Camp Works: The Long-Term Impact of Jewish Overnight Camp

By Steven M. Cohen, Ron Miller, Ira M. Sheskin, Berna Torr

Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), Spring 2011

This report describes the findings of the first-ever systematic study of Jewish camps. It offers the quantitative evidence that clearly demonstrates the impact of Jewish overnight camp on adult Jewish behavior. While many active Jews trace their involvement to camp experiences in childhood and young adulthood, one cannot identify a camp impact from this pattern for two reasons. First, individuals’ perceptions of past experiences are shaped, in part, by what happens to them subsequently. Second, generalizing from those who became active is suspect because it ignores all those who went to camp and did not become active, and because it misses those who became active without going to camp. Building upon the previous studies, this study takes the next step by exploring the long-term electiveness of the overnight Jewish summer camp in instilling Jewish commitment. As this report will show, the childhood camp experience has a significant impact—in some respects a highly substantial impact—on adult Jewish practices and commitments.

Topic: Tzedakah (Charity), Friendship, Jewish Camp, Charitable Giving, Jewish Identification, Engagement, Survey, Data, Affiliation, Camp

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Genre: Report

Coverage: North America

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Cohen, Steven M. Miller, Ron. Sheskin, Ira M. Torr, Berna. Camp Works: The Long-Term Impact of Jewish Overnight Camp. Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC). Spring 2011:


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