On the eJewishPhilanthropy website, the Union for Reform Judaism’s camping arm responded to The Foundation for Jewish Camp’s release of its study “Jewish Camp for Children with Disabilities and Special Needs.” Click here for the rest of the article, including the movement’s committment to put more “human and financial resources” toward special needs programming.
The Foundation for Jewish Camp released preliminary findings last week from their recent research study Jewish Camp for Children with Disabilities and Special Needs, which maps current, potential, and desired camp program opportunities for children with disabilities/special needs. The study paints an encouraging picture of the field of Jewish camping, highlighting a variety of models that successfully provide meaningful Jewish camp experiences to children with diverse needs.
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Camp and Israel Programs are committed to providing a positive Reform Jewish summer experience to all children, including those with special needs. The FJC study found that parents of children with disabilities/special needs feel strongly that providing a uniquely Jewish experience is critical; in fact, 34% of parents reported that the biggest factor in choosing a camp for their child with special needs is that it be a Jewish camp where their child can connect to their heritage and community. URJ camp programs enable all youth to have this critical Jewish growth experience. Our camps provide a diversity of inclusion support for campers with disabilities and special needs, and we are particularly proud of two unique camp experiences designed exclusively for campers with special needs: the Mitzvah Corps program at URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, N.Y., and Camp Chazak at URJ Eisner Camp/URJ Crane Lake Camp in Great Barrington, MA.