The Quintessential Summer Experience

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Summertime: What comes to mind when you think of it?

For me it’s tall glasses of iced tea, condensation dripping down the glass. It’s sunglasses, bathing suits and sand toys for the beach. It’s
family vacations, road trips and sleeping in nylon tents in the backyard. And it’s summer camp.

My summer camp experiences are seared in my memory. The non-school friendships I created, the structured and unstructured play-
time, the silly and yet poignant songs, the exploration of my Jewishness and the early sparks of my Zionism all came from my summer
camp experiences.

Jewish demographic studies show that the three great factors for keeping the next generation of kids connected to their Jewishness are
day schools, Israel trips and summer camps.

Here at the OFJCC, we take camp seriously. We have traditional camps and specialty camps. We have kids that stay on our campus
and kids who take buses off-campus. We have a little something for everyone.

Every day, all the kids start here at the J. Their parents drop them off and in the Town Square the kids gather and sing. They jump and
cheer. They mess around and settle down. And they connect—with each other, with the OFJCC and with their heritage.

Did you know that every morning our kids sing Hatikvah before they go off to their separate camp experiences? Did you know that every
Friday afternoon, all the camps come back together to do Shabbat as a community?

This summer we will serve 854 campers. In our last week of camp alone, we are expecting nearly 300 kids—three times more than last

Camp is becoming more and more important in our kids’ lives—and in our community’s priorities. And here at the OFJCC, we are providing one of the best camp experiences in Silicon Valley.

Now, how about that glass of iced tea?

Editor’s note: Enjoy more pictures from OFJCC’s J-Camp in our Facebook album.

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Zack Bodner

Written by Zack Bodner

Zack Bodner spends his days as the CEO of the OFJCC and his late nights waxing poetic on the Live Fully Blog. During the in-between hours, he and his wife ro-sham-bo for who does the dishes and who puts each of their three kids to sleep. On the weekends, Zack schleps his brood from soccer to baseball to drama to dance and then back to soccer. He can often be found asleep in one of his kids' beds after reading bedtime stories to them.

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