Kid Tested, Research Approved

Camp Works!

Much has been written about the power and impact of Jewish summer camp. We invite you to read on!


CAMP WORKS: The Long-term Impact of Jewish Overnight Camp (2011)

The influence of summer camp on the ways in which adult Jews choose to engage with the community and the degree to which they associate with other Jews can be felt long after the last sunset of the summer. The impact is striking, especially when compared to their peers who did not spend their summer months at Jewish camp.

Camp attendance increases the likelihood of adult participation and identification in every one of these areas. As adults, campers are:

  • 30% more likely to donate to a Jewish charity;
  • 37% more likely to light Shabbat candles;
  • 45% more likely to attend synagogue monthly or more; and
  • 55% more likely to be very emotionally attached to Israel.


Generation of Change: How Leaders in their Twenties and Thirties are Reshaping American Jewish Life (September 2010)

By Jack Wertheimer

This study examines the identities and attitudes of today’s young cohort of leaders, and explains the effect of their childhood involvement in Jewish activities on their adult leadership behavior. A whopping 71 percent of young leaders surveyed attended Jewish summer camp, as the study explains: “The rates of participation by these leaders in Jewish summer camps, youth movements, Hillel, and other forms of Jewish education are extraordinarily high, suggesting that many of the young leaders were groomed rather than having bloomed on their own.” Clearly, the potential of raising leaders at Jewish camp is enormous, and we look forward to helping camps harness this potential.


How Goodly Are Thy Tents: Summer Camps as Jewish Socializing Experiences

By Amy L. Sales And Leonard Saxe

An entertaining ethnographic study of how Jewish summer camps foster Jewish sensibilities and education. Written for social scientists, educators, community professionals and lay leaders concerned with informal education, camping, children, ethnicity, and religion, this book will be of special interest to those interested in how culture and traditions are passed on to the next generation.

Read more about this book or order copies.


Blogs & Articles

Making Mensches for the 21st Century

By Jeremy J. Fingerman

“Educators and leaders of Fortune 500 corporations identified critical skills that are necessary to navigate in, compete in, and contribute to our complex and global society in the 21st century. They have found skills like creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, flexibility, adaptability, initiative, self-direction, leadership, and responsibility missing from young hires … Camp is a great place where children are able to practice and perfect these 21st century skills. Through challenging activities with their bunkmates, campers practice teamwork, communication, and leadership skills. The fun games they play encourage humor, creativity, and collaboration. By overcoming obstacles, they build resilience and reinforce life lessons individually and as a community. The power of Jewish camp is that kids develop these skills all within a Jewish context, with Jewish values and joy-filled experiences …”

Why (Jewish) Summer Camp?

SUMMER CAMP can be a transformative experience for children. We at PJ Library are staunch supporters of the summer camp experience. Not only have we sent out a number of PJ Library books relating to Jewish overnight camp, but we have also partnered with as part of our PJ Goes to Camp effort.

Summer Camp Impact Seen High In New Study: Strongest evidence yet of effect of camping on Jewish identity, adult engagement.

By Julie Wiener, Associate Editor, The Jewish Week

When your child grows up, do you want him or her to feel an emotional attachment to Israel, go to synagogue and donate regularly to Jewish causes?

Then start packing a duffel bag, and load it on a bus bound for a Jewish sleep-away camp.

A just-released report — the most comprehensive analysis so far of the impact of Jewish camp experiences — offers the strongest evidence yet that a summer of bug juice, fresh air and color war leads to significantly stronger adult Jewish engagement.