Linking the Silos

Reflecting back on another fantastic Cornerstone Fellowship seminar, I keep coming back to a moment that exhibits the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s “big tent” approach for the camping movement. To start off a meal, the fellows from two Habonim Dror camps led a Devotion to Labor for the group of over 300 college-age counselors in the hadar ochel, dinning room. Afterward, Rabbi Noam Katz, a recently minted Reform rabbi, played guitar with Dahlia Davis, an orthodox dance teacher, leading the crowd of people ranging from teens to their 40s, in dancing to Israeli music. Where else in the Jewish world do we all get to celebrate together? FJC is not pluralistic just because it is nice or good; it is because pluralism represents the optimal educational opportunity. In these moments, we are able to link our silos, leveraging everyone’s passions to ensure that we learn the most, and can take newfound knowledge to the next level.

This idea of linking the silos is being fully realized in the aforementioned Rabbi Katz. He recently started a new position as the Dean of Jewish Living at URJ Camp George and the Leo Baeck, a Reform Day School in Toronto.  As the first of his type, Rabbi Katz’s joint appointment puts a gifted educator in a unique role in the Jewish community. He will seamlessly blur the distinctions between formal and experiential education, making the deepest impact on our kids. This has the potential of revolutionizing the field: getting more kids into camp and getting more of camp into kids. This institutional partnership is a model to watch. Together, we need to figure out how to replicate it.

Linking silos is not just better for the Jewish future—it is better for our Jewish present.

– From FJC Blog

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