With summer vacations already in full swing across the former Soviet Union, FJC’s Gan Israel youth camps are taking place all over the region’s map. This year about 45 camps are set up in seven FSU countries with over 5,000 campers. As every summer for the last 27 years, Jewish children aged 5-17 are welcomed, with camp tuition-free or at a minimal charge.
Besides the regular Gan Israel city and sleep-away camps, an additional four EnerJew camps are taking place this summer, two in Russia and two in Ukraine with separate sessions for boys and girls. The initiative, which was tested last summer in a pilot program to great success, brings hundreds of Jewish teenagers for a tenuously organized camp experience focused on developing leadership and community alongside regular camp activities. The camps, developed and run by the EnerJew youth movement will take place from the end of July to mid-August.
Some of the Gan Israel camps have already taken place with tens more in progress. Some two-week sleep-away camps are starting their second session now, with campers enthusiastically participating in all of the varied camp activities. The camps offer spacious greenery, a pool and all kinds of sporting grounds, enriching Jewish programming and several kosher meals a day.
“For Jewish children in the FSU our Gan Israel camps are probably the best way to spend the summer – their nourishing and nurturing atmosphere allows the kids to experience a real summer vacation. For many of the participating families the camp is their only alternative to provide a summer vacation experience to their children and a life-saver as such,” said Mr. Daniel Gordon, FJC’s outreach coordinator.
The Gan Israel FSU camp network is operated by the FJC since 1991 in partnership with foundations, philanthropists and additional supporters across the world.