Jewish Summer Camp:
Where Children Build Jewish Identity
When Jewish children and teens go to summer camp, they do more than play baseball, swim in the lake, and have marshmallows by the campfire. At the same time, they’re learning about Jewish traditions, forming lifelong bonds with their peers, strengthening their support for the State of Israel and deepening their understanding of the Jewish tradition.
A 2011 study demonstrates that attending Jewish camp as a young person creates adults who are:
- 55% more likely to feel ‘very attached’ to Israel
- 45% more likely to attend synagogue weekly
- 37% more likely to light Shabbat candles
The Samis Foundation is honored to support the three Jewish overnight camps located in Washington State working to keep Jewish children and teens engaged in their culture, religion and communities.
Explore Local Jewish Overnight Camps:
Camp Solomon Schechter
Camp Solomon Schechter (CSS) has been providing the Pacific Northwest Jewish community with a fun, friendly, and proudly Jewish summer camp experience for over 60 years. CSS is un-affiliated and attracts Jewish campers of all reglious backgrounds. The program embraces a celebratory Shabbat environment, encouraging campers to follow Shabbat observances in public spaces and follow their own traditions in private. Camp is also kashrut-observant and teaches core Jewish values like tikkun olam (repairing the world) and derech eretz (respect) through teva (nature) and various activities. Campers love the state-of-the-art challenge course, zipline and wide range of sports activities, along with options like boating, pottery, tennis, visual arts, dance, volleyball, lacrosse, and yoga. On Shabbat, the entire camp comes together for traditional meals and davening (prayers) led by a rabbi or visiting Jewish educator. Every morning, the entire camp sings “HaTikvah,” Israel’s national anthem, and the flags of Canada, Israel and the USA all wave proudly on the camp grounds, welcoming everyone.
SEPHARDIC MODERN ORTHODOX
Sephardic Adventure Camp
Sephardic Adventure camp is the only Sephardic Modern Orthodox summer camp in North America! The camp is committed to preserving Sephardic tradition, instilling the values of Jewish heritage, building moral character, ensuring a summer of fun and memories that last a lifetime. Camp sessions are typically 12-14 days in length, and offer twice-daily Orthodox prayer services, Shabbat programming, Torah learning and Sephardic baking. Activities include arts and crafts, drama, kayaking, baseball and archery. The camp’s goal is to teach campers about the beauty of Sephardic life and culture; love for their fellow Jews and the State of Israel; valuable leadership skills; and self-reliance.
URJ Camp Kalsman
URJ Camp Kalsman hosts campers from all over the Pacific Northwest on its 300 acre campus in Arlington, Washington. Kalsman is part of the Union for Reform Judaism and is dedicated to its six core values: kehilah kedoshah (sacred community), Reform Jewish identity, friendship, chesed (kindness), our relationship to teva (nature) and connection to Israel. Activities include tefillah (prayer), animal care, pool games, creative writing, silk painting, ceramics and outdoor survival skills. Campers love the new Stroum Art Center, a state-of-the-art workspace facility equipped a kiln and pottery wheel and the famous Greenstein Family Alpin Climbing Tower offering more than 18 climbing elements in one outdoor structure. URJ Camp Kalsman has a kosher-style dining room, offering a vegetarian option to campers and engaging them with hamotzi (a blessing before the meal) and birkat hamazon (grace after the meal).
The Samis Foundation is committed to helping make Jewish overnight camp accessible to all families, no matter what their financial situation may be. Parents interested in tuition assistance for Jewish overnight camp have two program options administered by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle: Generous needs-based camp scholarships for children in Washington state, and the One Happy Camper need-blind incentive grant program, which provides up to $1,000 scholarships for eligible first-time campers.Explore financial aid opportunities