Both camps aim to attract a new cohort of campers, who, were it not for the
sports or science components of the programs, would probably not enroll in a
Jewish camp. Funding for both URJ 6 Points Academies is made possible by the
Foundation for Jewish Camps (FJC) Specialty Camps Incubator grants, jointly
funded by The Jim Joseph and AVI CHAI Foundations.
"The URJ is thrilled
to have both Alan Friedman and Eric Lightman as new members of our team," said
Director of URJ Camping and Israel Programs Paul Reichenbach, "They are leading
the effort to grow and establish specialized camping for young people who want
camp experiences in sports or science and technology, that are filled with fun,
friendship and skill acquisition, but that are also intentionally and joyfully
Jewish. Alan and Eric join an exceptional group of URJ camp professionals who
are creative and entrepreneurial leaders in their
field." Lightman to Head 6 Points Science and
Eric Lightman, a long-time camping professional with an impressive background
in computer science, will become founding director of the URJ 6 Points Science
and Technology Academy, to open near Boston in summer 2014. The camp will serve
upwards of 600 campers entering grades 6-10 and will build on the growing
interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to attract
unaffiliated and currently unengaged Jewish families.
URJ 6 Points
Science and Technology Academy will not only engage campers curiosity about the
world through hands-on scientific exploration; it will immerse them in a vibrant
community filled with Jewish experiences and connections to Israel. Judaism will
infuse all aspects of the camp experience through song sessions, blessings at
meals, Shabbat celebrations, and the presence of Israeli staff. Campers will
develop meaningful Jewish friendships and create shared Jewish memories.
Lightman is an experienced Jewish communal professional who was a long-time
camper and staff member at Capital Camps in Maryland. He has a degree in
computer science from the University of Maryland and worked as a software
engineer for MicroStrategy, Inc., an international business intelligence firm.
Lightman participated in Project Otzma, a 10-month volunteer and learning
experience in Israel, and served as teen services director at the Weinstein JCC
in Richmond, VA. He received the prestigious JCC Association Graduate
Scholarship and the Taub Foundation Fellowship, which enabled him to pursue
graduate studies at New York University in public administration and Hebrew and
Judaic studies. Most recently, Lightman was the director of the 2012 JCC Maccabi
Games in Rockland County, New York.
"I am incredibly excited to begin work on the new 6 Points Science and
Technology Academy, which will require tackling not only the logistical
challenges of running a summer camp, but also the task of crafting a program
that melds Judaism and science into a single, cohesive experience," said
Lightman. "I look forward to sharing these meaningful and impactful experiences
with hundreds of Jewish teenagers each summer."
Friedman to Direct 6 Points Sports Academy
Friedman, the former director of a leading sports camp and a thriving Jewish
residential camp, will assume the helm at Six Points Sports Academy, a Reform
Jewish sports camp in Greensboro, NC. At 6 Points Sports Academy, Jewish
children entering grades 4 to 11, participate in top-level sports training
alongside the beloved traditions of Reform Jewish camping.
active at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, a private boys sports camp in Lenox, MA, since he
was 12 years old first as a camper and then as a CIT, group leader and finally
director. In 2006 Alan took his passion for informal Jewish education and summer
camping and became the executive director of Camp Mountain Chai, a Jewish
residential summer camp and year-round retreat center in Southern California,
where he grew the camp from 125 to 550 campers. Friedman was active in NFTY
throughout high school and spent ten years working as senior youth group advisor
at four Reform congregations in the northeast. He earned a degree in
Communications and Business Management from Ithaca College and has had a
successful advertising career.
"I am excited to join the 6 Points Sports Academy team," said Friedman. "I
look forward to building on the huge success of the past three years as we
continue to offer campers the unique opportunity to develop athletic skills
while being part of a caring Jewish camp community. I will ensure that 6 Points
Sports continues to be a special place where campers and staff can become the
next generation of proud Jewish athletes."
URJ Camp and
Israel Programs serve more than 11,000 young people each summer. Responding
to demand, the overall URJ camping program has dramatically expanded in the past
few years. For more information, visit www.urjcamps.org.