gpg -in-North-America 2

Grants in North America

Havurah Program at Tel Yehudah

Havurah Program at Tel Yehudah

Havurah, a unique program for teens from the North American Russian Jewish community, had its inaugural session during summer 2009 at Camp Tel Yehudah in Barryville, New York.

Since 2009, Havurah served close to 700 Russian-speaking Jewish teenagers from North America.

From its inception, Havurah has been based on a unique educational model. Specially trained Russian-speaking Madrichim from North America and Israel develop camp curriculum, which is largely driven by an Israel-centric approach and the common heritage of participants and Madrichim. Carefully crafted educational techniques allow campers to explore their Jewish identity through a number of studios including journalism, social activism, theatre, film, fashion, animation, and the environment.

Havurah participants also join other Tel Yehudah campers in trips to New York, volunteering in the upstate Jewish community, and a special journey to Washington DC, where the oldest group of campers lobby US senators and congressmen on behalf of causes close to their hearts. Since 2012, the Genesis Fellowship is awarded to the returning campers who complete a minimum of twenty volunteer hours working for a local Jewish organization. Fellows also participate in special programming geared toward social activism.

In addition, campers enjoy a variety of sports, entertainment, and teambuilding activities. Also, starting in the summer of 2011, Havurah introduced campers to the magic of Yiddish theatre and music by hosting an interactive exercise brought to camp by the artists of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre. This interactive workshop explores connections between the family heritage of the campers and the historical narrative of the mainstream Jewish community.

Financial support for this program is provided by Genesis Philanthropy Group, along with the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and Young Judaea, as well as other generous funders.

Goals and Objectives

  • Help teens from Russian-speaking Jewish families identify with the Jewish community by engaging them in a Russian Jewish camp held in conjunction with one of the oldest Jewish camps in North America.
  • Give campers the opportunity to explore and express their Russian-Jewish heritage and culture.
  • Introduce the Russian-Jewish population to the culture of American Jewish camping, which promotes the values of Jewish education and belonging to the community.

Current Grants

Past Grants