Swimming, Canoeing and Repairing the World Summer Camp Grants Introduce Youth to Social Justice and Global Citizenship
Toronto, ONTARIO (June 17, 2015) – Over 2500 youth who attend seven summer camps across Canada will be involved in social justice activities, along with their regular summer fun, with the support of micro grants awarded by Ve’ahavta, a Toronto-based humanitarian organization. The Dugmah (“example” in Hebrew) Grants are intended to help Jewish summer camps start and expand initiatives that will challenge and inspire their campers and staff members to become examples of leadership and global citizenship.
“The recipients were chosen on the basis of their project’s potential to enhance tikun olam in a summer camp setting,” says Dalia Krusner, Ve’ahavta’s Manager of Youth Leadership. Ve’ahavta encourages all members of the community to take an active role in tikun olam, a concept referring to humanity’s shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world.
“What was particularly impressive was how diverse the ideas were for using the grant money and that several of the camps will be reaching out to vulnerable members of the local community,” Krusner says. The projects range from a “Pink Day” at a camp in Orillia to combat bullying and celebrate inclusiveness, to organizing a camp Visitor’s Day Food Drive for the Sudbury Food Bank, to hosting a ‘day in the life at summer camp’ in Barss Corner, Nova Scotia for special needs students who are part of the local Special Olympics program.
“We’re looking forward to learning some best practices from the camps as they roll out their projects over July and August, so that next year’s grant recipients can gain from their experiences,” Krusner says.
The following is a list of the projects planned by the seven grant recipients:
• Camp Solelim, Sudbury, Ontario will be using the grant to expand their relationship with the Sudbury Food Bank including coordinating weekly volunteer sessions and a Visitor’s Day Food Drive.
• Camp Kadimah, Barss Corner, Nova Scotia will be organizing a ‘day in the life at summer camp’ including a special sports program for special needs students who are part of the local Special Olympics program.
• Camp Wahanowin, Orillia, Ontario will organize “Pink Day,” emulating the concept of International Pink Day whereby campers and staff all dressed in pink will work together to end bullying, intolerance and discrimination and celebrate individuality, inclusiveness, acceptance and belonging.
• Y Country Camp, Huberdeau, Quebec will participate in a workshop for special needs adults in the community in partnership with Ometz, the Jewish Family Services of Montreal, and will create challah covers (special cloth used to cover the braided loaves set out on the Sabbath) that will be donated to Ometz clients.
• URJ Camp George, Seguin, Ontario will use the funds to integrate learning about tikun olam in their CIT (counselor-in-training) leadership program.
• Camp Moshava Canada, Ennismore, Ontario will be helping to promote diversity and inclusiveness by producing a special Haggadah (used in the Passover seder), to discover and celebrate how Jews from a variety of backgrounds and cultures celebrate Passover.
• Camp Northland B’nai Brith, Haliburton, Ontario will be developing creative initiatives that will promote a sharing culture and economy at camp to build a sense of community and positive connections.
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Ve’ahavta is a Jewish humanitarian organization dedicated to promoting positive change in the lives of people of all faiths who are marginalized by poverty and committed to engaging community members as volunteers to support our collective mission of repairing the world.
Anne Ptasznik, Interim Director of Communications
(416) 964-7698 ext 228