We have teamed up with the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Commonwealth of Independent States (JDC) to fund camps where thousands of children not only participate in traditional summer camp activities, but also receive much-needed nutritious meals, dental treatments, and psychological and medical aid – all free of charge.
The children, ages 5-15, came from eight countries, including Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and five others, and all come from impoverished backgrounds. For many of them, this summer program is the only opportunity they have to be in contact with Jewish values and to identify as Jews.
The counselors are all members of the youth movement EnerJew, which strives for community activism and the creation of a deep connection to Jewish tradition and culture.
“The camp staff tries to devote honest and personal attention to every child, make them feel they are in a warm, loving and embracing environment – which is the exact opposite experience most of the children have in their home, which, unfortunately, has been broken up,” said Haim Friedman, the CEO of the Or Avner educational network in the former Soviet Union.