The Blessing of Jewish Sports Camp

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by Denise Crevin
Mom of a 6ixer
Director of Education at Congregation B’nai Israel – Sacramento

As a Jewish educator at a synagogue, I spend a lot of time considering how to help families and students connect to their Judaism beyond our buildings and campus.  Many of them are the only Jewish student at their secular schools and at their extracurricular activities including sports teams.  6 Points Sports Academy has been a blessing in providing an option for kids who love sports to connect with being Jewish in a way that is meaningful for them.

This past year, we nearly doubled the number of campers from our congregation who attended 6 Points Sports Academy. One of these campers was my own 10-year-old son – a kid who plays a different sport every season (sometimes two!). Though I had heard from campers in past summers that they loved connecting their passion for sports to Jewish values, I now truly understand the impact of a summer at the 6!

Our first letter from camp (of a whopping 2 – clearly, someone was having too much fun to write home), mentioned his minors of “Jew-jitsu” and Volleyball.  After months of explaining to non-Jewish friends that Max was going to a Jewish sports camp and having to clarify that the sports weren’t Jewish, it cracked us up to see that perhaps some of them were… at least to him. And I loved that he tried two activities he had never done before.

When I met my son at the airport, he couldn’t wait to tell me about his evaluation with the basketball coach. He was motivated to do the drills suggested at home to keep improving his basketball skills (the summer focus of Kaizen – meaning continuous improvement – clearly making an impact!) and the strengthening exercises that would help his game.  He rattled off the many names of new friends, games they had played, values he had learned and plans for next summer.  He told me the best parts of camp were playing and talking about sports all day, his counselors and coaches, including some from Israel, and all of the Shabbat songs and dancing.

I love that he has a place to be Jewish that allows him to develop athletic skills and relate Jewish values and teaching to sport.  And I can’t wait to continue to share 6 Points as an option to our members who want their kids to experience Jewish summer camp but don’t want to sacrifice athletics.  6 Points does both in a way that went beyond my expectations. Todah rabah!