Philosophy and Jewish Life:
Fun with Deep Roots
Eden Village Camp nourishes the connections between self, community, earth, and spirit with a socially and environmentally conscious program that is firmly rooted in Jewish tradition.
Free to be Me
We believe each person is created b’tzelem elohim, with sacredness. Our farm-based community, “do-it-ourselves” ethos, and emphasis on empathy creates an environment where each camper can feel creative, purposeful and loved. All staff are trained in compassionate communication, and our small size allows us to focus on the needs of each camper. At Eden Village, campers always come first! Our challenging program and supportive environment foster positive growth and self reliance. At Eden Village, our campers explore their unique gifts and passions, and use them to serve the community and world.
A Cohesive Community
We live, work and play together in a Jewishly diverse, multi-generational community. Our campers become leaders through shared responsibility for our animals, farm and communal spaces; through service projects, outdoor adventures, and sharing Jewish rituals. Campers and apprentices can both receive and offer mentorship, as we honor the innate wisdom of every life stage. On Shabbat, campers and apprentices of all ages share Words of Wisdom (WOW!) with the whole camp. Every evening after dinner, we congregate around the “Share” circle and cheer as campers sing, storytell, and perform skits.
Honoring the Earth and all its Inhabitants
We model and teach reverence for the earth’s systems and cycles, and awareness of the global social systems of which we are a part. Our program connects the broad vision of making the world a better place with the small, personal, practical steps each camper can take to live more sustainably. Our campers experience the power of creating change, individually and as part of a group, and learn how things work: our local ecosystems, our food system, how to thrive in the outdoors, how to make fire. Their self-esteem grows in step with their awareness and awe for the interconnectedness of all creation.
Awakening the Spirit Through Vibrant Judaism
Honoring both tradition and innovation, we celebrate Judaism as a relevant, profound and joyful path to sustaining ourselves, building community, and providing strength for tikkun olam (working to heal the world). Our Jewishly-rooted curricula for farming, wilderness and service, along with singing, prayer, blessings, and reflection in nature’s classroom, allow campers to connect personally with their Judaism and discover a joyful way to live. We love to have fun in our Jewish practice—because smiles and laughter grow community, friendships and our sense of self! We also take the lessons of Judaism seriously enough to keep practice and beliefs from becoming superficial, routine or merely convenient. We see Judaism as a radical and challenging path for living as a human being wisely and usefully within the cosmos and with the whole of humanity.
Shabbat is a highlight of the week. Shabbat offers wonderful teachings at the heart of our vision: a day to come together in celebration and rest helps sustain the earth and sustain the soul.
Celebrating Diverse Jewish Community
We’re delighted that our campers and staff come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, including Conservative, Modern Orthodox, Earthadox, secular, Reform, Conservadox, Renewal, Reconstructionist, Humanistic, Just Jewish, Transdenominational, and more!
To ensure a welcoming environment for most Jews, we maintain a baseline observance, while not assuming that a camper has any background in Jewish learning. Our experienced live-in mashgiach ensures a strict standard of certified Kosher food and a Kosher eruv; Shabbat is Shomer-Shabbas-friendly.
For services, we offer a balance of options and inclusivity. Campers may choose among various options for Shacharit (morning services), and campers may choose to participate in afternoon and evening davening (prayer). Friday night we all come together as one group; Shabbat morning we offer options.
We are intentional about building Jewish community with no assumptions about campers’ previous Jewish background or knowledge. We define all Hebrew terms and teach songs, blessings and customs, often enlisting the help of campers. Our Yahadut (Jewish life) Coordinator, a graduate of a pluralistic rabbinical school and a seasoned outdoor Jewish educator leads shiurim (Jewish learning circles). Campers have the opportunity to help lead services and leyn (read Torah). Because our Judaism is earth-based, even our most Jewishly knowledgeable campers find themselves engaged and making new Jewish connections.
We’re glad to talk with you further if you have questions!