November 6, 2015, Orlando, FL – The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) announced today, from the URJ Biennial convention, the opening of the first URJ summer camp in Southern California. The URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California will open in Los Angeles in June 2016 and serve upwards of 200 girls and boys in grades 4-11. Located on the facilities of Occidental College, campers and their parents can choose from three two-week summer sessions. Applications will be accepted beginning October 1st.
URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California is the URJ’s second sports specialty camp, complementing the tremendously successful 6 Points Sports Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, which was the first-ever Reform Jewish sports specialty camp. Open for six summers and now serving over 700 campers, the URJ 6 Points Sports Academy was the first of its kind, offering athletics intensive skills programming together with a Reform Jewish camp environment. The camp appeals broadly to many Jewish families, including unaffiliated and currently unengaged Jewish families who have not been attracted to the classic Jewish summer camp model.
Providing an important and exciting new resource for the large Jewish community in Southern California, URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California joins URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA and URJ Camp Kalsman in Arlington, WA as the third URJ summer camp on the west coast.
At URJ 6 Points Sports Academy, young Jewish athletes from all over North America participate in a well-rounded camping experience that offers intensive training in the individual’s chosen sport as well as cross-conditioning electives. Sports majors include basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, baseball, cheerleading/dance, lacrosse, and softball. Campers also enjoy Reform Jewish summer camp activities – campfires, song sessions, waterfront activities, experiential programs, community building activities, inter-camp athletic competition (Maccabiah Games), and Shabbat celebrations – with other athletes, professional coaches, and Jewish counselors.
“Our ambitious goals of opening a camp a year are being realized as a result of the URJ’s effective Campaign for Youth Engagement, which has grown annually for eight consecutive years,” said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs.
“The URJ is making sure that our youth do not have to choose between sports and religion, academics and Jewish values. Our 16 phenomenal camps, together with NFTY, Mitzvah Corps, and Israel programs, offer a 12-month-a-year on-ramp for all of our children and teens, including those whose families are not members of a URJ congregation. We look forward to welcoming the hundreds of families who will be thrilled to make the URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California their summer camp of choice.”
“As we connect all our camps and congregations more deeply – engaging 13,000+ kids and young adults from 660 congregations this summer alone – this new camp will be transformative for the Reform Jewish community in Southern California,” said Miriam Chilton, Vice President of Youth.
“We are integrating, expanding, and deepening all our youth programs, providing more gateways into Jewish life than ever, including service learning, leadership, deep learning, social justice, arts, sports, technology, and more. For a long time, there was no camp that combined top-level sports training together with a Jewish values-infused environment. The URJ 6 Points Sports Academy, now on both coasts, offers the best of both worlds.”
Alan Friedman will serve as Executive Director of the URJ 6 Points Sports brand, relocating to California as Founding Director of the California camp. He previously served as Director of URJ 6 Points Sports North Carolina, a role he has had since 2013.
Danny Herz will succeed Friedman as Director of URJ 6 Points Sports North Carolina. Herz has served as the camp’s Head Basketball Coach since the first summer in 2010. Prior to his full time role at camp, he served on the senior administrative team at Jewish schools in Southern California and in South Florida.
“At the end of each session, everyone leaves camp changed – with new friends, new skills, and a fuller perspective of their Jewish identity,” said Friedman.
“In creating this second location of the URJ 6 Points Sports Academy, we will increase and vary our offerings. Taking the North Carolina camp as our model, the brand new California location will be totally unique, with special, creative opportunities that will equip our young athletes with both sport and life skills.”
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 adept and agile, 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 most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with almost 900 member congregations and work that inspires 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.