At Camp Nefesh, many of our campers have fled violence, persecution, war, and these kids have been forced to grow up way too fast.
My goal with Camp Nefesh was to make sure that these kids can claim back their childhood and have a chance to make friends and to be kids again. One of my favorite parts of Camp Nefesh is watching the campers being carefree. There’s a lot of stigma against moving from one country to the next, and it’s really hard for them to find a place where they can feel safe and valued.
The Jewish people have had that experience of not being welcome anywhere, and it’s our responsibility as Jews to help the modern-day refugees because we were once in their shoes.
The most special thing about the bond between counselors and the campers is that they’re learning from each other. They’re learning about each other’s customs. They’re learning about each other’s religions. A lot of volunteers have basically become older siblings to the campers.
It makes me proud to see members of the community treating everyone as equals, and helping give refugees the voices they need to be heard and treated with respect and kindness.