filled with dozens of program and activity ideas that combine fun camp activities with meaningful learning about the people, history, and culture of Israel. Encourage your program staff to browse through the database, and be sure they approach it as a resource and idea bank to spark their own creativity. Check out these specific entries:
  • Have you thought about bringing Israel into specialty areas such as cooking? Camp Airy has had great success building a cooking program featuring Israeli food and stories. Camp Avoda’s gardening program incorporates drip irrigation, Hebrew signs, and more to maximize opportunities to bring Israel into the camp garden