Hollander chosen to participate in training program in Israel
Louisville JCC day camp director Julie Hollander recently spent a week in Israel as part of JCC Association’s Israel Up Close seminar, designed to enhance Israel programming in JCC day camps. The seminar included educational touring in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and participation in the four-day training led for all of the summer shlichim – the young, post-army Israelis getting ready to spend their summers working as counselors and specialists in JCC camps.
Thanks to Robert and Felice Sachs, who have provided the funding to bring a shlicha to Louisville this summer, and Lior Yaron, who is providing funding for supplies and special programming with the shlicha. Dikla Alegra Levi will be Louisville’s shlicha this summer. “I got to meet her and know her in an informal setting,” Hollander said, and she’s excited about the enrichment she will bring to the summer camp program and the community.
Levi, a woman in her mid-20’s who has completed her Army service, will be teaching about Israel, connecting with individual campers and community members, and bringing creative ideas about ways to incorporate Israeli culture into camp programming.
JCC Association, the leadership network for Jewish Community Centers in North America, funded the Israel trip for Hollander and nine other day camp directors who otherwise would not have been able to attend.
“Creating personal connections between campers and staff and Israelis is at the heart of Israel education in our camps,” said Jodi Sperling, director of camping and teen engagement for JCC Association. “It all starts with the camp director. When a director has their own connection to Israel, it strengthens the quality and depth of what they can create for their camp community.”
Hollander couldn’t agree more. The training gave her the training she needs to work effectively with Levi and help the community get the most value from the shlicha program. The trip also strengthened her personal connection to Israel.
The Jewish Agency for Israel runs the training seminar for the summer shlichim to prepare them for their work in the camps. The seminar addresses questions of Jewish identity, how and what to teach about Israel to campers and staff of varying ages, programming skills, and cultural differences between North Americans and Israelis. The camp directors in attendance serve as an important part of the training, facilitating groups, leading workshops, and answering questions about the experience to help prepare this year’s shlichim.
“We’re thrilled that Julie Hollander was a part of Israel Up Close,” Sperling says. “For a camp director to apply to a program like this shows thoughtfulness and a commitment to programmatic excellence.”
When a shlicha comes to a community to work with the summer camp program, Hollander explained, that community provides home hospitality for her during her stay. Hollander still needs host families for this summer. She described Levi as a secular Israeli who is as eager to learn about American family life and culture as she is to share the Israeli perspective.
For information about hosting Levi, please contact Hollander at email@example.com or 502-238-2708.