Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
February 27, 2017

Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month

Author - Camp Yavneh


“…I have to say sometimes it’s hard because siblings want to be able to do things together, yet sometimes it seems that we can’t all be accommodated under the same tent. And frankly, I think all of us need to do better. So last summer, Camp Yavneh, my awesome summer camp, took it upon themselves to do exactly that. Yavneh launched a program called Yedidut, designed for campers who need a little more support, whether it be social or to help with their executive functioning. The goal of Yedidut is to staff bunks with counselors who are appropriately trained to help these kids and allow these campers to participate in camp just like I do. But, of course, what it also does is create acceptance, and, even more than that, it teaches my friends and me to be more sensitive to others’ strengths and weaknesses and their needs.

Yavneh is committed to making sure that families with children who need extra support don’t have to pay more for the camp experience. But obviously there is a significant cost to the program. As the program is only in its second year, Yavneh is still exploring ways to fund the program. And that’s when I came up with the idea to fundraise for it. So I will be contributing part of my bat mitzvah gifts to this program, and I will also be asking people to make donations. I also plan to run two lemonade stands – one in NY and one on Fire Island this upcoming spring – to also raise money for Yedidut.

Both Avraham and Lot do more than expected and that earns each of them amazing rewards. Avraham finally merits a son with Sarah, his wife, and Lot earns the opportunity to be saved when his whole city is being destroyed. As Yedidut is doing more than expected, they are getting the reward of making kids happy. Yedidut also helps kids like me do more than expected, because it helps us realize that we are all quite the same and that our differences can help us grow as good individuals.

To see more on inclusion, read this article on My Jewish Learning by Miriam Loren, Inclusion coordinator at Camp Yavneh


We’re thrilled to announce a very special challenge grant made possible by the Martin Oppenheimer and Deborah Platek Family Charity Fund awarded to Camp for the continued expansion of Yedidut. Marty and Deb are committed to our inclusion camping program and have generously offered to make a matching a gift of up to $10,000 to Camp Yavneh. Please help us reach our goal; with the help of Emma Jonas’ bat mitzvah project, we’re ¼ of the way there!  To learn more about how you can help, email Melanie Gerard