I hope everyone had a wonderful Passover and that you are starting to get excited about coming home to Morrison Road this summer! We can’t wait to meet you at the gate!
As you well know, tikkun olam (repair of the world) has always been a pillar of our camp values. Jacobs Camp is where our children, the future Jewish leaders of our region, learn how to become change makers and action-takers to create a better world. I want to tell you a little about how we’ll be focusing our social justice programming and educational opportunities throughout the summer and beyond to give Jacobs Magic and our campers even more influence in the world than they’ve ever had before.
Jewish tradition teaches that we – individually and collectively – are responsible for making our communities and our world a better place. Doing this work and raising awareness about it is known as social action. Closely related is the concept of social justice, which is understanding the root causes of inequality and injustice in all spheres of life – from racial and economic injustice to marginalized populations, environmental inequality, and more – and striving to create the world as we know it can and should be.
This summer, we’re going to amplify and focus intentions around social action and social justice programs, activities, and initiatives. This effort not only will help Jacobs campers better relate in wholly new and different ways to issues that are bigger than themselves, but also will inspire them to take action, implement change, and reshape the world for the better.
As part of their Jacobs summer, campers will help repair the world through social-justice programming and education. At summer’s end, we anticipate they’ll carry the experiences and the inherent values back home, making them better informed and active American citizens and thoughtful, conscientious young Jews. Among the tikkun olam projects being planned are:
- Social justice- and social action-based trips in the south
- Recycling and environmental justice projects
- A camp-wide mitzvah day
- Conversations and elective programming around social action issues through a Jewish lens
We are kicking off this camp season with a community-wide project that you and your family can participate in together in the next few weeks! On opening day at camp, we will host a drive for Operation G.R.I.T.S., which stands for Gifts Raised in the South and is an organization devoted to sending care packages to American soldiers deployed around the world. Care packages include items such as snack foods, toiletries, and fun little extras.
We are asking you and your family to donate items for these care packages by bringing them with you on opening day. Check out this full list of items you can donate for care packages. When you come through the gates on opening day, we will collect your donated items and send them to Operation G.R.I.T.S., along with cards and letters of appreciation that our campers will create during the session.
How can you involve your family in this project?
- Talk with your kids about what they think it’s like for soldiers who are far from home and family
- Ask what they might enjoy receiving in a care package
- Shop for items to donate as you are preparing for camp
- Pack these items separately when you are packing your car so that they are easily accessible
There are fewer than 35 days until our Opening Day drive for Operation G.R.I.T.S., so don’t wait until the last minute. Start the social action conversation with your kids now. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be at the gate to greet you, kicking off our drive for Operation G.R.I.T.S. and the best summer ever! See you soon!
Director, Jacobs Camp
P.S. For information about the Reform Movement’s social justice work, check out the website of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the “RAC”), our advocacy arm in Washington, D.C.