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Toronto Teens Launch Summer Camp 'Tikkun Olam' Project

Read this story in Shalom Life

The overnight summer camp experience is a highlight for many Jewish Toronto youth, providing them with an opportunity for an unforgettable summer full of friendship, fun, and identity building.

Still, preparing for camp can be challenging and overwhelming, especially for families unfamiliar with the camp process. With that in mind, three Toronto teens have developed an innovative new program to make getting ready for camp easier.

One Stop Camp Shop - the brainchild of UJA Federation Diller Teen Fellows alumni Leora Nash,17, Orly Lipsitz, 17, and Judah Hoffman, 16 - seeks to link camp families through donations of new and/or gently-used camp supplies. One Stop Camp Shop is a partnership program between the Diller Teen Fellows Alumni Social Action Initiative, UJA’s Silber Family Centre for Jewish Camping, Canadian Young Judea’s JOLT, and Camp Northland’s G3 initiative. Until May 31, new and gently used camp supplies will be collected at various locations in the city. On Sunday, May 31, the One Stop Camp Shop committee will be assembling and distributing care packages for campers.

The Diller Teen Fellowship is UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s premiere leadership development program for Jewish teens in grades 10 or 11. Alumni create hands-on community service projects to connect further with the Toronto Jewish Community. Nash, Lipsitz and Hoffman were all fortunate to grow up with Jewish summer camp, and credit their experiences there as an integral part of their Jewish identity development.

“We created One Stop Camp Shop to make getting ready for camp a little bit easier for families, “says Nash. “Diller gave us the necessary tools and training to be able to spearhead this project and help us reach our goal of giving kids the supplies they need to have an amazing summer.”

Daniel Sourani, Director, Silber Family Centre for Jewish Camping & Local Diller Teen Fellowship, believes strongly in this initiative, noting that, “The project is a testament to the strengths of our Diller Teen Fellows as community leaders.”

Collection boxes are located at CHAT, Beth Tzedec Synagogue, and Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue in Toronto. Donations can also be dropped off on May 31 at Tanenbaum CHAT Wallenberg (200 Wilmington Ave) from 11am-1:00pm. For further information, please visit the camp's Facebook page or email diller@ujafed.org