- time Recent High School Graduates: 17-19 Years Old
- location Tel Aviv-Yafo and Jerusalem
- duration Nine Months
Young Judaea Israel, with the generous support of the Avi Chai Foundation, has launched the inaugural cohort of the Camp Leadership Track of Year Course. The exclusive track prepares participants to return to their respective camps and communities having developed and practiced high-level leadership skills along with specialized Israel-related knowledge and programming. Through the track, participants will sharpen their lens with training and skills to become future leaders of Jewish summer camps and Israel education in North America.
The Camp Leadership Track of Young Judaea’s Year Course is designed to allow the participants to reflect upon the importance and impact of their experiences as campers, to realize their leadership potential and to hone skills and knowledge that will allow them to take on positions of management at camp. The track is a supplement to the core curriculum and experiences of Year Course.
The Camp Leadership Track guides participants through an inspiring journey in Israel, which will allow them to articulate the Israel story they wish to convey at camp, having developed a leadership ‘tool kit’ that will enable them to create meaningful, impactful experiences for campers.
Selection and Commitment
The selection process for the Camp Leadership Track is competitive, and 12th graders must be nominated for the Camp Leadership Track by their camp director. Participants are required to give a two-summer (full summer) commitment to their camps following their year in Israel. The camp is required to provide an additional $250 stipend to the participant after Summer I and an additional $500 stipend to the participant after Summer II.
During half of the year, the Camp Track meets weekly for two-hour sessions led by the track director. The weekly sessions provide the space to unpack their Year Course experience, develop their leadership tool-box, and explore camp-specific content. This year’s sessions have included:
- Our Camps 101: How Does My Camp Build Community and Bring Israel?
- A Look at Leadership Styles
- Picture This: A Self-Portrait of an Israel Educator
- Program Design with M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Learning
- Case Study from Summer 2017: Flying the Palestinian Flag at Camp?
- A Q&A with Joel Einleger from the Avi Chai Foundation: Understanding Foundations and Funding in Jewish Communal Work
- Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
- Leadership and Language
- Case Study: Staff Communication
- Working with Shlichim: Maximizing the Impact of Israeli Staff in Camp
This 5-day retreat focuses on leadership and the unique lessons we can learn from examples of leadership in Israeli society. Sessions include an advanced Outdoor Training (ODT) Facilitator Training, “Boots on the Ground” seminar, examining leadership through the IDF and moral and ethical decision-making, and “The Mechina Experience as Leadership Training Ground.”
Israel Education Seminar
This 3-day seminar offers a deep dive into the how and why of Israel education in North American camps. Led in collaboration with the ICenter, this seminar uses the backdrop of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to explore ideas and complexities in Israeli society and the concepts of creating Jewish time and space. Sessions include “Tel Aviv as a Sacred Jewish City: Renewing Our Days of Old,” “Oneg Shabbat: Bringing the Secular into the Holy,” “What’s In a Name: Rabin Square,” “From the Headlines: What’s the Story?” and “Sharing Your Experiences: A Storytelling Workshop.”
Camp Director Day
This one-day seminar is designed to bring the camp directors into the work of the Camp Leadership Track, and to bring the track participants into the conversation with the directors about the upcoming summer. Track participants and camp directors work and learn alongside each other, challenging our notions of programmatic innovation, using art in our public spaces, and design thinking.
The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Shlichim Seminar
The Camp Leadership Track joins JAFI’s Shlichim Training Seminar for one day to participate in training with their camp’s shlichim. Participants have the chance to work alongside their Israeli peers to explore what it means to bring Israel to camp.
The concluding two-day Camp Track seminar is a crash course in “bringing it back.” Fellows will design and test-drive camp programs based on their personal journeys in Israel. At the conclusion of the seminar, each participant will have an arsenal of Israel programs designed by their fellow track participants to bring back for younger campers, older campers, and camp staff.
You will gain the skills and knowledge to stand out as a leader and team leaser that has a unique Israel education background. This will particularly apply to camp, as you will learn specific strategies to help your chanichim have an amazing summer. You will also receive a monetary scholarship, applied to your Year Course tuition, as well as an in increase in your summer salary. This Fellowship is exclusive, which makes it an excellent bullet point on your resume and conversation starter during interviews.
You must be nominated by the director of the camp where you plan to work following Year Course. In part this is as to provide a reference for you. Also by nominating you, the camp director is committing to hiring you following your participation in the program. The application form includes a section on which camp you intend to work at following Year Course. Upon your submission of the application form, a member of the Year Course staff will be in contact with the camp director to discuss your application.
The application itself is an online form that requests your basic contact information and camp history. There are also two essays:
- How can you see this Fellowship enriching your experience at camp and on Year Course? (200 word max)
- What can you contribute to others on this Fellowship? (200 words max)
The link to the application will be provided to you via email. You can also email your camp director or the Israel Programs Enrollment Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
All applicants will be notified by March 15 whether you have been accepted into the Fellowship program. You will have 2 weeks to review the program and sign the agreement forms.
In general, you will have all of the same opportunities to volunteer, learn, and travel as those who are not on the Fellowship Track. However, the weekly sessions will occur at the same time as the other specialty tracks, so you will not be able to sign up for the majority of the other specialty track options. You will be able to sign up for the Tiyul track and any of the international trips. Additionally, since track seminars require attendance you may miss a few classes or trips throughout Year course but you will not be penalized for being absent and you will have the opportunity to make up missed-work when relevant.
*All Fellows will begin Year Course in Kedma, meaning that they will start their year in the city of Jerusalem.
There will be weekly enrichment sessions which include meeting individuals/organizations, traveling and trainings. The program will be broken down into units throughout the year. They include:
- Hadracha-Leadership Skill Building: 5-days seminar over one Shabbat during Chol Hamoed in October
- Israel Education in the Context of Camp: Thanksgiving Weekend, Thursday – Sunday
- Working with the Camp Directors: 1-day; end of January
- Weekly enrichment and outings throughout the Jerusalem semester
- Thematic programming and Concluding Seminar: 1-week long, the last week of Year Course during Special Interest Month
It is our sincere hope that all Fellowship participants complete the entire Year Course program. In the event of a fellow’s early departure, there are several terms to which all fellows must abide:
- If a Fellow departs the Year Course program, he or she will not receive any part of the grant that was allocated towards the Year Course tuition. If the fellow has not paid tuition in full by the date that they depart from the program, he or she will be required to pay back the remaining balance.
The camp directors will also re-evaluate the fellow’s employment at camp.
I understand that I am committing to work at camp for two summers following Year Course. What do I receive after two summers of work?
After the first summer, you will receive a $250 raise on top of your salary. After the second summer, you will receive a $500 raise to your salary.
What is expected of me besides participating in the special Fellowship track while in Israel and working at Camp for two summers after the Year Course?
There will be a three-day seminar in the winter or early spring between your first and second summers of working at camp. This seminar will serve as an opportunity for additional training and learning with your fellow participants.