Environmental Jewish Camp a Reality

They’re sure getting a lot of press these days. And why not? Tomorrow is their grand opening: they will be the first Jewish environmental sleepaway camp, welcoming the first session of “134 campers from 17 states and 4 countries with smoothies from a bicycle-powered blender, solar-oven cooked snacks from our farm, live music, campfires and more.”

Sounds pretty great to me! Read more about Eden Village Camp below the jump.

Press Release:
The Launch of Eden Village Camp – first of its kind in the Jewish world: New sleepaway camp with progressive and environmental approach!

June 30, 2010, Putnam Valley, New York

Eden Village Camp, a brand new, first-of-its-kind non-profit Jewish environmental overnight camp for 3rd –12th graders, opens its doors for its pioneer summer on Wednesday, June 30, 2010. 134 campers from 17 states and 4 countries have registered – double the camp’s initial projection.

Located 50 miles north of NYC, the 248-acre camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, inspired, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and a vibrant spiritual life. “We’re using Jewish means to universal ends,” said Yoni Stadlin, who founded and directs Eden Village together with his wife, Vivian Stadlin.

Eden Village has garnered tremendous backing from the Jewish community. The camp received a competitive $1.1 million grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp and Jim Joseph Foundation, and is supported by the UJA-Federation of NY, Natan, and hundreds of individual donors.

The UJA-Federation of NY has provided Eden Village with its site along with a $1.6 million renovation, including a new greenhouse, with additional work slated for the coming two years. 18 solar panels will be installed this summer, thanks to the UJA’s Greening Fellowship and NYSERDA.

The directors bring extensive backgrounds in education and public interest law. The program teaches Judaism through growing and harvesting organic produce, caring for goats and chickens, enjoying Kosher organic food, learning natural science, outdoor living skills, herbalism, arts, music, yoga, swimming and more.

Eden Village renews Jewish wisdom that speaks to the environmental concerns today’s young people care about, creating a substantive, relevant Judaism that is attracting youth from a broad range of Jewish backgrounds. With their zero-waste goal, emphasis on developing youth leadership skills, focus on healthy living and dynamic approach to Jewish education, Eden Village supports campers in simultaneously transforming the world and themselves.

Numbers of interest:

  • One farm with… 14 laying hens; 1 milking goat producing 1/2 gallon of milk a day; 2 kid goats; 1 lop-eared bunny; 30 varieties of vegetables; 5 permanent no-till raised beds; 1 composting system (producing finished compost in less than two months!); 34 types of medicinal plants; 5 bunk-side snack gardens (“bunk beds”); Shabbat, Cholent, and Jewish Calendar gardens… staffed by 1 farm manager, 2 apprentices, 2 Jewish Farm School directors, 1 master herbalist and 1 farm educator.
  • Ten local CSA shares, our 2-acre farm, and organic suppliers providing all produce. Organic, kosher, local dairy & eggs; other kitchen purchasing is all natural, organic & local when possible, and minimally processed.
  • One hybrid camp car.
  • ZERO “disposable” tablewares; all recycled paper goods; computers with highest environmental ratings; natural cleaning products, bug spray and sunscreen.
  • 100% of footballs, soccer balls, frisbees, and basketballs from Fair Trade Sports; 100% organic cotton shirts, sweatshirts, and polos.
  • One Sefer Torah from Temple Beth Shalom in Mahopac, NY.

6 Responses to “Environmental Jewish Camp a Reality”

  1. I was curious about the camp’s Jewish content so I wandered around it’s webpage. After reading a bit, something else concerned me so I looked more carefully. I noticed their medical forms do not even ask about childrens’ immunizations (expect for a separate NY State meningitis form that is required by state law). I checked to other camp websites including Ramah in the Berkshires and confirmed that they not only ask, but require up-to-date vaccinations in campers. Assuming I’m reading this correctly, being a anti-vaccination friendly camp means it has a good chance of getting a critical mass of vaccinated children to lose vaccine herd immunity and put children who can’t be vaccinated at higher risk. (Not to mention, tetanus is a real concern if children are wandering around a farm)

    Can anyone confirm this one way or the other? Assuming I’m right, why the #*@$! does good and caring environmental ideas need to be mixed with scientific ignorance that can harm children?


    Dan · June 30th, 2010 at 12:03 pm
  2. The standard camp medical forms filled out by my child’s pediatrician (available to and required for all registered campers) as well as the camper information page both require immuniztion information be provided.

    And I am very excited about my girl’s Day One, today!!!


    LIzAnne Mazal · June 30th, 2010 at 6:26 pm
  3. Glad to hear. Though I’ll note, unless I’m overlooking something, the standard medical forms on their website www.ultracamp.com/info/downloaddocuments.aspx?idCamp=203&campCode=EVC
    do NOT ask about immunization. The meningitis immunization form is preceeded by an apologetic letter for being required by law to send such a scary form.
    Perhaps your doctor used her standard camp form and not the one actually from the camp?


    Dan · June 30th, 2010 at 8:56 pm
  4. I don’t have it at hand, but I’m sure the form we downloaded and had our ped fill out had vaccinations.


    Jeff Marker · July 2nd, 2010 at 12:20 am
  5. We were definitely required to supply Eden Village immunization information for our daughter. No one suggested to us that this was optional.


    Elsie Kappler · July 13th, 2010 at 4:32 pm
  6. [...] Farm School’s organic farm. Jewish Farm School is JVGroup Fellow Nati Passow’s venture. Read the press release here. « Previous: Program Relaunch Coverage on The Jewish Channel Next: HuffPo: Judaism, Food, [...]


    Jewschool: Environmental Camp a Reality « Joshua Venture Group · January 3rd, 2012 at 12:10 pm

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