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About our efforts in Jewish Identity
Instilling meaningful Jewish identity in our youth, young adults and thousands of others who loosely connect with their Jewish heritage is a key focus of the Jewish Federation. We work to build and strengthen their connections to Judaism, Israel and the local Jewish community.
For the youngest in our community, we offer The PJ Library, which provides free books and CDs with Jewish content each month to children in our community.
The Jewish Federation believes that the Jewish overnight camp experience is an integral component in building a child's Jewish identity. It presents children with the opportunity to mature, gain independence, develop confidence, learn social skills and explore personal interests. Campers explore what Judaism means to them in a safe, nurturing and fun environment and discover a deep-seated and profound sense of what it means to them to be a Jew.
Our Israel Resource Center provides personalized service matching teens and young adults with Israel experience programs, available funding sources and scholarships. We support Birthright Israel trips for young adults to travel to Israel with their peers.
Overseas Jewish Identity Promotion
Through our partner agency, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), we bring Jewish life and pride to Jews in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and educate and celebrate the richness of Jewish religion, culture and heritage.
Jewish Federation-supported Jewish community centers in the former Soviet Union create centralized locations where community members may tap into a variety of Jewish programming and activities, including concerts, Jewish holiday celebrations, dance and sports studios, a violin ensemble, a writers' club, and more.
JDC family retreats in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe invigorate Jewish life by inspiring multiple generations to become more knowledgeable and potentially more committed to preserving their heritage. The retreats teach participants about Jewish topics, point them to Jewish activities and resources in their communities that participants can tap into when they return to their home communities, and provide an authentic Jewish experience which resonates long after the retreat has ended.
Each year, Jewish Federation-supported Jewish camps in the Baltic countries, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania provide thousands of children and teens with their first significant immersion in Jewish life. In addition to offering recreational activities and enrichment in Jewish culture, these camps foster leadership skills, and many counselors go on to become leaders in their home communities.