OWN YOUR NARRATIVE
Attn: To our friends and fellow alumni in Jewish camps, schools and youth movements across North America
Jewish Summer Camps and Youth Institutions: Own Your Narrative!
The #OwnYourNarrative campaign was established to counter the voices within our community that call on cutting our connection between our youth, the Jewish community and the State of Israel.
The State of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, where our language, culture, religion and traditions were established. Following years of diaspora without having a home, the Jewish people were finally able to establish an independent state and become masters of our own destiny.
The connection between the Jewish community in North America and the State of Israel is one of the most important relationships of our time for the Jewish people, and we cannot let anyone hurt such a connection. Our mission is to:
- Empower the connection between our youth and Israel
- Educate our youth about Zionism and the history of our people
- Create a proud generation of Jewish youth that will speak up for the State of Israel, against anti-Semitism - and be proud in their identity and background.
We are alumni of different institutions from across North America that deal with Jewish life and Israel. We are alums of Jewish camps and Hebrew Day schools. We come from different denominations, different political backgrounds and we are proud in our support to the State of Israel, our love to Zionism, and our strength as Jewish people.
After 71 years of statehood, we are the luckiest Jewish generation in thousands of years - a generation that was born free, a generation that doesn’t know what it is to be persecuted because we are Jewish and we are going to own our narrative.
We invite you – students, alumni and supporters from across North America to join us in strengthening our institutions, empowering Zionism and Israel education in our camps, and to reflect on the true values of our community to support the State of Israel. Join us today by signing the letter----->
List of camps and schools from where counselors, students, and parents signed the letter:
- Camp Rammah in the Berkshires, Ramaz
- Camp Ramah of New England
- B’nai Brith Camp, Winnipeg
- JCC Apachi Rogers Park
- Gan Izzy
- Sprout Lake Young Judea
- Ramah Nyack
- Tel Yahuda
- Camp Sabra
- Camp Chi
- Camp Butwin
- Herzl Camp Wisconsin
"I remember gathering around the camp flagpole every summer morning since I was 5 years old, the American and Israeli flags raised. There we would sing Hatikvah, “the hope”. Every single morning I felt a connection to Israel, every dance and art program led by the Israeli shlichim, I felt a connection to Israel, every time the Israeli Scouts came to camp in their caravan, I felt a connection to Israel. I come from an Israel family, but I owe a great deal to my summer camp for my strong and lasting connection to Israel."
- Yuval Lerman, Camp Butwin Alumni & Counselor
"Summer camp was one of the most memorable and amazing experiences of my life. From singing Hebrew songs with my friends on the bus to having representatives from the IDF talking with us about their experiences in the army, it was astonishing and perplexing at the same time. I wondered what my role in all of this was. Throughout camp I had felt an intrinsic connection to the holy land. A deep yearning to visit and learn as much as I could about Israel. This deep yearning became known to me as Zionism. The belief that the Jewish people can have self determination in their own state. This belief is the pillar of supporting Israel and her right to exist. I can't thank my Jewish summer camp enough for helping me uncover my love for Zionism and the state of Israel."
- Benny Yushkevich, Camp Butwin Alumni