September 16, 2020
27 Elul, 5780
Dear Young Judaea Community,
As summer ends and we approach a new year, we all take stock of what has happened since last Rosh Hashanah. While there have been difficult moments, we’re moving through these hurdles with hope, excitement, and success.
Young Judaea, like many other organizations, faced huge challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our summer camps made the difficult decision to close for the summer of 2020, and as a result nearly 3,000 campers were unable to enjoy a summer with their best friends engaging with the Young Judaea values that can only be instilled at camp. Summer programs in Israel – Machon for our teenage Judaeans and Onward and Amirim for young adults – were cancelled or moved online, preventing more than 1,000 participants from experiencing Israel first-hand.
Despite these difficulties, Young Judaea leadership, staff, and alumni rose to the task and turned challenge into success.
- The seven Young Judaea camps ran a wide array of innovative, virtual programming to keep kids connected throughout the summer. To learn more about the creative and courageous ways in which the camps responded to the pandemic and their exciting plans for summer 2021 please click here.
- Year-Round Young Judaea programming pivoted to virtual activities bringing together Judaean teens from across the country.
- Young Judaea alumni and families reconnected in monumental fashion through Chaverim Online, a platform connecting thousands of Judaeans around the world through engaging virtual content.
- Young Judaea Year Course welcomed 225 participants to Israel just twelve days ago – the largest group since Young Judaea became independent from Hadassah – kicking off a year of personal growth and unforgettable Jewish experiences.
- Our initial emergency campaign has already raised 90% of the goal set for December 2020.
- Families across Young Judaea camps donated just over $900,000 of tuition paid and many families rolled over their camp tuition to summer 2021, thereby reducing the financial impact of Covid-19.
Thanks to everyone’s hard work and generosity, Young Judaea is weathering the Covid-19 storm and we are now poised to thrive over the coming months and years.
As we celebrate all the accomplishments of the past year and the promise of the next, I am thrilled to announce the hiring of Adina Frydman as CEO of Young Judaea Global. Most recently, as a member of senior management at UJA-Federation of New York and having worked with, synagogues, camps, and day schools for the past 18 years, Adina brings forward-thinking creativity, courage and spirit to leading Young Judaea Global forward. Her Judaean experiences as a member of the Florida regional chapter of HaMagshimim as well as a madricha at Camp Tel Yehudah give her personal knowledge of the powerful impact of Young Judaea. Her dedication to building Jewish identity, inspiring love of Israel, and catalyzing change in the world reflects the proud legacy of our movement.
Adina starts her new role on October 12th and is excited to engage a new generation of families, teens, and young adults as we move into the next chapter of our story. Please join me in wishing Adina much success in her new role. Her email address is: email@example.com.
Though uncertainty and difficulty persist in our lives, I only need to look at the dedication of Young Judaea’s participants, families, alumni, staff, leadership and friends to see how much good can result from even the most challenging situations. I wish you and your loved ones a sweet New Year – may it be filled with happiness, health, and peace.
Young Judaea Global Board President