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September 27, 2016, New York, NY -- The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) announced today the creation of the premier non-profit Jewish specialty camp for creative arts. The new URJ camp, called URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy, will open in the summer of 2018 in the mid-Atlantic region, and serve several hundred campers in grades 4-11.
URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy will build on the growing interest in arts development and serve as an on-ramp into Jewish camping for unaffiliated and currently unengaged Jewish families who have not been attracted to the classic Jewish summer camp model.
Every aspect of the camp will encourage campers’ passion for the arts and foster an understanding of how an artistic lens can help bring meaning to Jewish life. At URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy, young Jews from all over North America will participate in a well-rounded camping experience that offers a blend of creative arts with Judaism.
A wide variety of activities will be offered in fine arts, performing arts, dance, music, and other forms of expression like drumming, culinary arts, and more. The schedule will feature regular shows and presentations by campers and visiting artists as well as inventive Jewish experiential programming. Daily physical activities will include a range of sports and games.
“As a lifelong student of the arts, and a proud product of Reform Jewish camp, I know that there are limitless ways that URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy will help transform young lives,” said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs. “The URJ continues to ensure that our youth do not have to choose between their personal passions and Jewish values.”
Funding for the URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy is being made possible by a Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) Specialty Camps Incubator Grant. The purpose of the grant—$12 million granted to 5 camps jointly funded by The Jim Joseph Foundation and AVI CHAI Foundation—is to engage more children in the Jewish summer camp experience by funding the foundation of new specialty camps. The URJ 6 Points Sports Academy and URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy are previous recipients of the FJC’s Specialty Camps Incubator Grants.
“It’s been proven that meaningful art experiences connect people more deeply to the world, help forge social bonds, and open them to new ideas,” said URJ Vice President of Youth Miriam Chilton. “URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy will be an outstanding addition to our network of specialty camps, drawing upon the extraordinary resources and experience of the URJ to offer the type of growth experience we alone are capable of providing. We are grateful for the many ways the Foundation for Jewish Camp supports our sacred endeavors, and we are ready to make the intersection of Judaism and creative arts the most fun and fulfilling place for the next generation.”
URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy complements the URJ’s three very successful recently launched specialty camps: URJ 6 Points Sports Academy in North Carolina and California, and URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy in Massachusetts.
“Our success with sports and sci-tech camps indicates there is a great demand for Jewish specialty camping—registration at our first three 6 Points camps has increased significantly since their openings, and perhaps more importantly we have been able to well exceed retention averages for specialty camps,” said Chair of the URJ North American Camp Committee Earl M. Ferguson. “The URJ now has the opportunity to expand our geographic and programmatic reach to a new and different cohort of young people and their families, who, were it not for the creative arts components of the program, likely would not enroll in a Jewish camp.”
About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.