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Posted on August 6th, 2012
With a vision for providing new nonprofit Jewish specialty camps, the Foundation for Jewish Camp launched 6 Points Sports Academy in 2010 as a product of the Jim Joseph Foundation’s Incubator I Specialty Camps grant. Having just completed its third summer, 6 Points is a model for successfully blending Jewish identity and values with a specialized, immersive camping activity.
Lenny Silberman, CEO of Henry Kaufmann Camps and a 14 year Continental Director of the JCC Maccabi Games, recently visited 6 Points in Greensboro, North Carolina and saw the results first-hand.
“The facility is incredible, the coaches and staff are first rate, and the way Jewish values are integrated is fabulous,” Silberman said. “More than that, in the three years that the camp has existed, Camp Director Randy Colman has managed to begin some wonderful, unique camp traditions that will connect future generations of campers.”
Created and managed by the Union for Reform Judaism, 6 Points brings young Jewish athletes from all over North America to participate in a unique camping experience that offers top-level sports training with the traditions of Reform Jewish camping. Campers select a “sports major” in basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, baseball, softball, lacrosse, or cheerleading, and have use of state-of-the-art facilities and a 22-acre lake. Combined with other electives and activities, the campers form friendships for life and achieve a higher quality of life as young Jewish athletes.
6 Points and the five other camps of Incubator I – 92Y Passport NYC, Adamah Adventures, Eden Village Camp, Ramah Outdoor Adventures – have combined to attract nearly 1,000 campers that would have otherwise not attended Jewish camp. By successfully offering specialized interests in a Jewish camping environment, the specialty camps have exceeded their enrollment and retention goals.
Building on this success, the Jim Joseph Foundation in partnership with the Avi Chai Foundation awarded $7,200,000 to Foundation for Jewish Camp to launch Incubator II. This latest funding will provide expertise and support to a new cohort of four individuals or organizations as they plan and implement new models of nonprofit, Jewish specialty camps.
The initial success of 6 Points not only helps to validate the specialty camps model, but is indicative of the potential for even wider outreach as well.
“For generations those in the sporting world and so many others have talked about creating a Jewish sports camp. To know that it has finally happened and after seeing 6 Points in action, I personally can see a similar growth pattern to that of the JCC Maccabi games. Not only is there so much potential with athletes in the U.S. but this can reach beyond to other Jewish communities in Europe, South America and Israel.”
The Foundation for Jewish Camp will announce the cohort of Incubator II participants on September 14, 2012.