Melbourne Jewish Report – Editorial for annual appeal ad, 10th May edition

Melbourne Jewish Report – Editorial for annual appeal ad, 10th May edition

UJEB Camp: A Jewish adventure that connects the UJEB community

“I just want to say thank you so much for an amazing camp experience. This was my first UJEB camp and it’s been hands down one of my best Jewish experiences to date”.
Noah Loven, year 11 student and camp participant

“UJEB’s Annual Camp is the highlight of the UJEB calendar. It brings together Jewish students from all over Melbourne to forge lifelong friendships, learn about their Jewish heritage and have a fantastic school holiday”.
Benji Prawer, UJEB Camp Coordinator

More than 70 students from all over Melbourne enjoyed UJEB’s 4-day Annual Camp in April, at a beautiful campsite in the Dandenong Ranges. It was the perfect combination of fun and education. Participants learnt about Jewish values and ideals in a vibrant environment, surrounded by nature. They also enjoyed lots of outdoor adventures, group activities, great food and Shabbat celebrations.

UJEB’s camp is inclusive and brings together different age groups. Participants this year included kids from grade 3 to year 12, from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds, as well as kids with special needs. The mix of age groups creates a family environment, which can be challenging at times, but is also fun and unique for the campers.

According to UJEB’s Principal, Itzik Sztokman, “We have an amazing and interesting camp, where kids are allowed to express themselves and their connection to Judaism in many different ways. From two year 11 boys singing a beautiful chazanut version of Kiddush for Friday night, to a song circle for Kabbalat Shabbat, a talent show, trampolining and outdoor ropes courses … it’s a really interesting space for our kids, a very positive Jewish experience”.

One of the most unique things about camp is the bringing together of UJEB’s extended community, as 90% of participants come from other UJEB programs. This year we had students from our primary Jewish Life program, After-School Centres, Hebrew Immersion Program and secondary school activities. We also had campers from previous years, kids who were coming to UJEB for the first time and teens from our recent BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organisation) trip to the USA. Camp leaders included past Israel Program participants, university students who are UJEB graduates, and teachers from other UJEB programs. According to Camp Coordinator Benji Prawer, this mix allows campers “to form strong connections with each other and the leaders, finding new friends and role models”.

UJEB’s 2019 annual appeal started in May. We are seeking the support of the entire community to continue our important work, in keeping our kids connected and ensuring the future strength of our Jewish community. There are currently over 4,000 Jewish children at public schools, which equates to 40% of our future community. Without UJEB, many of these children would not have access to Jewish engagement or education.

UJEB receives no government funding and relies solely on the support of our generous donors. We need your help to continue delivering Jewish education, and running fun and exciting Jewish activities like our Annual Camp. Together we can engage our future!

To donate please click here or call 95236844.

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